Monthly Archive: March 2010


Where in the World are the Innovators?

Those of you tasked with charting regional “hot spots” around the world that might offer better locations for growing your business, please take a look at an interesting map tool developed by McKinsey and Company.

This interactive map separates Asian, European, and North American cities who demonstrate both growing momentum and diversity of innovations as well as tracking those losing ground.  This is calculated by the growth of patents registered from these cities as well as sheer number of different types of organizations and patent sectors in those cities.

McKinsey groups what they call “innovation clusters” according to their dynamicism:

  • Dynamic Oceans – the most vast and deep (e.g. San Francisco/Oakland, USA; Taipei, Taiwan)
  • Hot Springs – small and fast growing (e.g. Regensburg, Germany; Suwon, South Korea)
  • Silent Lakes – old and slow growing (e.g. Chicago, New York, USA; Paris, France; Tokyo, Japan)
  • Shrinking Pools – negative or flat growth (e.g. Manheim, Germany; Shizuoka, Japan;  Colorado Springs, USA)

The imagery is quite sobering.  If innovation is the key to long term growth, then this map may show how the balance of power among regional players will change in the coming decades.

As we have presented in previous posts, three excellent macro business, economic, innovation, social, and demographic trend barometers include the annual surveys of the World Bank’s Doing Business, World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Reports, and Transparency International’s Corruption Index.


Knowledge Application Gap Still Exists in Some Emerging Markets

If you subscribe to this blog, you may recall an earlier post detailing a little known secret concerning the “knowledge gap” that has been exposed among top graduates of India’s university system.   It detailed my own first hand account from visits to top Indian IT companies who shared how they had to invest millions in private “boot camps” for new entrants to their firms to see who could make the cut.  Indian companies like Wipro and Infosys experience huge churn in hiring fresh entrants because they are not effectively prepared for the “real world” and the needs of companies competing in global markets.  Here is the old post and what this all means for associations.

Fast forward to January 2010.   A recent report from the Economist (January 30th) shows that this knowledge gap hasnt narrowed.  Here is an excerpt:

EACH year India produces about twice as many engineering and computing geeks as America, counting those with bachelor’s degrees or a Master’s in Computer Applications, a conversion course. This “engineering gap” is a source of pride in India and consternation in America, which fears the cutting and pasting of high-tech jobs from West to East.

Himanshu and Varun Aggarwal are two of India’s formidable techies. They hold degrees from top institutions in Delhi and Massachusetts. But if the brothers exemplify the engineering gap, the firm they started together in 2007, Aspiring Minds, is busy debunking it.

According to the company, only 4.2% of India’s engineers are fit to work in a software product firm, and just 17.8% are employable by an IT services company, even with up to six months’ training. A larger share could cope in business-process outsourcing (call centres and the like). These findings are even gloomier than the 25% figure for employability that has been bandied about since 2005, when McKinsey released the results of a survey of international companies.

Some associations are using this opportunity to sell into these private corporate “universities” with their certification and training product portfolios.  We’ll be looking at some of this at this year’s CESSE Annual Meeting education session on Education Strategy Design.

See you there.