Discovered in translation

A translator, being obliged by the nature of his task to attend to every single successive phrase of his author, however plain the meaning may seem, and to consider the intelligibility of what he renders to the uninitiated, sometimes discovers points of real difficulty which have escaped even the most thorough commentators, or arrives at fresh solutions of old problems. (source)

Not only in formal translation but also when living in multiple languages. It sometimes helps to think of a situation in a different language.


See also: Discovery is not finding new lands, it’s something else


Gates and Jobs: the interview

In a rare appearance together on the same stage at the same time, Bill Gates and Steve Jobs discussed each other’s contributions to the technology industry.Bill Gates and Steve Jobs discussed each other’s contributions to the technology industry.

All Things Digital hosted the event and its website provides a transcript of the event. Here is the highlight reel:

Besides allowing viewers to get to know both individuals and what they think of each other, the interview covers a lot of history of the personal computer, software development, standard adoption, and other subjects with which students might not be familiar.



So what is innovation?

“Innovation is tied to time and place” “Innovation is hard to define, but when we see it, we recognize it.” “The vast majority of innovation occurs where opportunity meets preparation.” “One recipe for innovation involves blending two different things that come together to create a third thing.”

Innovators are like jazz musicians… or like permanent teenagers. These and other analogies flowed [at this MIT panel discussion], as top-flight tech inventors tried to put their fingers on the precise nature of innovation and how it can best be coaxed into existence.

Related posts:

The missing piece of the innovation puzzle

Schools kill creativity

70/20/10 – Managing innovation the Google way

The missing piece of the innovation puzzle

Management innovation is in many ways the missing piece of the innovation puzzle. Management innovation is often needed to make technological innovation work. It is an important driver of competitive advantage, yet it remains poorly understood and scarcely researched.Of course many of us are familiar with hallmarks of management innovation, like the introduction of industrial research labs by healthcare company Bayer and General Electric in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the divisional form of organising developed at General Motors in the 1920s, and more recently activity-based costing at General Motors and industrial equipment manufacturer John Deere.

But what do we know about the processes through which these management innovations came into being? What caused the individuals behind these successful innovations to try something new? And what were the consequences for the individual innovators and the firms for which they worked?

The beginnings of answers to these questions is in an EBF article.

Related post: Hamel on management innovation

Hamel on management innovation

Gary HamelWhat is “management innovation”?

Management innovation is innovation in management principles and processes that ultimately changes the practice of what managers do, and how they do it. It is different from operational innovation; which is about how the work of transforming inputs into outputs actually gets done.

How is it different?

Think of a company as a set of business processes that turn inputs into outputs. Business processes that turn labour and capital into services and products, for example. It is the business processes that govern the workflow. Things such as logistic systems, order processing, call centres, customer support, and manufacturing. Surrounding the work of transforming inputs to outputs, however, is everything the managers do: pulling resources together, setting priorities, building teams, nurturing relationships, and forming partnerships. And it is innovation within this sphere that I’m interested in.

The full interview is at Management Issues.

(photo credit: London Business School)