Slow Innovation

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by: Dominic Basulto

Companies that innovate at a snail’s pace may not be in quite the competitive mess that some experts think they’re in. Forget rapid prototyping and rushing beta versions of products to markets.

Using the Slow Food Movement as a metaphor, creativity and innovation guru Derek Cheshire suggests a slow approach to innovation: "There is immense pressure to innovate quickly or to rush to market, but does this bargain of speed versus quality really benefit a company?" Instead, in a business manifesto for the Change This site, he lauds the goal of creating “an innovative company whose structure and culture are conducive to long-term growth and sustainability.”

I’ll have to give this Manifesto a closer read over the Thanksgiving holiday, since the topic of "fast" vs. "slow" innovation hints at the whole "revolutionary" vs. "evolutionary" debate. Instead of attempting to rip up a company in a great spasm of Schumpeterian creative destruction every quarter, management executives should be attempting to lay the groundwork for long-term, evolutionary change.

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