Where Science Meets Muse

Fencing, Tactics and Disruptive Innovation

Posted by Plish on January 25, 2009

Yours Truly Getting a "Touch" While Fencing

Your's Truly Getting a "Touch" While Fencing

“The best swordsman in the world doesn’t need to fear the second best swordsman in the world; no the person for him to be afraid of is some ignorant antagonist who has never had a sword in his hand before; he doesn’t do the thing he ought to do, and so the expert isn’t prepared for him; he does the thing he ought not to do and often it catches the expert out and ends him on the spot.” — Mark Twain

I never like fencing against sword-wielding newbies.  True to Twain’s observation, they don’t know what they’re supposed to do, and worse, don’t know what they’re not supposed to do! 

Because I made tactical adjustments,  in general, I was able to beat them; but they would often frustrate me,  slash my knuckles or hit me in an unprotected area, and lead me to expend much more energy than I wanted to.  Their movements and unorthodox wielding of their weapon often resulted in touches that I would not experience if fencing with a more seasoned fencer.

In business, the smart innovators are tacticians- they’re either newbies or they’ve been able to forget what got them where they are.    They’re nimble and they come at you with the sword flashing!  To these truly belong, “disruptive innovation.”  These companies are made up of people who have a willingness to risk, to creatively improvise, to throw themselves passionately into battles they shouldn’t win…

Battles are won and fought one person at a time and all great innovation starts with creativity expressed and lived within the trenches. 

So the question is, are you, your team, your company, nimble enough to go toe-to-toe with those who dare you with their creative zeal?  Or are you planning your innovation strategy while the door to door battles for your business rages on?

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