Innovation Nation

During a radio address to the nation earlier this month, President Obama cited innovation as a key factor in the nation’s economic recovery. “Innovation has been essential to our prosperity in the past,” he said, “and it will be essential to our prosperity in the future.” In this edition of Drucker Apps, you’ll find tools to help you understand why innovation is crucial to the health of society, the link between entrepreneurship and productivity, how change can bring opportunity, and why “new knowledge” typically takes decades to bear fruit. These insights—at once timely and timeless—are based on the ideas and ideals of the late Peter F. Drucker, the father of modern management.

Innovate—or perish

“Innovation and entrepreneurship have to become an integral, life-sustaining activity in our organizations, our economy, our society.”— Peter F. Drucker, Innovation and Entrepreneurship

  • Why innovation must become an “ongoing, everyday” thing. Read more here.
  • Watch Drucker School Professor Vijay Sathe discuss the dangers of entrepreneurship without bounds.

How entrepreneurship boosts productivity

“The most productive innovation is a different product or service creating a new potential of satisfaction…Typically, this new and different product costs more—yet its overall effect is to make the economy more productive.”— Peter F. Drucker, Management: Tasks, Responsibilities, Practices

Seeing change as an opportunity

“To be a successful change leader, an enterprise has to have a policy of systematic innovation.”— Peter F. Drucker, Management Challenges for the 21st Century

  • Three keys to success: abandonment, improvement and exploitation. Read more here.
  • Hear McKinsey & Co.’s Michael Chui discuss the importance of investing in innovation during a downturn.

Is “new knowledge” really new?

“There is a protracted span between the emergence of new knowledge and its distillation into usable technology…Overall, the lead time involved is something like 50 years, a figure that has not shortened appreciably thoughout history.”— Peter F. Drucker, Classic Drucker

  • Sizing up the “superstars of entrepreneurship.” Read more here.
  • Listen to Eric Drexler, engineer, researcher and author, discuss how those who handle research often speak a different language from those involved with development.