Jim Collins “The ultimate creation”

The article mentioned here appeared in a book published by the Peter F. Drucker Foundation ("Leading for innovation", Josey-Bass 2002). In this chapter, Jim Collins stands aloof from a quite ordinary managerial practice : focusing all the company resources on the "next big innovation", the "silver bullet" which is going to strike the competition dead.

To defend his case, Jim Collins reminds us of all the innovation pioneers who fill the corporate graveyards ; Burroughs computers in the 60s were far more innovative than IBM’s, the civil aircraft was not invented by Boeing, but by De Havilland, the first spreadsheet was called VisiCalc, not Excel, and so on…

For Jim Collins, the ultimate form of innovation, or "innovation squared", is managerial innovation, which he even calls "social innovation". It’s Procter & Gamble which initiates employee profit sharing as early as the end of the 19th century, approximately one century before the practice becomes common. In the end, the options raised by Collins are "Are you focusing on the next big innovation", or "Are you trying to build an organisation which stimulates innovation" ?

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