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Recombinant Innovation

Art Kleiner has written a review of Andrew Hargadon's new book, How Breakthroughs Happen: The Surprising Truth About How Companies Innovate. There are 'two innovation imperatives' in this book: connection and control. When it comes to connection, "entrepreneurs and inventors are no smarter, no more courageous, tenacious, or rebellious than the rest of us. They are simply better connected." And many of these connections are weak connections -- "Innovators don’t benefit just from deep, intensive teamwork, but from casual connections that lead to chance encounters with unfamiliar ideas". But most organizations cannot tolerate this freewheeling connection between talent and disparate ideas; they have to bring it under control for "fear of being swept through in breakthrough wave". This is where the real problem lies. Read the article for examples of this type of control. [From Strategy+Business. Free registration required.]

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