Innovation existentialist and/or essentialist

John W Lewis's picture
Chat Date: 
Thu, May 04, 2017

Apple is frequently identified as one of the most innovative companies, but different organizations organize their innovation in different ways.

In this long article from late 2012, Tim Cook's Freshman Year: The Apple CEO Speaks,  Tim Cook is reported to have poured some scorn on the way that some other organizations do it. Ken Gordon (a frequent innocat!), on behalf of Continuum, took issue with Tim Cook's perspective and attitude in this shorter article Tim Cook, Jean-Paul Sartre, and Innovation Capability and flagged it for us in this post on the innochat Facebook group

It is possible that the differences of view are based on different meanings of the word "innovation".
But, at whatever level, they seem to represent different views about:

  • the role of (whatever we call) innovation,
  • whether innovative behaviour can be learned (nature vs. nuture, at the organizational level, perhaps?),
  • the centralisation or dispersion of innovation through organization,
  • and, several other aspects, such as whether:
    • we can all be like Apple
    • we can all be innovative at all, or
    • some of us will forever be hopeless at innovation!


During #innochat on Twitter on Thursday May 4th 2017, starting at noon Eastern time, let's discuss these issues and what we think that Apple and Continuum are saying or implying.


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