Gary Hamel appeared in our lives with this book back in 2000, and it clearly marked a turning point in the way we understand the world of business, the world of leadership and, above all, the world of innovation. We never tire of reading it, because with every new reading we find messages we had not previously encountered.
Allow us to share some messages to be taken on board:
- “…many people read the Harvard Business Review, but, do they do anything as a consequence?” That is what we all ask ourselves every day, don’t you think? We constantly hear the latest mantras, but are left with the impression that they say more than they do.
- The author refers to the fame of Silicon Valley as an innovative environment. Regarding Silicon Valley, he says “…the true history of Silicon Valley is not ‘e’ but ‘i’: it is not electronic commerce, but innovation and imagination”. Not bad, is it? And we fully subscribe to this from our professional experience.
- Another pearl from the author is that “…a company that does not evolve slowly is on the road to extinction.”
- He does not hesitate to state that “…the strategy has everything but simplicity, when the aim is to be an agent for transformation…”
- And the way he closes, “…the Directors of I+D will have to (on our opinion, have to) become directors of the imagination”.
As you can see, Gary Hamel speaks directly and clearly. And, despite the passage of time, the book is still very relevant today. Happy reading and happy imagination.
This is how it begins…
“THE AGE OF PROGRESS IS OVER. IT WAS born in the Renaissance, achieved its exuberant adolescence during the Enlightenment, reached a robust maturity in the industrial age, and died with the dawn of the twenty-first century. For countless millennia there was no progress, only cycles. Seasons turned. Generations came and went. Life didn’t get better, it simply repeated itself in an endlessly familiar pattern. There was no future, for the future was indistinguishable from the past.
Then came the unshakable belief that progress was not only possible, it was inevitable. Life spans would increase. Material comforts would multiply. Knowledge would grow. There was nothing that could be improved upon. The discipline of reason and the deductive routines of science could be applied to every problem, from designing a more perfect political union to unpacking the atom to producing semiconductors of mind-blogging complexity and unerring quality.