Variation: Friend or Foe to Innovation?

Posted May 28, 2009 in Business Technology & Digital Transformation Strategies, Business Technology & Digital Transformation Strategies

Most people know that innovation requires time to think, reflect, experiment, fail, revise, and explore. But many have likely not contemplated how directly cost pressures can impact innovation efforts. Psychologist Donald T. Campbell developed a model of innovation in 1960 that can help us understand just what's at stake. The Campbell model was inspired by Darwinian evolution. It portrays innovation as a two-step process, as follows:

Blind Variation + Selective Retention

About The Author
Robert Austin
Robert D. Austin is a Fellow of Cutter's Business Technology & Digital Transformation Strategies and Data Analytics & Digital Technologies practices. He is a former editor of Cutter Benchmark Review and a regular speaker at the annual Cutter Summit. Dr. Austin will facilitate the case study What Really Happened with GE’s Digital Transformation? at Cutter Summit 2021, April 12-13 in Waltham, MA. Dr. Austin served as a professor on the… Read More
Lynne Ellyn
Lynne Ellyn is a Fellow of the Cutter Business Technology Council and a Senior Consultant with Cutter Consortium's Business Technology & Digital Transformation Strategies practice. She retired in 2011 as the Senior VP and CIO at DTE Energy, a Detroit-based diversified energy company. During her 32 years in IT, Ms. Ellyn managed organizations with as many as 1,200 employees. She has deep experience with large established corporations, global… Read More
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