Solving the innovator’s paradox

‘Innovation’ is rocketing up corporate agendas as executives seek new ways to grow the business. Beware, though, of the innovator’s paradox. “You believed in the new opportunity, you allocated resources, you put your best talent on the project, but somehow it didn’t seem to work out”, writes Nathan Furr in ‘The challenge of growth in new areas‘. That “incredible opportunity”, like so many others, will fail because doing all the ‘right’ things guarantees it, he says. The solution? Use management techniques to manage unknown – rather than known – problems. “The tactics for managing unknown problems are terrible for managing known problems,” he says, “and the bills today get paid by managing known problems.”

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