November 1, 2007

News & Opinion: Reliable Innovation

By: Dylan Schleicher @ 7:13 PM – Filed under: Innovation & Creativity

Robert Austin's using lessons gleaned from the Medici String Quartet to write a business book; the working title is Reliable Innovation. 'Reliable innovation is "a weird concept," Austin admits. "Reliability in business is about things aimed at consistency of outcome. Reliable innovation means something more like a consistent ability to produce valuable inconsistencies."'
Here's a snippet of his Q&A with HBS on team dynamics. [fyi. We linked to this on Friday and thought it deserved another round of pointing to.]
In business we have the notion that we can create a healthy innovation dynamic where everybody's happy and everything goes well.
What we see here is not a story like that. We see a story that's full of unresolved tensions and people upset with each other. The music is exceedingly harmonious, but the process of making it could not be described as harmonious. There is something interesting in that. I think partly it is a result of striving for such extreme levels of performance.

About Dylan Schleicher

Dylan Schleicher has been a part of the 800-CEO-READ claque since 2003. Even though he's stayed on at the company, he has not stayed put. After beginning in shipping & receiving, he joined customer service and accounting before moving into his current, highly elliptical orbit of duties overseeing the ChangeThis and In the Books websites, the company's annual review of books and in-house design. He lives with his wife and two children in the Washington Heights neighborhood on Milwaukee's West Side.