Matrix Management

Globalization – Co-location and innovation

airplane landing

Kevan Hall, CEO of Global Integration shares his experiences having recently attended a business trip to Silicon Valley.

On my recent visit to Silicon Valley I was struck by the paradox of new technology companies who were operating globally, born comfortable with technology, yet trying to bring everyone together on a common campus or being uncomfortable with remote working.

As I start work on my next book I have been looking at this paradox in relation to R&D. On the one hand we have the undoubted critical mass, serendipity and connectedness that comes from co-location or physical clusters. On the other the fact that we need to access increasingly distributed global knowledge and expertise about our customers, markets and technologies. The challenges of globalization.

Most organizations still do most of their high value R&D in their home markets. The increasing number of distributed R&D centres are often engaged in localisation or lower value projects.

But what is the chance that over time these important home locations will always be in the right places to incubate innovation – will they be located in growth markets, with access to the best skills and proximity to the most important sources of learning.

It seems that the logic of distributed innovation is compelling, if only we can make the process of creativity, communication and collaboration work better across distance.

There may be areas where being remote can be a positive advantage. For example, despite the myth of brainstorming, it has long been clear that a group of individuals working separately will come up with more ideas than a team of the same people,working collectively. We also know that communicating through technology (when facilitated properly) can break down some of the barriers of culture and hierarchy and encourage different forms of collaboration and openness. Idea generation then may be actively improved by organizing it remotely.

More to come in this subject as our research continues. Please let us know if you have any experiences of distributed global innovation.[banner heading=”Contact us” link=”” icon=”coffee” anchor=”Get in touch” align= “left”] We help organizations cut through the complexities of virtual, matrix and global working. [/banner]

Educate yourself further with a few more or our online insights:

25 years of experience learning with a range of world class clients

We work with a wide range of clients from global multinationals to recent start-ups. Our audiences span all levels, from CEOs to operational teams around the world.  Our tools and programs have been developed for diverse and demanding audiences.

View more of our clients
Two woman talking with a cup of coffee

Tailored training or off the shelf modules for your people development needs

We are deep content experts in remote, virtual and hybrid working, matrix management and agile & digital leadership. We are highly flexible in how we deliver our content and ideas. We can tailor content closely to your specific needs or deliver off the shelf bite sized modules based on our existing IP and 25 years of training experience.

For more about how we deliver our keynotes, workshops, live web seminars and online learning.

Discover our training solutions