Bruce Nussbaum's post over at Business Week about the Backlash Against Innovation has started to resonate throughout the innovation community. While Bruce points out that the real work about innovation is just getting started, he also acknowledges that many in the business community and the media are starting to get impatient about seeing some sort of return from innovation. The uninspired results from the false-innovators are starting to overshadow the sparkling results from the true-innovators. (Fairly or unfairly, Ford has been grouped into the list of false-innovators. However, I think that the new guy, Mulally, is world-class and exactly the type of innovative thinker who can lead Ford out of the innovation jungle. If he did it with Boeing, I think he can do it with Ford.).
Anyway, in response to those who claim that innovation is just a fad, Jeffrey Phillips of the Innovate on Purpose blog has responded with a critique of his own, suggesting that the innovation trend hasn't even gotten started yet. Judging from his experience with CRM (customer relationship management) implementations, Phillips points out that this discontent with innovation is "just the continuation of a cycle we've seen before." As Phillips points out, the comparison with the CRM movement should be cause for hope:
"Every important management trend got started this way. I was working with customer relationship management software before people heard of Tom Siebel. At first, CRM was the complete ticket to solve your customer management woes - it would snap sales people into line, improve sales pipelines and "manage" customers more effectively. Except that CRM didn't really do those things out of the gate. It required a change in culture and in management thinking before the software and processes could make a big change. So, after a few years, Gartner was famous for a report that over 50% of all CRM implementations failed. In any management trend, once a leading firm has identified the end of the trend, you can assume good things will happen next, since the people who were along for the ride will get off, and the people who are in it for the long run will get started..."
Anyway, stay tuned to the Innovate on Purpose blog. Jeffrey has a lot to say on the topic of innovation, and he's playing an important part in making organizations more aware of the value of innovation.
[image: Ford Bold Moves. Can't Wait.]