Pathways to Radical Change

 

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Reflections on Innovations and Paradigm Shifts

From CENTENARIAN CHAIN SMOKERS: LESSONS ABOUT THE PREDICTIVE AND EXPLANATORY VALUE OF ESG RESEARCH

“Obsolete ideas don’t always die peacefully. Long after they’ve outlived their usefulness, they still cling to life and resist the rise of superior ideas. Modern finance can be prey to obsolete ideas sustained by nothing but the force of cultural and institutional inertia. This will change because it is now in the best economic interest of every individual market participant to broaden his or her idea of risk and value.”

From IS CORPORATE CREATIVITY BECOMING AN OXYMORON?

“Whatever the reasons that the idea of a corporation evolved as it did, progressive corporate leaders today increasingly recognize that the idea needs to evolve further – and fast – to restore corporate creativity and innovation. The typical modern corporation creates structures and processes and a management culture focused on squeezing human talent into the matrix of business goals and realities, protocols and policies, norms and rituals. The approach reinforces and further reifies the supremacy of the abstraction over its flesh-and-blood creators. The antithesis of this paradigm is still struggling for expression in corners of corporate leadership. The emerging school of thought essentially inverts the Big Brother model for managing human beings. To allow for a freer flow of the creative process, progressive leaders are trying to embrace the idea – the possibility – of adjusting the matrix, harmonizing it with the natural thrust of human creativity.”

“This is a promising but nascent cultural shift, often stymied by half-measures and lip service. I’d like to think that the shift is inevitable. But that’s probably naive. Corporations that see themselves as owners and managers of human talent will not easily start thinking of themselves as vehicles for its expression. The animal spirits of creativity will probably remain in their cages for the foreseeable future. Too bad.”