Are your innovators working smart or just cooking chili?

09/30/2010 | Harvard Business Review online

When you cook up a batch of chili, it's fine to be vague about the exact mix of ingredients that you use, writes Chris Trimble -- after all, if you mess up, you'll be able to serve up sandwiches instead. Business innovators, however, are playing for much higher stakes, so it's vital to be more precise and deliberate about the choices that you make. "The consequences of failed business experiments are much higher," Trimble writes. "You want a systematic and rigorous approach, disciplined experiments, not a casual free-for-all."

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