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Articles & Interviews

Articles​ & Interviews

Part 5: Leadership paradox: Want simplicity in leadership?
Then embrace complexity first

If you want to thrive not just survive, embracing the principles of complexity theory can be extremely valuable

​The Guardian  |  Thursday 6 June 2013 15.57 BST


If you are thinking about preparing yourself and your organisation for the future, where do you seek inspiration and guidance? Management gurus or consultancies? Current best practice? Things that have worked for you in the past? That may no longer be enough. While pace and extent of change in fields such as military, communication or transportation technology have increased exponentially in the past few decades it seems leadership assumptions, education paradigms and organisational structures have remained pretty much the same.

Part 4: Leadership paradox: why collaboration is key to innovation

Collaborating with people who think in the same way is never going to produce anything radical. Companies need work with the unusual suspects

The Guardian  |  Tuesday 14 May 2013 12.58 BST


If someone suggested you ought to collaborate with your competitors, what would your immediate reaction be? "Don't be ridiculous?" Or perhaps "why would I want to do that?" The latter is a much more interesting question.

As no organisation operates in a vacuum it must be that all organisations collaborate in some way. How, where and why organisations collaborate varies according to time frame, degree of commitment and level of interdependence, among other reasons.

There are at least three reasons why we might want to collaborate more today, and why we might want to think differently about the 'why', the 'how' and particularly the 'with whom'.

Part 3: How can business leaders balance change and continuity?

​Finding the equilibrium in an organisation can be a tough balancing act. What will you need to consider?

The Guardian  |  Thursday 11 April 2013 12.48 BST


If achieving innovation and operational excellence is about understanding the importance of diversity - continuity and change is about how to allocate resources across different activities.

There is a need for change: we, individually and organisationally, need to adapt to changing circumstances if we want to avoid becoming redundant. However, there is a balance that needs to be found between change and continuity: if everything were changing all the time we would sink into chaos, not knowing in which direction to go, or what to do first.

Part 2: Workforces need innovators and operators

for business success

Radical innovators and people who are keen on operational detail don't always see eye to eye but are both essential for a successful business

​The Guardian  |  Monday 18 March 2013 15.57 GMT


Is innovation one of the top values or priorities in your organisation? If not, perhaps it should be – how else is your organisation going to survive?

Innovation comes in many shapes and sizes from big and radical to small and incremental. It is not just about inventing new products but increasingly about service innovation, process innovation, business model innovation and social innovation.

In these straitened times organisations have become expert at cutting costs and improving efficiency. But what about their innovation performance?

Part 1: Growth and sustainability: are they really at odds with each other?

As some top brands have shown, embracing sustainability actually improves profits – to think otherwise would be a mistake.

The Guardian  |  Friday 22 February 2013 10.26 GMT


A few years ago when I asked a senior manager of a well known British firm whether sustainability was on the agenda, he replied: "Of course, sustainability of our product portfolio and growth is of major concern to us." Ah. Not the kind of sustainability I had in mind! The desire to maintain growth and profitability are at the forefront of most managers minds and always have been. Sustainability, in the sense that we need to find a way to manage our planet's resources for generations to come seems to be quite a different matter.

Or is it?

Leadership challenges: learning to embrace paradoxes

The test of true leadership is the ability to manage contradictions and

the first step is to identify what these are

10 September 2012


It's Friday evening and you are starting to think about a relaxing weekend ahead when suddenly the challenges you are facing as a leader come to mind: achieving growth in economically difficult times, continuously innovating to stay ahead of the competition, embracing change in an increasingly complex environment, being a visionary and engaging leader.

While all of these represent big challenges, there is another challenge that runs through them all and is bigger than any of them. This is that leaders need to do things simultaneously that are commonly considered to be contradictions. Therefore, the biggest challenge facing those who want to succeed in the complex and fast-moving world, is learning to embrace paradoxes.

The Future of Innovation

June 2012


Innovation is considered to be the major driver of growth, be it by government, industry or the third sector. We talk about growth and innovation similarly – both seem to have become an end in themselves rather than being the means to an end. Do we really want growth and innovation for the sake of it? Both are really measures for something else.

Change Starts with You

UK Excellence

May 2012

The call for innovation is everywhere: in business, in government and in society. Yet at the same time there  is a painful awareness that  it is not always easy to answer that call. I believe we need to address three disconnects in order to achieve the kind of innovation required to secure our future.

Traditional MBA skills are no longer enough

Financial Times

19 December 2012

Are you thinking about a future in business and envisaging an MBA as a vehicle to get you there? Think again. The MBA as most commonly taught is outdated and does not provide its students with the skills and mindset that are required to succeed in business today, let alone tomorrow.

Looking For Innovation

Wall Street Journal: In collaboration with MIT Sloan Management Review

22 June 2012
Co-writers: John Bessant & Kathrin Mosein 

Companies stretch beyond comfort zone for eureka moments. If you want to understand why some companies lack innovative ideas. For the past several years, we and other researchers have participated in workshops with more than 100 companies discussing and experimenting with new ways of looking for and developing innovations. Here are nine examples of practices with the potential to produce a company's eureka moment.

Why Context is King For Innovation An Interview with Bettina von Stamm

30 May 2012
Published on

An interview with Imaginatik about innovation and leadership. In particular, the importance of “context” in determining innovation’s success or failure, and about the essential role of senior leadership in making innovation sustainable.

FT CEO Breakfast 10 min

Financial Times: Why do we talk about growth and innovation?

November 2012

What is it that we know about innovation generally? Having thought about innovation, what it means and how it happens (or not) for the past nearly 20 years I have arrived at the following, “Innovation is choosing the path of change to create value.”

Open Innovation...and taming the competitive spirit

An interview by David Eldridge, Crane Communications Inc.

14 July 2011

“The question should always be, ‘what are we trying to achieve? If collaboration is the

best means for achieving innovation, then we should tame the competitive spirit.”


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