Top 10 Gary Hamel Insights (Spigit Innovation Summit)

by Braden Kelley

I had the good fortune to hear Gary Hamel of London Business School’s Management Innovation Lab speak on the first day of the Spigit Innovation Summit on August 13, 2009.

Here are the top ten insights that I captured from Gary Hamel’s speech:

  1. We need to openly challenge our corporate management policies and processes, and experiment like we do in other scientific disciplines
  2. The more consolidated the control of change is, the less resilient an organization will be
  3. To come up with any really good idea, you have to challenge your deep orthodoxies – we need to do the same thing with our management principles
  4. Two hard problems – (1) How do you do things at scale without being inflexible? (2) How do you have strong coordination without centralization?
  5. “If call wait time is 30 minutes, how come I can’t pay $2 and jump to the front of the queue?”
  6. The future is not necessarily unpredictable, but it is often uncomfortable – As a result, management often fails to react
  7. As knowledge becomes distributed across organizations and countries, it becomes harder to create sustainable differentiation
  8. Not only is the pace of change going exponential, but business is getting a lot tougher because barriers to entry are falling, and things are changing so fast that by the time regulators understand something new, it’s out of control
  9. The time from leader to laggard in an industry is now sometimes measured in months
  10. “We can create organizations that can manage incredible complexity, but with great inflexibility” – even though we complain about how organizations are managed, startups do it the same way only smaller

What do you think?


Braden Kelley is the editor of Blogging Innovation and founder of Business Strategy Innovation, a consultancy focusing on innovation and marketing strategy. Braden is also @innovate on Twitter.

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Braden Kelley

Braden Kelley is a Design Thinking, Innovation and Transformation Consultant, a popular innovation speaker and workshop leader, and helps companies plan organizational changes that are more human and less overwhelming. He is the author of Charting Change from Palgrave Macmillan and Stoking Your Innovation Bonfire from John Wiley & Sons. Braden has been advising companies since 1996, while living and working in England, Germany, and the United States. Braden earned his MBA from top-rated London Business School. Follow him on Twitter and Linkedin.

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