Excellent article about essential ingredients for creating innovation clusters. It also describes the type of person required to be an innovation leader. I think this is an excellent goal for all students to have to be this kind of person.
•Synthesis. People need to “connect the dots,” making the relevant context of a complex issue clear so everyone can move forward.
• Perspective. For sustained collaboration, people must analyze and understand the economic and social environment — the “human ecosystem” — in which the quad operates.
• Communication skills. Working across sector boundaries, collaborators must negotiate with and convince others, building pro-innovation coalitions that can be mobilized for worthwhile goals.
• Intellectual curiosity. People must be passionate about exploring questions and alternative solutions together, making decisions with urgency but also with an eye to the long term.
• Empathy. Those working closely together need the unshakable willingness to listen to and understand others’ point of view, even when that means operating outside their comfort zone.
• Substantive knowledge. For those engaged in technical innovation, superior levels of specialized knowledge are essential — and when combined with the other skills and attitudes, they allow people to act strategically.
• Cross-sector experience. A successful quad cluster will feature many people with experience well beyond their own silo, preferably in a different country or economic sector. This is one positive side effect of the “revolving door” phenomenon, in which people can move from one firm to another. The wider the range of experiences, the deeper the empathy and the more finely honed an individual’s skills of cross-border communication and negotiation are likely to be.
Taken together, these attributes allow people to think, act, and move across all sorts of borders — institutional and sectoral, as well as national and regional.