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The Innovator's Path: How Individuals, Teams, and Organizations Can Make Innovation Business-as-Usual by Madge M. Meyer

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Chapter 8

Evolve

We often associate evolution with the theory of biological adaptation and change. That process, as we learned in school, is driven by random mutations, natural selection, and vast amounts of time. Yet when we apply that same term to innovation, the meaning could not be more different. This type of evolution is not something that happens to us, it's something we actively bring about. It can't take long periods of time, or we won't be here to reap the benefits. And it is not about becoming better adapted to our environment. It's about being willing to change the very ground under our feet, again and again.

When I speak to groups about the discipline that I call Evolve, people sometimes ask if I think that even innovators have a “natural” resistance to change. As I mentioned in an earlier chapter, though, I actually don't necessarily agree with the concept of natural resistance to change. I think there are always reasons for resistance, and the better we understand them, the better able we are to address them. I've mentioned a few of the reasons previously, such as risk of failure, complacency, and the desire to hold on to previous successes.

However, I do believe that innovators themselves can resist change as well. I've seen it happen. Sometimes we were so pleased with the great results we delivered previously that we didn't see a need to change. And because we didn't see a need, we didn't look for one, either. I've also seen innovators become so enamored with ...

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