Breakthrough innovation typically starts at the edges of the bell curve in the challenge of a crisis or the prospect of an outstanding opportunity. This is because the risk of deviating from the standard way of doing things and the reward of taking a chance on something new is reversed in these extremely negative and positive situations. For example, the Apple we know today was born out of its near collapse in the late 1990’s and the Telsa we currently marvel at can do no wrong because the public adores its haute couture product.

Leading innovation is different than all other forms of governance in that it pulls the exceptions at the edges of the bell curve to the stable center in an attempt to bring useful novelty into the norm. In this way, innovation often incites commercial revolutions: ubiquitous connectivity replaces shopping malls and universities, smart gadgets replace billfolds and magazines, miracle drugs replace invasive surgeries and going to the gym, and the like. (more…)


At the heart of every major innovation is not just a person or a company but an entire national character. That’s because creative growth–no matter where it happens or who implements it–is a political event.

Countries get involved in making innovation happen because they have a stake in its outcome. Innovations in technology can give a nation advantages in defense. Breakthrough discoveries also offer governments the opportunity to achieve superior competency. Additionally, these projects increase the number of high-paying jobs and help nations get closer to full employment. Thus, the more innovation initiatives a federal government helps launch, the better the quality of life for its citizens will be. (more…)


Are all innovators created equally? The open-source innovation movement wants us to believe that they are, that the more voices we hear and the more ideas we share, the greater our creative potential will be. That’s why populism has emerged as the defining force of post-millennial innovation: organizations value collaboration over specialization as they look for the next big idea.

What started in the 1980s as a revolution in software development–when designers shared source code and embraced the notion of free redistribution–has now become the norm in all sectors. No matter where you go, you’ll hear leaders utter the clever, pithy names of these wildly popular approaches: collaborative open innovation networks (COINS), creativity clusters, crowdsourcing, crowdfunding, idea markets, innovation jams, and innovation tournaments. (more…)

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