Improvements, learning and change LO25890

From: Burt Perrin (
Date: 01/15/01

Replying to LO25870 --

Peggy Stuart asks about:

> The relationship between initiative, innovation and risk. It seems to
>me that you cannot tap into the new ideas, etc. within your organization
>without your employees feeling free to take the initiative to bring them
>forward, experiment, etc., which is impacted by their own individual
>perceptions of risk. Again, does anyone have any thoughts or know of any
>research that has been done on this?

I have recently given a couple of presentations, in Lausanne and London,
closely related to this issue, specifically regarding "How to - and how
not to - evaluate innovation. My key theme is that innovation, by
definition, involves exploring uncharted territory and engaging in risky
behaviour. Thus, by definition, most attempts at innovation must "fail".
Yet, just as venture capitalists only expect 1/10 of their investments to
"succeed", one should look for the small number of "successes", and what
can be learned both from the "successes" and from the "failures". I have a
fair size reference list.

The version of this paper that I presented in London in December can be
accessed at: . I have, however, made
some revisions (and, hopefully, improvements) prior to submitting this
paper for publication, and I will finalise these this week. I would be
hapy to share this paper with whoever is interested.


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Burt Perrin
La Masque
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Burt Perrin <>

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