Why I mostly don’t go to innovation conferences anymore

I am very often questioned on why –my work being helping deliver innovation to markets– I don’t care for most innovation conferences.

I don’t either care so much for technology roadshows, prospective think tanks, and other events where the future is explained to the rest of us, while we frantically retweet catchy slogans of software eating the world. And for sure, I feel bad for European startups and tech giants feeling they have to attend the CES Las Vegas as the eye of the storm of it all. This is why, explained in the most perfect way:

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The gospel of disruption

One of the most balanced article I read on innovation and the disruption myth was from 2014. It’s “The Disruption Machine – What the gospel of innovation gets wrong.” from Jill LEPORE.

Disruptive innovation is a theory about why businesses fail. It’s not more than that. It doesn’t explain change. It’s not a law of nature. It’s an artifact of history, an idea, forged in time; it’s the manufacture of a moment of upsetting and edgy uncertainty. Transfixed by change, it’s blind to continuity. It makes a very poor prophet

HR and Innovation from Expectra’s interview

At the end of last year, Expectra interviewed me to include my expert opinion about HR and innovation in their monthly debate. They asked the question “Innovation in the business: Do HR have to be involved?” And of course, I said “no”. Here’s the translation of the whole debate starting with Isaac Getz (professor at ESCP Europe) opinion that yes HR should be involved and finishing with mine:

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An innovator’s perspective on the Trumpocalypse

In the wake of the recent US election, innovators from all horizons should make sure to take away a thing or two about innovation.

trumpzilla - innovation copilotsIt’s way too soon or too late to start to be wise about the Trumpocalypse. Even if 2005 European referendum in France and Brexit were no weak signals, but very much loud and clear bullhorns thank you. Well, anyway. My line of work is not in politics or sociological comments, so I’ll leave it at that. No, the thing specifically, I relentlessly want to hammer down again is about innovation.

Innovation is about changing the socio-economic status quo.

Everything else is just trying to be too smart for the own good of the business we’re running as innovators. If you want a resounding demonstration that ‘smart’ doesn’t cut it, I believe you just got served.

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Innovating with purposeful anger

Anger is a negative and unproductive emotion. It only makes sense to root it out of any sensible organization. Or does it really?

Many people and companies wish to innovate to survive in our fast-evolving world. Often enough the problem is how do we start, where can we get inspiration, what can drive our innovation, entrepreneurial or intrapreneurial spirit. Of course, there is not just one answer to these questions. But one angle that is not often explored is emotions. How about innovating with purposeful anger?

Emotions are not well understood, have become a taboo in companies, look messy and intangible, and most of the time showing emotion is seen as a weakness. To be fair, it is true that the consequences of badly managed emotions can be disruptive or even destructive for performance and work relationships. Continue reading “Innovating with purposeful anger”