Tools of Innovation

By Allan Alter  |  Posted 09-13-2007 Print Email

Yet, many companies have done very little to get their first level of employees the tools of innovation. I can go onto today and download a sophisticated CAD program that allows me to build Legos in three dimensions. They'll ship me whatever bricks I need to build that in a real world. Where is a company where first-level employees have been given powerful CAD tools that allow them to prototype, redesign and play with the company's products? How many employees have access to sophisticated financial models and been allowed to explore alternate pricing scenarios, for example?

It's going to take a relatively long time for managers to understand how this new technology is going to allow us to reinvent the work of management. But the process of that happening is absolutely inevitable. First, we have some new problems that stretch to traditional technology. Second, we have some new tools that allow us to aggregate and amplify human capabilities in ways that were never before imaginable or possible. Third, we have some new expectation on the part of those who are going to be coming to work over the next decade or two.


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