Tiger Woods, Phil McKinney, Knowledge & Innovation

Accenture and HP have not mentioned in the above heading because they don’t make good search words. Just kidding. Believe it or not, all our content we see these days is being governed by appearing on Google’s search engine at the top of the heap. So much for relevance.

This is not one more Tiger Woods joke on the internet. In fact, it is about this wonderful Accenture advertisement. Where Tiger seems to take an insightful lesson from a goat, little knowing that it is the Shepherd’s careful observation of the mistakes of Arnold Palmer that enables him recommend and Tiger to make an informed choice about the club to use to take the ball into the clearing from the trenches. “In times of uncertainty a little knowledge goes a long way” appears the caption. Does knowledge help only in times of uncertainty and what is this about little and lots of knowledge? What is little about the fact that the shepherd had observed Arnold Palmer using a club 7 and not making the clearing and therefore advises club 6 for the shot? It is major, it is contextual and perhaps picked up as a solution between observing what works and what doesn’t. Even the communication (read packaging)  is perfect perfect. Just imagine this – would it catch Tiger Wood’s attention if the shepherd were to take the name of Subbu Iyer instead of Arnold Palmer? Essentially, Knowledge is essential with each shot along the entire course of the eighteen holes.

Phil McKinney, CTO, HP, in the recently concluded Innovation Conference in Orlando presented a key note on Winning in The Innovation Economy.  Nothing can be farther from truth for Innovation has and will exist for as long as long as planet earth exists. He opens talking about “the transition from the knowledge to the creative economy is accelerating”. And then he goes to make the most blasphemous statements of all times “knowledge is a commodity”.  The only cute thing (yes, cute thing) towards the end of his presentation is “ideas without execution are a hobby”. I am beginning to wonder how this man spends his waking hours! Someone in the HP management must realize how the Hewlett and Packard originated from literally a garage into a gigantic multinational. They didn’t make it by sounding phony words about innovation; their actions like everyone else’s is innovation (or the lack of it in most other people including Phil McKinney).

Let me at the cost of sounding repetitive here say this in no uncertain terms. The fundamental principle behind innovation is “Mutual Inclusivity”. It is “Knowledge” that gets converted into “Innovation” and there cannot be Innovation without knowledge. It is a process and a continuous one. The more repetitive and renewing the process is, the greater is the success of continuous and concurrent innovation to business as usual. Labels such as Knowledge Economy and Innovation Economy and Experience Economy are neither cool nor relevant. All the three have to be melded together to make what we do more relevant to our living.

Big corporations such as Accenture and HP leadership must take notice of these minor details! They earn a lot of revenue and spend a lot of investor money. It is about time that they invested wisely and shaped market opinion with a certain amount of wisdom – Little or a Lot, I’ll leave it to the Shareholders’ imagination!

About Subbu Iyer

Subbu Iyer is an Innovation & Transformation Leader as with 28 years of serving customers globally. He is currently the Chief Designer & Transformer at Energizing Innovation, an enterprise that is being founded to facilitate continuous growth in enterprises and as a consequence create societal wealth. The Radical Shift that this enterprise intends to employ is focusing on the Potential rather than the Performance of a business. He has been a serial entrepreneur and an intrapreneur in his past life, having founded Nihilent Technologies and Nandaki Systems besides being associated in senior leadership roles with firms such as Coopers & Lybrand, Cambridge Technology Partners, Tata Consultancy Services, Wipro Technologies and Steria.
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