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I like Immelt's comment about reverse innovation. I think it will take some time for this to sink in.

U.S. companies first going overseas tried to use their business model and said when it was not accepted "These countries are emerging -- they aren't very sophisticated about business. Give them time and they will learn."

Not a very "adaptive" view. In this global world --- we can all learn from each other. No one has a monopoly on innovation.

Excellent points well presented, Margaret. Current benchmark job titles and formal educational courses are inadequate to these real issues and valid challenges. Innovation is always opposed by the status quo mechanisms. Conventional attitudes often mistake copycat "most popular practice" as "best practice." Lemmings instinctively shun truly new but situationally more effective ideas as frightening or risky.

Each brand new concept (frequently originating in a region unconstrained by arbitrary rules of traditional custom) usually requires many decades of proven success among gutsy firms before it gets slam-dunk adopted in standard job definitions and revised conventional tradecraft courses by conservative enterprises. Titles and education lag at the wrong end of the temporal curve from real innovation: they never lead and always follow long after any new approach has become a universal semi-requirement.

Agree with Jacque that new models are much more likely to originate in unstructured environments where they face the least likely prospect of being prematurely suppressed or blocked by ossified bureaucracites. Thus, the best new concepts might be identifiable by the degree of resistence they inspire in arrogant people unwilling to objectively consider them via the scientific method.

Being big and old doesn't make you smart or agile and often indicates you have lost the ability to be either. While a struggling new firm will find efficiency and speed essential for survival, a fat global HQ may be too insulated from pressure to find either characteristic very important... until they founder under the weight of the mistakes engendered by their engrained pompous certitude and resistence to change.

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