musings and one liners

John Hagel about Innovation at the Edge

Very thoughtful Interview with John Hagel, done by Stowe Boyd. This is my favorite quote:

[About innovation] The design of the workplace, the information have been configured around the process as the center of the action. Our view is the only place to start — having being involved in organizational change for thirty years now, with many large companies — is at the edge of the business. The temptation when you have organizational change is that you need to confront the core of the business and change the core. The issue with that is fraught with risks, because the antibodies in the core are extraordinarily powerful, and crush any attempt to change the core. So there have been all kinds of permutations that have been developed, like skunk works on the edge,  innovation labs on the edge of companies. But the intent typically has been to build that up to a point and then pull that into the core. In my experience the core crushes even well-articulated edge initiatives. Rather than pulling the edge back into the core the alternative approach is what we called scaling edges. That is, if you can find an edge that has the potential to scale extremely rapidly — and given the world we live in scaling happens much more rapidly than ever before — you can actually pull more and more of the core out to the edge, to the point where the new edge over time becomes the core of the business. In our viewpoint thats a much promising approach to change than the original approaches of trying to transform the core.

I read that a few days ago, and have been preaching it to everybody since…