This is an exploration into patterns of change and innovation within organizations that are part of large, entrenched societal institutions such as healthcare, government, and education. These patterns have been used to create a set of models that offer different ways of thinking about the concept of organizational innovation. The models have been developed from a case-study of a specific group of organizations with higher education: small, private college specializing in art and design. the majority of these are members of the Association of Independent Colleges of Art and Design (AICAD) a non-profit consortium. The models are intended to be lenses through which to view innovation critically and tools for gaining clarity about what exactly we mean when we say, “We need change!”
The models cover five areas. A Holarchic View assesses change already occurring and identifies at what system level the action in anchored. Identity Mapping breaks down the core activities that give an organization a coherent identity, then examines the current manifesto of these and imagines alternatives. Scales of Innovation proposes distinct levels within the term innovation. Minimum Viable Innovation looks at other factors that need to be taken into account for a proposed innovation to result in meaningful change. Finally, Analogy Mapping focuses in on a specific avenue for innovation, an inter-organizational learning network, and compares AICAD’s current functionality with examples of similar structures proven effective in other sectors.