Why Are CEOs Bipolar When It Comes To Innovation?

The next issue of Inside Innovation—IN5—will go online Wednesday night and the key theme is the tension between efficiency and innovation within corporate culture. To me, this is emerging as one of the great economic issues of our day.

Most managers are trained in B-Schools to focus on efficiency—wringing out costs and boosting quality with Six Sigma and other tools. But the cost to this is reduced risk. The goal is to cut variability. Of course, innovation requires risk—smart, intelligent, risk and more variability, not less. Very few CEOs and top managers understand this. Every fewer know how to do it. And only a tiny number of top execs know how to combine efficiency with innovation to run a global corporation. CEOs tend to be bipolar—they are either very good at efficiency or very good at innovation. Not both.

Check out How Symbol Got Its Mojo back from our last issue of IN. It begins the conversation that we continue with the upcoming issue of Inside Innovation on Wednesday.

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