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Gary Hamel: Innovation trumps reengineering September 13, 2006

Posted by Tom in Innovation.
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One of my favorite business books of the later phase of the Internet boom was Leading the Revolution by Professor Gary Hamel. Hamel convinced this young reader that the Internet changed the world, and that innovation possibilities were endless because of it. As evidence, Hamel profiled the innovation giants of the day, including Enron.

I loved the book. I was totally inspired to quit my job and go start up an Internet company that did…something. But that never happened, and Enron was found to be irregular in their accounting habits. (Side note: An August study indicated that 94 percent of workers say it’s “critical” or “important” that the company they work for is ethical. Good point.)

Hamel’s book has since been revised to remove the Enron references. Smart move, because he’s largely on point with his assertions. The Internet has changed nearly every way that we live our lives. Some of the world’s most successful companies are the most innovative. And there’s a lot to learn from their examples.

I was pleased to see Gary Hamel surface again, this time in India. Fortune’s Business Innovation Insider tells of a talk that Hamel gave at the IndiaTimes Strategy Summit in New Delhi: “According to management guru Gary Hamel, ‘strategy innovation’ has replaced ‘total quality’ and ‘business re-engineering’ as the new business catchphrase in CEO suites around the world.”

Interesting thought, and decent article. How can workforce and economic development programming be aligned to capitalize on this line of thinking?

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