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Innovation and Abandonment

December 19, 2009 Leave a comment

A prior post of mine was titled “Let Go of the Old”. Recently,  I ran across a chapter in Peter Drucker’s book “The Definitive Drucker” titled, “Innovation and Abandonment”, where he dug deeper into the theme of new vs. old. Here are a few of his quotes:

“If you don’t understand innovation you don’t understand business.”

“Innovation is about shaking loose from yesterday’s world so that we gain the freedom to create tomorrow.”

“You can’t throw everything out, or you’ll have anarchy. You can’t hold on to everything or you’ll die.”

“Without the will to take risks, to venture into the unknown and let go of the familiar past, a corporation cannot thrive in the twenty-first century.”

“Systematic abandonment is both the most important and most difficult step in innovation.”

“The entrepreneur always, searches for change, responds to it, and exploits it as an opportunity.”

“All assumptions must be challenged”.

All businesses should be in the midst of Innovation and Abandonment. Look around. Are your key personnel, your top thinkers… experiencing and struggling through the process of Innovation and Abandonment? If they are not, you should be concerned.

Innovation and abandonment were at the core of Drucker’s thinking. He believed that the best way to predict the future was to create it. You can play a key role in helping your organization create its future. How?

First, by taking a few moments to grasp the concept of  innovation and abandonment.  And second,  make certain you maintain a sense of urgency to learn the new, to embrace the changes with a positive attitude, and to provide/reach out for constructive feedback. It’s this  feedback/input that allows for  improvements to be made as quickly as possible.

Let’s not stymie our innovation by excessive and/or blind loyalty to the old way of doing things.

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