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Preparing for 2010 – Innovation Proverbs

by Carol Rozwell  |  December 29, 2009  |  13 Comments

As 2009 draws to a close, it’s a good time to review what has transpired and anticipate the year ahead. We humans seem to place particular significance in years that end in “0” which is why the advent of 2010 feels a little special. Or maybe we are anxious to leave behind some of the more tiresome issues that have occupied our attention and get on to some shiny new topics.

The economic challenges of the recent past have rekindled interest in innovation. I’m hoping that the work companies have done this year to increase their capacity to innovate will “stick.” For those brave folks, I’d like to share a list of 10 Innovation Proverbs for Leaders written by Joyce Wycoff, author and InnovationNetwork Co-Founder.

  1. PEOPLE do innovation.
  2. Innovation means doing something that hasn’t been done before.
    By definition there is risk involved.
    No risk; no innovation.
  3. Innovation is a win-win process.
    It creates new value for the customer and the organization.
  4. Innovation is a team sport.
    Teams are built around a common objective and trust.
  5. Innovation requires risk.
    Risk-taking requires trust.
    Trust requires honesty and openness.
  6. Innovation requires energy.
    Energy comes from challenges that excite the imagination.
  7. Innovation is about creating the future.
    Cost-cutting and downsizing are about fixing the past.
  8. Innovation is not just a rah-rah word or fad.
    It is an investment in the future that requires
    new processes, time, energy, commitment and resources.
  9. Innovation requires new information — from co-workers,
    customers, suppliers, competitors and from the world.
  10. Innovation requires time — time to think, time to tinker,
    time to talk about possibilities and ideas.
    Down-to-the-second controls can kill innovation.

Innovating is a little easier if we look for the opportunity in change rather than the threat. Best wishes for the New Year.


Carol Rozwell
VP Distinguished Analyst
11 years at Gartner
21 years IT industry

Carol Rozwell is a vice president and distinguished analyst on Gartner's Content, Collaboration and Social team. Ms. Rozwell explores strategies that support the digital workplace. She is researching social networks, social analytics and socially centered leadership.Read Full Bio

Thoughts on Preparing for 2010 – Innovation Proverbs

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Ruben Spruijt, Jose M Sanchez. Jose M Sanchez said: 10 Innovation proverbs […]

  2. It is a good thing that people are focused on innovation. Unfortunately, since 2000 we have passed a number of laws and regulations that are killing innovation in the US. The incredible innovation of the 90s was based on technology start-up companies built on intellectual capital, financial capital, and human capital. All three of the pillars have been under attack since 2000. Our patent laws have been weakened reducing the value of intellectual capital. Sarbanes Oxley has made it impossible to go public reducing financial capital for start-ups and the FASB rules on stock options have made it harder to attract human capital to start-ups. My forthcoming book The Decline and Fall of the American Entrepreneur: How Little Known Laws and Regulations are Killing Innovation, explains these problems in more detail. For a preview see

  3. […] Rozwell of Gartner wrote in her blog: Innovating is a little easier if we look for the opportunity in change rather than the […]

  4. Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by ChemSanch: 10 Innovation proverbs

  5. […] found this great post on innovation by Carol Rozwell — a Gartner analyst I am meeting — while I was reading her recent work… and since […]

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