Posts tagged ‘change’

Innovation and the Struggle for Control

You’ve probably known for a while that Firefox is moving to a faster development cycle, and a lot of corporations are peeved.

The complaint of the big IT departments: “We can’t keep up your release cycles. Slow down your innovation, if you please.”

What’s going on here? It’s a fundamental struggle – don’t we love fundamental struggles? – between Control and Innovation. Firefox is doing the innovating – making their tool faster, more adaptable, and more secure with every release (at least, we hope they are). Corporate IT departments want to keep control of the tools they use. They’ve established what Firefox calls “effort-intensive certification policies.” You can’t control something when it changes every week, and you’re not notified till it’s a fait accompli.

The IT guys can’t keep up with Firefox, which is doing its job trying to keep up with the market. I’m with Firefox here. If a corporation’s culture can’t adapt to others’ innovation, how’s it going to keep up with the increasing demands for rapid innovation from its customers? These companies are hobbling their employees with old tools.

It’s time for them to adopt a new model, including a new take on certification. And its time that we expeted our IT departments to get ahead of the innovation curve instead of dragging it down.

July 12, 2011 at 9:14 AM Leave a comment

Mourning the Past

The funny thing about innovation is that it can lead to something that often saddens us: change.

Recently they created bioswales on my street. The result will be a better way to handle runoff water, which had been flooding our sewer system and sending raw sewage into our local river. All in all, bioswales are a great innovation and a cool way to deal with rain.

Problem – to build them they had to rip up and replace my old cement street, which dates from 1909, and which still had iron hitching rings in the curbs to tie up your horses. I loved my old street and its connection to the pre-automotive era, and I was sad to see it go.

We need to acknowledge that while change is exciting, it can be hard on that part of us that longs for the past.

And remember, when they first introduced horses, someone must have looked at the street, shaken their head, and thought that things would never be the same.

July 13, 2010 at 7:49 AM Leave a comment


Thompson Morrison

Thompson Morrison

About Thompson

As CEO of FUSE Insight, Thompson Morrison uses powerful new web interviewing technologies to help businesses better align their brand with the needs and aspirations of their customers. Learn more at www.fuseinsight.com

 

"The single most significant strategic strength that an organization can have is not a good strategic plan, but a commitment to strategic listening on the part of every member of the organization." -- Tom Peters

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