When Comptel first approached me to contribute to this book, it seemed a perfect fit. The subject matter aligned quite well with something I have been speaking a great deal about recently — the notion of strategic innovation as a means to affect better leadership during times of transformation.

And make no mistake about it, industries today, particularly in the information and communications technology (ICT) domain, are in an almost constant state of flux. Technology is evolving at such a rapid-fire pace that there’s barely enough time before the competition takes hold of the same idea and shortly thereafter resigns it to obsolescence like the telegraph or typewriter.

The only thing that seems to outpace the evolution of technology is the evolution of customer preferences and expectations. The resultant landscape is one of ever-shortening product lifecycles and frequent industry restructuring.

The challenges inherent in navigating such a landscape are not unlike being mired in a spider’s web. They’re complex, interconnected and tangled. It’s not all surprising when there are so many stakeholders involved, all with different values and priorities that are often in conflict with one another.

Then, when we try to address these issues within the confines of existing paradigms, they seem to change into entirely new problems with each attempt at a solution. This makes for a barrage of challenges with a seemingly infinite number of causes and no right answers. There is, however, a very real answer to these issues that today’s industry leaders are facing. Strategic innovation.

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