At the very onset of the book, I am met with my biggest challenge – teaching a concept that demands an untutored state of mind. My attempt to bring various non-business disciplines into the business world has been a stimulating journey.
Innovation has become a generic and everyday term, in fact it is difficult to find a more generic term as you drive past the shining billboards of industry leaders. Easy to spell, easy to use, the word has become ubiquitous for the leading company with a competitive edge and a keen eye on the future. Theoretically this is unproblematic, yet one glance at a landscape filled with cut-throat, power hungry and asset driven competitive players is enough to illustrate the fall of a powerful word.
Maybe you feel I am overreacting, but take an objective view of the battlefield around you. New products, technologies and services are born all the time, yet in their wake we see the dust cloud of a hundred battles for domination of the market. Don’t get me wrong, I am not in the business of pure condemnation, in fact just the opposite, but what we will come to see as prime followers are dominating a world with so much more potential, always one step behind the tiny population of prime movers. There are many entities that have broken into new spheres of operations, and whose successes are testament to the wonders of thriving innovation, but there could be many more. What Built to Thrive hopes to achieve is to open your mind, introduce you to new ways in which you think and perceive the world, and to explain the phenomena behind the successes of some and the failures of others. My grand and hopefully not too disillusioned ideal is to restore some dignity to a word that can change the world.