There are some very important thinkers who have been forgotten, and we would do well to rediscover them. Such is the case with Mary Parker Follett. She was a pioneer of management in the broadest sense in the 1920s. Many of her innovative ideas were taken up and developed by people who went on to become very famous, such as Peter Drucker, who acknowledged that he owed a great deal to her. In particular, she wrote some very important things about the relationship between conflict and creativity that should be of interest not only to entrepreneurs and innovators, but also to business leaders and, let’s face it, politicians.(more…)
To respond to the disruptions in their business environment, organizations often establish dedicated innovation units. These units, though named differently, often face a common hurdle: their promising ideas fail to translate into impactful market outcomes. This predicament stems from the approach itself and the underlying model.(more…)
Alzheimer’s disease, the most common form of dementia, was identified by Alois Alzheimer in 1906. Despite this length of time, there has been little progress in treatment. Why is this?(more…)
In the quest for innovation, the encouragement of risk-taking by employees is often ineffective because of entrenched, counterproductive mental models. One example is a successful manufacturing company whose commitment to quality has morphed into a stifling perfectionism that impedes progress. While the organization advocates risk-taking for transformation, it struggles to create change. This article explores the core of this challenge-the ingrained mental models that foster resistance-and advocates a balanced approach that reconciles innovation and stability.(more…)
In the field of innovation, the distinction between exploration and exploitation is universal. It is clear, it seems obvious, and it has become gospel in the world of innovation. Yet it is counter-productive, as it rests on questionable assumptions. It illustrates how the way we formulate a problem, i.e. our mental model, determines our ability to solve it. The wrong mental model locks us in, while the right one opens up possibilities. It’s time to let go the exploration/exploitation distinction.(more…)
How does great innovation truly happen? This question often kicks off discussions on innovation, with many expecting the classic tale of a visionary entrepreneur sparking a revolution. However, this idealized notion of a sudden “big bang” innovation can be problematic, leading to either a sense of resignation or a rush into monumental projects that often yield little. In reality, even disruptive innovation typically progresses incrementally, building upon past efforts and grounded in existing conditions.(more…)
That innovation units created within large organizations have a difficult life is not new. Most of them disappear after three years on average, because after the euphoric start, they fail to become part of the life of the organization. But those that survive are not out of the woods yet, because they are caught between a top management that demands “more disruption” and an organization that, through its budgetary and control processes, removes any chance for a disruptive project to see the light of day. Getting out of this difficult situation requires being very clear about what “disruptive” means, and understanding the real nature of innovation.(more…)
We live in a world of uncertainty and disruptions. To survive in this world, organizations should be agile. The word Agility is now everywhere. This would be the miracle solution to lack of innovation as it emerges every six months. But this is not the case. Agility is not what your organization needs for innovation. Let’s see why.
There is a paradox in the field of innovation: everyone is in favor of it, I never meet a manager who explains to me that he does not want to innovate, quite the contrary; They all want to innovate. And yet in most companies, innovation is blocked. An important cause of this paradox lies in a conflict of commitment between the present and the future. Let’s look at it in more detail.
My latest post on Forbes, written with Milo Jones, is a reflection on difficulty of transformation by incumbent companies in the face of digital disruption. It’s available here.