Innovation is a hostile act

For many good reasons, innovation is widely appreciated as a positive force, as the driver for progress and prosperity. But make no mistake: innovation has serious downsides, at least for some, at least sometimes. Even though these negative impacts are far outweighed by the positive effects, they are the source of considerable push-back and utter resistance to innovation. And it would be too easy to dismiss justified concerns as irrational, dump, backwards-oriented, or fear-mongering. It’s time to cast some light on the hostility even the best intended innovator might be faced with. It’s time to acknowledge that innovation itself is a hostile act. Here’s why.

The entrepreneurial mind

When you are asked to describe the essence of an innovative mind-set, you are faced with a dilemma, as expectations are high and preconceived ideas differ widely. The question you receive is often one for concrete advice: Which values should an organisation embrace to implement an innovation culture? How can an individual be more innovative? But […]

The dynamic ups and downs of human systems

No matter how hard we try to keep things simple and under control, many man-made systems turn out to be – or to become over time – quite complex and unpredictable. Despite our effort. Against our intentions. In stark contrast to our preference for simple, linear, static, controllable, predictable systems. Computer software, stock markets and tax codes are […]

Who bears the risk of innovation failure?

Innovation is all about novelty, about charting new territory and sailing unknown waters. This implies that the outcome of any innovative endeavour is by no means certain, let alone predetermined. On the contrary, innovation clearly entails risk, and in fact two different types of risk: one is for the innovator, the other for the society he’s […]

Dealing with uncertainty

The Three Horizons present a powerful concept that helps us think about the future, that gives structure to our vision and ideas, our plans and concerns. This concept derives its strength from acknowledge the emergent character of the future, introducing three time horizons that coexist at any point in time, though in an evolving pattern. The first Horizon (H1) […]