Swisher: Incrementalism is not a way station on the road to disruptive innovation

swisher-largerWe spoke recently with Phil Swisher, who in 2015 wrapped up close to five years as Global Head of Innovation at Brown Brothers Harriman, the oldest and largest private bank in the U.S., and also served as innovation advisor to the Governor of Massachusetts. Swisher, who has been an entrepreneur in the past, now runs Trevian Wealth Management, a national firm. He also teaches an executive education class on innovation at Harvard and is a mentor at the Techstars Boston accelerator program. (He’s pictured on the left, at an Innovation Leader gathering in 2014.)

Below are ten observations he made about innovating in an established organization, including: “It’s important to realize that there may be many people in the organization who are waiting you out.” And also, “I can’t think of any program that has started with incremental innovation and gone on to do really disruptive things.”


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