Martin Reeves on The Imagination Machine - Ideas for Leaders
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Martin Reeves on The Imagination Machine

Key Concept

Martin Reeves is a Senior Partner and Managing Director at the leading strategy consultancy, BCG, and a globally recognised thought-leader. He is Chairman of the BCG Henderson Institute, the consultancy’s internal think-tank. His current research themes include organisational stamina, business ecosystems and a template for the new learning organisation. 

Please also see our review of the Imagination Machine book here.

Also available to download on Amazon Music, Spotify, iTunes podcasts, Acast, Stitcher and other podcast platforms


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Roddy Millar  00:13

Hello, and welcome to this podcast from Ideas for Leaders. I am Roddy Millar. And I’m very excited to have with us Martin Reeves with us as today’s guest. Martin, as you can, you might be able to tell if you’re looking at the video of this, is the author of The Imagination Machine, a new book that we shall be discussing over the next 25, 30 minutes or so. Martin’s background is as a senior partner at BCG, the global consulting business and perhaps better known also as chairman of their Think Tank, the BCG Henderson Institute. Martin, welcome to Ideas for Leaders.

Martin Reeves  00:58

Thanks for inviting me Roddy.

Roddy Millar  01:02

So, perhaps just to kick off, can you explain a little bit of the core concept of the book and why you thought a book around imagination in a business context was with us?

Martin Reeves  01:13

Well, I’m a career business strategist, I guess, 30-years doing business strategy. And so I’ve over that time, I’ve done all sorts of strategy. And I’ve been running the firm’s research on strategy for 15 years. And it just struck me that the creative side of strategy sort of exists in its own right, there is an innovation discipline, there are innovation experts; but innovation and imagination integrated with strategy was, it was a sort of a gap in the literature and more importantly, in the, in the behaviour of companies. So the idea was to write a handbook on if you like, the mental or the creative side of strategy, and that’s one impetus. 

And a second big impetus is the fact that our our analysis says that we we really need renewal, self-renewal more than ever before. Because of the competitive fade rate, the the fade rate of excess returns, the fade rate of leadership, is now about 10 times greater than it was a couple of decades ago. So it’s not a ‘nice -to-have’ it’s, it’s essential for large companies.  And then I guess the other strand is is is AI, you know, what will AI substitute in, in management and in corporations? And where do we need to focus human cognition. So all of that comes together, if you like, as a book that proposes perhaps audaciously that we can actually harness imagination systematically. And and we should.

Roddy Millar  02:45

Fantastic Well, I want to dig into and explore all those themes, because they, you know, they come out, clearly very, very strongly in in the book. But I mean, just to start at the beginning with that is this concept which we’ve been picking-up, I’ve been picking-up for a while. And clearly, I think it sits at the foundation of what you’re doing is this. In the 19th and 20th centuries, we were able to gain better production and output from organizations just by becoming ever more efficient, but 21st century seems to be requiring a different set of abilities from us. And imagination is part of that.

Martin Reeves  03:31

Yeah, that’s that sentiment is a common sentiment, I think the exciting thing for me is that, you know, we can we can actually quantify that we can, we can say how much. Because many fashions in management are not based on fundamentals just based upon our professional for an idea. But we but we do know that this competitive fade rate has increased massively, so we have to, you know, we have to self-renew and, and I think it’s you what you say about the history of management and strategy being essentially focused on execution of large companies, actually, it’s quite logical, because of your fade rate is slow, essentially, executing repeatedly, against yesterday’s business model is a sensible way to do things, but not a third decay rate is very fast. And so you have to go inside people’s heads and tap into this.

Actually, on long enough timescales, it’s clear this this unique feature of corporations which is the one of the things that they do, is that essentially they turn pie-in-the-sky ideas into into new realities. They study the title of the book, the imagination machine, they they create speculative thoughts of founders, they turn them into into new realities. So it’s more important than ever to understand how that process works.

Roddy Millar  04:53

Are there some, I mean, are we seeing this fade rate appearing more quickly in new sectors,  sort of technology sector, or is it sort of fairly standard now across across all even the older and heavier industrial ones, which of course, are less influential than they used to be?

Martin Reeves  05:14

Well, I think I think the answer to that question is not surprising. But the degree may be surprising. So I think nobody would be surprised to hear that prospective growth, which we can measure something called vitality, we’ve defined that. And we can measure that prospective growth, as opposed to current performance is extremely heavily driven by technology. It’s mainly driven by technology, not just within the technology sector. And so that means that every company is or should be a technology company.  And the fade rate is conspicuous in the technology sector, because things move very fast.

