Over-engineering != innovation
26 Mar 2008

Over-engineering != innovation

Bigger or more complicated is not always

26 Mar 2008

Bigger or more complicated is not always better. Scott Anthony wrote an article in Harvard Business on the perils of “too much innovation.” He writes on over-engineering innovations:

There is something about human nature that restlessly seeks to improve things. But instead of asking “Can we?” innovate to improve what exists and create what doesn’t, companies need to ask “Should we?”


Overshooting happens in just about every industry. It tends to start in the least demanding tiers of the market and creep up to more demanding tiers. Overshooting creates conditions that encourage the formation of disruptive attackers who change the game through simplicity or low prices.

Simplifications can be innovations, too. The success of the iPod and iPhone can be credited to their simplistic designs. Likewise, the minimalism movement transformed the post-WWII design world. Education systems, in the meantime, have transformed into highly-engineered organisms.

Can simple work in education, too?

Driven by a New Paradigm of globalization, rise of the knowledge society and accelerating change, the education sector is in dire need of innovative transformations. Rather than over-engineering solutions to the challenges we face in education, are there simple, yet seemingly elegant, pathways to successful futures?

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