Viewpoint Developing Great Leaders
Issue 3, 1999

Companies whose strategic ambition includes achieving breakaway innovation often make the mistake of focusing exclusively on the "hard" side of innovation: developing new technologies, new products, and new ways of delivering services to customers; measuring progress toward their innovation objectives; and keeping close tabs on the linkages between innovation and profitability. In our experience, while all these activities are essential, they are not sufficient. For companies to achieve significant and sustained innovation, they must also embrace the "soft" aspects of becoming innovation–centered: clarifying a compelling set of enduring values, creating a culture of innovation throughout the company, and developing the leadership talent required to sustain this culture.