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Managing Innovation: Begin by Defining Outcomes, Outputs and Inputs

Business

The final section of the spire sits on top of One World Trade Center on May 10, 2013 in New York after it was fully installed on the building's roof. With the spire now in place, One WTC will stand 1,776 feet (541 meters) high, making it the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere. (Photo: TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)

Innovation is the buzz word du jour. Each year, vast piles of PowerPoint handouts are distributed to cultivate and fertilize innovation - many containing concepts (figuratively speaking) with the aroma of manure. Innovation is difficult, but presenting it as an obscure unmeasurable esoteric art does not make it easier. Definition and measurement matter, as Peter Drucker observed: “If you can't measure it, you can't manage it.”

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