143Interpenetration of Opposites
products a year, for customers as diverse as Nike, Apple, and the lm
industry. Ideo is a quintessential Green. However, it has a sophisticated
process of innovation that everybody in the organization embraces.
In fact, Ideo is proud of saying that it doesn’t care what product design
it is innovating. What matters is that it is able to apply its process to the
innovation. So here’s a company whose business and growth strategy
are Green, and yet it denes its core competence in terms of a process,
something we associate with Red.
General Dynamics, which we discussed in Chapter 8, is another exam-
ple. When faced with declining industry prospects in 1991, the com-
pany downsized dramatically, shrinking in sales from $9.5 billion to
$3.2 billion—a classic Blue initiative. But in the midst of dealing with a
Blue crisis with a Blue initiative, General Dynamics paid striking atten-
tion to Yellow. Its CEO, Bill Anders, asked his COO, James Mellon, to
spend most of his time for a period of six months simply teaching the
General Dynamics’ managers what it really meant to manage for cash.
Interpenetration of opposites: a tool to prevent drifting to the negative zone.