At each of the five Celent Innovation Roundtables held in the last several months, innovation practitioners consistently identify culture change as a significant success factor. A particular challenge, poor communication between technologists and their business partners, is often cited as a barrier.

The Second Machine Age by MIT professors Erik Brynjolfsson (@erikbryn) and Andrew McAfee (@amcafee) offers some help. Their explanation of digital innovation made a big impression on me as the clearest description that I have found so far. The approach is simple: “digital information….is built on multiple layers”. It is a “recipe” of different automation solutions mixed together. That is, look at a list of digital technologies, pick a few and combine them in unique ways so that they work together, and deliver new value.

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