Pace of Innovation in Academia

I was speaking with a fellow faculty member about what seems to be a very inefficient process of innovation through academia.  Admittedly, I am not one for slow pace . . . at just about anything.  My experience in the marketplace tells me that innovation can be substantial and can be done much quicker through a different process.  Competition in the marketplace forces speedy innovation.  Can speed generate risks during the process?  Yes.  Trial and error can be costly and false positives can send one on a series of wild goose chases.  Does the lack of speed generate any undesirable side affects during the process?  I suggest to you that a lack of pace kills momentum.

Having spent a little time with Dean’s from other Schools of Business, many of the Dean’s from traditional research institutions mourn the irrelevance of the research being done by their faculty.  With the world changing very fast around us, doesn’t it make sense the an inefficient and slow process of innovation would render many, if not most academic research projects irrelevant before they were finished?  Are we not better off building on innovations created in the marketplace at a pace that sustains momentum, rather than getting bogged down in academic minutia, trivial challenges, and limited outlets for sharing findings?

What do you think?


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