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Mindsets for Knowledge Innovation in the 21st Century

Mindsets for Knowledge Innovation in the 21st Century

| by , Nicolas Gorjestani

To be successful in the 21st Century, societies, organizations and entrepreneurs will have to navigate the economic, demographic and technological sea changes that are taking place globally. The compass of global economic activity will increasingly point towards the East and South. As the economic organizing principle shifts from a paradigm of scarcity of factors of production to a paradigm of abundance of knowledge, we will have to learn new rules of survival. The intelligent societies of the future will increasingly revolve around the principles of innovation, collaboration, sustainability and harmony. The emerging knowledge-based, innovation-driven organizations of the 21st Century will be seen less as mechanical systems and more like living organisms. To compete successfully in the emerging global context, the former hierarchical structures will have to adapt to more network-driven alliances.  This will require different management practices and behavioral incentives to motivate the knowledge workers and to promote a culture of collaboration, innovation and life-long learning. A key leadership challenge will revolve around nurturing appropriate mindsets.  Based on a practitioner's experience with nearly two decades of leading or participating in organizational change efforts at the World Bank, the key insights are that changing the organizational structures, processes and rules is the easy part; the more difficult challenge is changing the mindsets and behaviors. To convey these messages the lecture will rely on interactive, provocative 'mind teasers' and counter-intuitive approaches in the form of images (little or no text) that the audience will have to reflect on and consider its implication for their particular business or research context. 

An economist by training, Nicolas Gorjestani had held a variety of senior staff and leadership positions at the World Bank for more than three decades, including as a Chief Knowledge and Learning Officer, before retiring in July 2007. He now devotes his time to advising, lecturing and writing on knowledge-based development strategy, innovation, intelligent cities and organizations, organizational learning, and leadership development issues.  Since retiring from the World Bank, Mr. Gorjestani has also been Executive Director, Global Indigenous Knowledge and Innovation Partnership; Senior Adviser/Consultant at the World Bank; Adjunct Professor in Knowledge Ecology at the Polytechnic University in Hong Kong; member of the Learning Innovation Laboratory at Harvard University; and a member of the New Club of Paris, a think tank focused on issues of the global knowledge economy.  A recognized international thought leader on knowledge-based development, organizational change, innovation and learning issues, Mr. Gorjestani has published on knowledge-based development and organizational change topics and keynoted at several major international events on five continents.

Nicolas Gorjestani is also a former senior official of the World Bank and will be speaking at the 15-16 November 2017 KM Asia event in Hong Kong. 

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