Yes We Can: Innovating out of a recession

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Information about Yes We Can: Innovating out of a recession

Published on September 14, 2009

Author: Normlewis



Talk at TEDxLeeds on why we need to challenge the prevailing culture of limits and risk-aversion in order to foster innovation for future wealth creation.

YES WE CAN INNOVATING OUT OF A RECESSION Dr Norman Lewis, Chief Strategy Officer, Wireless Grids Corporation, USA 10 September 2009

They were all at it!

The West living on other people’s money?


Globaldecline of R&D spending as % of GDP(apart from Japan) * Main Science & Technology Indicators, OECD, December 2008, p1


326,266 105,503 Books with ‘innovation’ in their titles

Lots of books about innovation… …but little innovation to be seen


…because it was difficult!

Created industries and jobs and spin-offs

Era of short-term pragmatism and institutionalised risk-aversion

Risk culture

Columbus would have fallen foul to today’s quest for predictability and expected outcomes

The precautionary principle

Forget penicillin

…or Viagra

…or post-it notes

…or the Internet

The quest for predictability The process of minimising unpredictable outcomes is a process that raises pragmatism and the knowable to an operating principle This is not how innovationis fostered

Fail often to succeed sooner Success is the one per cent of your work that results from the 99 per cent that is called failure

The future?

The biggest danger we face is not that our expectations are unrealistic Rather, it is that they are too low and we achieve them!


Thank you

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