We cannot yet develop a theory of innovation. But we already know enough to say when, where, and how one looks systematically for innovative opportunities, and how one judges the chances for their success or the risks of their failure. We know enough to develop, though still only in outline form, the practice of innovation.

The danger is that executives will become contemptuous of information and stimulus that cannot be reduced to computer logic and computer language. Executives may become blind to everything that is perception (i.e., event) rather than fact (i.e., after the event). The tremendous amount of computer information may thus shut out access to reality.

Human existence is possible as existence not in despair, as existence not in tragedy-it is possible as existence in faith. The opposite of Sin-to use the traditional term for existence purely in society-is not virtue; it is faith. Faith is the belief that in God the impossible is possible, that in Him time and eternity are one, that both life and death are meaningful. In my favorite among Kierkegaard’s books, a little volume called Fear and Trembling[published in 1843],

Thus the unexpected success is not just an opportunity for innovation; it demands innovation. It forces us to ask, What basic changes are now appropriate for this organization in the way it defines its business? Its technology? Its markets? If these questions are faced up to, then the unexpected success is likely to open up the most rewarding and least risky of all innovative opportunities.

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