According to John Hagel at Edge Perspectives, executives can benefit from six lessons derived from studying innovation in big wave surfing.
- find the relevant edge.
- attract motivated groups of people to these edges to work together around challenging performance issues.
- recognize that the people who are likely to be attracted to the edge are big risk-takers.
- recognize that the edge fosters not just risk-taking, but very different cultures that are also “edgy”.
- find ways to appropriate insights from adjacent disciplines and even more remote areas of activity.
- bring users and developers of technology closely together at the edge.
Check out the article (now a couple years old) at:
Hagel cites von Hippel’s two books. After his original work showing user innovation in B2B markets like scientific instruments, von Hippel did a number of studies on open source software and then extreme sport enthusiasts. Perhaps all lead users try to “catch a wave”!