Tag Archives: creativity

Is radical innovation a thing of the past?

It is a rash commentator who calls the end of history. Such declarations, as Francis Fukuyama discovered, tend to be made on the eve of wrenching change. Even so, despite the mass of management thinking forced between hard covers and carpet-bombed weekly on to cowering readers, it is hard to identify radical innovations from the past decade and tempting to think great breakthroughs are no longer possible.

Plenty of thinkers would beg to differ. Ten years after Good to Great was published, Jim Collins is back as co-author of a new book, Great by Choice , touted as “groundbreaking” despite its derivative-sounding title. Michael Porter believes “creating shared value” will mark a turning point in economic history, though critics claim his latest idea is corporate social responsibility under a new guise. Gary Hamel, meanwhile, is promoting the open-access Management Innovation eXchange – “the MIX”, an online clearing house for management ideas – as the vehicle for nothing less than a reinvention of the discipline.

In May, Prof Hamel blogged that “the emerging ‘social technologies’ of Web 2.0 are likely to transform the work of management root and branch”. He laid down an “e-gauntlet” to organisations to share ideas about how they were becoming “more adaptable, innovative, inspiring and accountable”. A few cynics have fallen into the MIX (though the contributor who offered a lapidary contribution headlined “innovation sucks” seems to have disappeared from the site). But the winners of the first phase of the prize mostly defy scepticism – mainly because the improvements they propose seem to be working in practice. Read more »

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