I’ve been reading Peter Drucker’s 1985 book “Innovation and Entrepreneurship”. It’s one of the best books I’ve read in a while.
In typical Drucker fashion it’s both prescient and prescriptive – an ideal guide for leaders in industries undergoing transformation – like technology does continually and media has as a result of technology.
For Drucker it all about management – processes to identify opportunities, processes to nurture and develop them and processes to promote or eliminate them. What’s more he makes sure we understand that processes that are not aligned to the performance measures that drive bonus and promotion will fail – miserably. Failure is of course always a possibility when innovation occurs – because the systems and processes are not known. If it occurs the company has to ensure that the management of the project doesn’t find project failure effects promotion since even that will tell other managers – at least the best ones that are needed to drive new projects to success – that innovative projects are not where you want to be.
For much of the traditional media, and a good proportion of tech companies, it’s aligning management practices to innovation that is the first step to growing opportunities (for media one can’t expect innovation on the web when senior people say “web traffic is nice but Cume and TSL pay the bills”.
If you’re interested in making your organization more innovative his book is a good place to start.
Mar 19 – Finally got around to opening the latest Change This and found Elizabeth Has Edersheim’s manifesto on Drucker’s approach to management driven innovation. “Change This” is a great source of entertaining and insightful articles on social and business issues and worth subscribing to.