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Posts Tagged ‘gardener’

Dikes or Halophytes: letting go is a good way to spur innovation

January 17, 2011 1 comment

Saline marshlands abound around the world. They are low-lying areas that get flooded with sea water in spring tides, making the soil saline and usually unsuitable for traditional agriculture. In a number of cases in Europe, they have been drained and reclaimed from the Middle Ages and have become prime agricultural lands protected by heavy dykes. Emblematic examples include The Fens in England, the Marais de Dol near Mont-Saint-Michel in France, and of course a large part of the Netherlands.

As the average sea level rises, more pressure will be put on the sea defenses that these areas rely on. While the historical response has been to consolidate dykes, in the future another response may be halophyte plants: plant species that grow in high salinity soil. Read more…

The innovation gardener stands the test of time

February 5, 2010 2 comments

McKinsey Quarterly publishes an interview of Alberto Alessi, CEO of a leading Italian design firm specialised in kitchen ustensil, that has been on the innovation front for decades.

Two of Alessi’s answers struck a cord:

1. In response to a question about the downturn Alessi says: “It does not change anything for myself, personally. My future is to continue to be a gardener. Read more…

You do not grow a plant by pulling on it

January 22, 2010 7 comments

The Work Foundation publishes the results of an interesting study: Exceeding Expectation: the principles of outstanding leadership. Amongst the differences that make the difference between good and great leadership, I picked this distinction: Delegate task v. Delegate space for autonomy

The distinction most definitely applies to innovation leadership. You do not grow a plant by instructing it to do so, or worse by pulling on it. Read more…