Gary Hamel

United States
Born on 1954
Management Expert


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Creative strategies seldom emerge from the annual planning ritual. The starting point for next year's strategy is almost always this year's strategy... the company sticks to what it knows, even though the real opportunities may be elsewhere.

'Strategic Intent,' Harvard Business Review (1989)
My fundamental belief is that if a company wants to see the future, 80 percent of what it is going to have to learn will be from outside its own industry.

Interview, Strategy + Business (1997)
The biggest barriers to strategic renewal are almost always top management's unexamined beliefs.
All too often, executives expect every new idea or experiment to yield a big payoff. Such an expectation... makes a company overly conservative, and will quickly drain the portfolio of ideas and... of experiments of many interesting strategic options.

Interview, Barnes & Noble (2000)
You have to train people how to be business innovators. If you don't train them, the quality of the ideas that you get in an innovation marketplace is not likely to be high.
If they started by saying you have to prove to me this has a 90 percent chance of success, they'd never invest in anything.

Digital Britain (2000)
Innovation will always be a mixture of serendipity, genius, and sheer bull-mindedness. But while you can't bottle lightning, you can build lightning rods. Non-linear innovation can be legitimized, fostered, supported, and rewarded.

Interview, Barnes & Noble (2000)
Management innovation is going to be the most enduring source of competitive advantage. There will be lots of rewards for firms in the vanguard.
Most of us understand that innovation is enormously important. It's the only insurance against irrelevance. It's the only guarantee of long-term customer loyalty. It's the only strategy for out-performing a dismal economy.
This extraordinary arrogance that change must start at the top is a way of guaranteeing that change will not happen in most companies.

Interview, Strategy + Business (1997)
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On Anger: "For every minute you remain angry, you give up sixty seconds of peace of mind."
On Destiny: "Our destiny exercises its influence over us even when, as yet, we have not learned its nature: it is our future that lays down the law of our today."
Human, All Too Human
On Friendship: "A crowd is not company; and faces are but a gallery of pictures; and talk but a tinkling cymbal, where there is no love."