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First and Fast by Stuart Cross

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CHAPTER 5

Fast-Lane Innovation

Releasing the Innovation Brakes

There was a time, not that long ago, when companies didn’t necessarily have an innovation-related objective on their strategic agenda. Instead, they would, for example, be focused on reducing costs, expanding geographically or creating operational excellence. It wasn’t that product or service development wasn’t important, it was just that the level of detailed executive and organizational focus on this area of the business varied in line with its perceived relevance to the company’s growth ambitions.

As Bob Dylan once sang, though, things have changed. Innovation is no longer a strategic alternative; it is a strategic imperative. It is impossible to gain and sustain a leading position ...

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