Thanks to Tiff Fehr, I found this Insightful post over at Chris Fahey’s graphpaper.com about innovation hype and the misguided announcement by Nussbaum at Business week that innovation is over, and transformation is the new thing. Fahey writes:
what Nussbaum and the innovation cheerleaders have been talking about all along has not been about how innovative people can be more innovative. It’s been about how to take teams that cannot or will not innovate and getting them to actually come up with new ideas. Which is why, I think, he has chosen to zoom in on “transformation” as the key word. It’s always been about change.
In fact, I would go one step further and posit that what he’s really talking about is therapy. How to take a damaged or under-performing body and build it into something that works. To repair broken methodologies that produce the same-old solutions. To build up capabilities that have atrophied, or that may never have even existed. (Full post here)
I hope transformation does not become a buzzword or take off as a trend. I still believe the big movement should be about fundamentals: often we suck at the basics and failing companies or teams have a basic, fundamental problem that a leader needs to own and address. Until that happens, all the buzzwords, methods, consultants and cutting edge books in the world won’t do a thing.
I like Fahey’s use of therapy as a better description of what many organizations need, but it’s not masculine or caffeinated enough for the MBA/VP crowd to ever wave flags for it.