"Innovation is Dead"
In my experience, when the cognoscenti declare something as "dead", they are moving past it because to them it has become passe or uninteresting, while generally the early and late majorities are just becoming aware. I suspect that is the case with "innovation" as far as Bruce is concerned - he's covered it for years and may be getting a bit tired of the phase. Interestingly, there's no definition of "innovation" that he provides, and one could easily argue that the word, and its meaning, have been definitely misused in many instances. Corporate America speaks to Wall Street about innovation - I think there are at least 10 taglines in the Fortune 500 that include the word innovation - but most firms have yet to fully embrace the power or capability that innovative tools and techniques can provide. Additionally, if "innovation" as defined as tools and techniques to create new products and services is dead, then is there no longer any need for new products, new services or organic growth? In this instance, the declaration reminds me of the individual who proposed closing the US Patent Office at the turn of the 20th century. He was convinced there was nothing left to discover.
I think we can safely say that the need to discover new market opportunities and craft new products, services and business models still exists, with perhaps more urgency than ever before. I think we can also safely say that there are proven methodologies, tools and techniques that can provide insight and creativity, if organizations are willing to use them. If Bruce prefers to call these functions "transformation" rather than "innovation" so be it. I can be a transformation consultant. What's gotten confused is the label and the outcome. I doubt anyone would argue that businesses still need to be creative and generate new products and services and target unmet or undiscovered customer needs. What I think Bruce is reacting to is that the word "innovation" has been used to make empty promises to shareholders, and has been bandied around so much that it has lost credibility. However, there are plenty of firms that are engaged in innovation activities that are creating value for their businesses. The fact that some CEOs used the word but did not implement its meaning does not mean that innovation is dead.
God help us if innovation is dead. I think the Luddites were convinced that technology was the problem, and Malthus was convinced that humans were the problem. Innovation is not the problem, nor is it responsible for many of the problems we face. Quite the contrary, in the tools, techniques and thinking models of innovation lie the answers to our problems.