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Woke this morning to an interview with John Kao on the BBC. Kao, author of Innovation Nation, is one of those acknowledged experts. His expertise: innovation.

He illustrates innovation by improvising on a piano. He plays the standard transcribed melody to an old standard and relates this to business process. The result sounds wooden and lifeless. Then he improvises around the transcription and the result is transforming.

He plays a random series of notes, explaining that while this 'melody' might well be creative, it's not satisfying. Satisfaction... in both innovation and music ... requires respect for a few basic rules of construction, principles of harmony, rhythm, and tone. The manager's job involves letting go, removing barriers, and helping people believe in the objective.

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