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Interesting line from Geoffrey Canada, president/CEO of the nonprofit Harlem Children’s Zone, who told the New York Times yesterday:

“Innovation sticks for about 18 months. So let’s say you put a great innovative program in place. You put the right people on it, you get everything organized, and then if you don’t come back and do anything with it for 18 months, that program’s half as good as when you started it. They just start decaying.

“And I think one of the challenges for us in this business, in management generally, is that nobody wants to keep going back and doing the same thing over and over. Everybody wants to get this brand-new idea and really get it going, instead of paying attention to the other things that are fundamental to our business. If you don’t go back and check on a regular basis, those things begin to decay, and you end up constantly having to reinvent something that you already did. Getting a team of people who really understand how essential that is to staying great is one of the real challenges.”
KC's View:
That’s a really good point. We all talk about innovation, but it is worth noting that innovation requires constant feeding and nurturing. And one of the keys is making sure the people on the front lines understand the strategy and the tactics, and appreciate their roles in implementation.