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Harv Bus Rev. 1985 May-Jun;63(3):67-72.

The discipline of innovation.


As managers recognize the heightened importance of innovation to competitive success, they face an apparent paradox: the orderly and predictable decisions on which a business rests depend increasingly on the disorderly and unpredictable process of innovation. How can managers expect to plan for--or count on--a process that is itself so utterly dependent on creativity, inspiration, and old-fashioned luck? Drawing on his many years' experience studying innovative and entrepreneurial companies, the author argues that this paradox is apparent only, not real. Most of what happens in successful innovations is not the happy occurrence of a blinding flash of insight but, rather, the careful implementation of an unspectacular but systematic management discipline. At the heart of that discipline lies the knowledge of where to look for innovation opportunities and how to identify them. It is to this study of the sources of innovation that Mr. Drucker here addresses himself.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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