CHAPTER 8High-Value Innovation—Leveraging the Risk of Excellence

Innovation distinguishes between leaders and followers.

—STEVE JOBS

The battlefield of business competition is littered with the remnants of once-great companies that failed to adapt or innovate. For example, many of the companies profiled in Tom Peters and Robert Waterman’s classic book In Search of Excellence were no longer viewed as front runners in their industry as early as two years following the book’s release, and some had closed their doors. In fact, in a November 1984 issue of BusinessWeek magazine titled “Oops. Who’s Excellent Now?” it was observed that of the 43 “excellent” companies surveyed by Peters and Waterman, approximately one-third had experienced financial difficulties. ...

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