Thoughts on Innovation....  For the full interview by Willi Paul, see Magazine

"Innovation is changing how you do things. To me, it’s doing what few others are doing. It’s creating a new reality and a new expectation for how 'things are'. This sometimes involves remembering and freshly deploying past practices. It sometimes involves creating wholly new things, which few before imagined. It sometimes merely means bringing something familiar in one setting, to bear in a place it didn’t exist. Innovation can create an improvement, which is generally easily embraced and taken up. Or Innovation can be disruptive – upsetting assumptions, practices and markets – and can be fiercely resisted.


"The first reason start-ups fail is our cultural definition of 'failure'.  Culturally, we define failure as not making (enough) money, or not grabbing (enough) market-share. We do not sufficiently look to a wider definition of  value-creation, although this is changing. It is environmental value and social value that humans actually want. It is what they pay for with their  symbols-of-financial-value. And yet over generations we have lost sight of this.


"People want 'innovation' but they are afraid of change and they don’t embrace experimentation and learning. It is an ever-present conundrum, a paradox that innovators face every day. Incumbent systems are the well-heeled sworn enemy of innovation.

Ultimately, the incumbent systems will break down under their own weight.  Meanwhile, I choose to focus on those who see far and are not afraid to lead the way. Those who understand that true success involves thoughtful and regenerative change."

- Sue Lebeck, Initiative Director, InnovatingSMART

Chair Emeritus

Building Better Cities Together at City Protocol

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