Nonsense about “research impact”

December 6th, 2010

by David Colquhoun from UCL

In May 2008, I read a review of ”The myths of Innovation” by Scott Berkun. The review seems to have vanished from the web, but I noted it in diary. These words should be framed on the wall of every politician and administrator. Here are some quotations.

“One myth that will disappoint most businesses is the idea that innovation can be managed. Actually, Berkun calls this one ‘Your boss knows more about innovation than you’. After all, he says, many people get their best ideas while they’re wandering in their bathrobes, filled coffee mug in hand, from the kitchen to their home PC on a day off rather than sitting in a cubicle in a suit during working hours. But professional managers can’t help it: their job is to control every variable as much as possible, and that includes innovation.”

“Creation is sloppy; discovery is messy; exploration is dangerous. What’s a manager to do?
The answer in general is to encourage curiosity and accept failure. Lots of failure.”

To read the full version of the article: Nonsense about “research impact”

And do not miss the other connected artice: Captain Cook applies for a grant


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