John Hagel has co-authored a new book to be published soon: “The Only Sustainable Edge: Why Business Strategy Depends On Productive Friction And Dynamic Specialization.” He has a note on productive friction:
Many analysts have discussed techniques for getting people from different backgrounds to work productively together within the enterprise. One of the best books on this subject is Dorothy Leonards Wellsprings of Knowledge, which develops the concept of creative abrasion. As difficult as it is to get creative abrasion to work within the enterprise, multiply those difficulties by an order of magnitude when collaboration spans the boundaries of multiple enterprises. And yet, in a world of increasing business specialization, this is where some of the most promising opportunities for innovation and capability building reside. If managers can figure out how to bring people from different highly specialized enterprises together to address shared business problems and opportunities and help them to bridge the many barriers that prevent these people from working effectively together, they can build a powerful foundation for sustained innovation and capability building.
Thats the opportunity we see for productive friction.