The Ecology of Innovation and Disruptive Talent

I once turned up to meet the Director of Engineering of a national transport company. It was a first meeting and I was late. He was not happy; “If you can’t even get here on time then I can’t see how you could ever help me” he growled. I protested that it was a failure of one of his trains that had delayed me but to no avail. That was my problem; I should have taken an earlier train! The conversation was going nowhere when I spotted on his bookshelf a copy of a book I had co-written on technological innovation. My lateness was soon forgotten as we discussed our experiences of innovation. We worked well together for many years thereafter. The book that saved me on that day was in some ways ahead of the curve. Its focus was on fostering technological innovation within companies, stimulating R & D departments and putting innovation onto the strategic agenda. It was based on research Brian Twiss and I had carried out amongst innovative firms in the US, Europe and Japan.  We combined looking at the ‘hard talk’ of technical development and strategy alongside the ‘soft talk’ of culture and competence.  In … Continue reading The Ecology of Innovation and Disruptive Talent