But actually, it applies across across all sectors. And so we’re seeing two huge phenomena which affect the very bedrock of strategy, one of them is this increase in the fade rate, which essentially means that companies need to emphasize, probably as much as they ever did before, execution and execution is so very important. But they need to massively up their emphasis on self-disruption, and renewal.

And then the other thing that is very conspicuous from the, if you look at the performance of public companies over time, is that the competitive spread has increased, in other words, the gap between the winners and losers. So that’s, that’s tantamount to saying that the stakes for getting right what I just said, are, are higher than ever before. Because your your, the cost of not being a leader is greater. And the fade rate if you are a leader is greater, hence the need for imagination. 

Now, one of the things that we we found when we dug into the topic, is that a lot of the things that we intuitively believe about imagination, actually come from the Romantic Movement about 100 years ago and do the topic a great disservice. So imagine that innovation, imagination is somehow unruly, unmanageable. It’s some special gift for a small select class of creative individuals. And we perpetuate these myths in, by telling heroic stories about people like Steve Jobs. And that actually is an obstacle to seeing how we can systemize the, systematize the process of imagination, which is what the book is about, now, you may object, you know, we can’t really know the future, we can’t really know the consequences of things we imagine is true. But I would maintain that we should aspire to manage and harness imagination as at least as much as other unpredictable aspects of human affairs. So we don’t shy away from things like human resource management, or consumer psychology, we don’t say you couldn’t possibly harness and be systematic about those things. So why not in relation to the imagination,

Roddy Millar  08:06

Presumably, in order to do that, it’s about creating the context and then environment where imagination, or the output that people may have around imagination can thrive, flourish, or at least at the very least, not be just extinguished, which is frequently, I suspect, is what big organizations have tended to do in the past? So is this something that we should be expecting people to do throughout the organization? Or is it just being need to be implemented initially, from the top,

Martin Reeves  08:42

I think we need to look at all aspects of this. And certainly one of them is the context, the cultural context, the tone set by leaders, so we can double click on that one, I think process is also quite important that there is a, there is a somewhat predictable process by which, you know, ideas travel, from mind to reality in between minds. So we need to think about process. And we need to think about capabilities. Because the capabilities that we’re talking about here, the capabilities of counterfactual thinking and manipulating mental models, these are the things that we’ve probably, you know, haven’t been educated and certainly not in, in my education.

So there are skills, there are skills to be built. And also, technology has given us some some new tools that we can use to not to replace imagination, but to supplement and enhance imagination. So we need to focus on all of those.  But coming back to the context, I mean, context is clearly very important because two things which are massively corrosive of the ability to imagine in a corporate context, one of them is fear, which is you have such a sense of urgency that you you can’t afford to fail or the cost of failure is too great. I mean, nobody will take intellectual risks in such an environment, and then the other one, of course, is complacency, you know, success. I’m sure you’ve spoken about this before, but the, you know, there’s nothing more toxic to success than past success, the complacency that that breeds, and complacency and fear are two things that leaders have a massive influence over. So the context is absolutely important.

Roddy Millar  10:20

And, I mean, you set out the book into into sort of six core chapters as a sort of progression through that. How the dealing with that complacency? Where does that come in the process? I mean, is that is that just a sort of foundational element that is required for for organizations, and it’s perennial, presumably,

Martin Reeves  10:51

but briefly, for your listeners, let me just lay out the six steps and then I’ll, I’ll address that directly. So the essentially, we’re interested in not just imagination, but harnessing imagination going from, you know, idea through to exploited idea through to the next idea so that the six steps we lay out: 

the first one is, Surprise, because the neuroscience of imagination says that the reason we update our mental models, is because we we see an anomaly, we see something that doesn’t fit. So that’s, that’s the first stage we call that the Seduction, the, the phenomenon that seduces us into being inspired and saying, well, I need to recreate my mental model. 

The second one is, with the second stage, we call the, you know, the Big Idea, which is that mental part of imagination where you progress with counterfactual thinking, you progress, a mental model you it’s not just a headline, but you elaborate a view of the world or a view of how the world could be better or a different way of addressing the product. 

And then the third stage is when we call the Collision, that’s when you collide the idea which is invisible, with reality, sometimes in the form of an experiment or a prototype. But actually, it’s validation of the idea is not the only thing that’s happening and that stuff. The other thing that’s happening is that you’re generating new surprises to further trigger reimagination. 

Then the fourth step is when the imagination becomes Socialised, when ideas spread. Ideas that don’t spread remain as private fantasies. So ideas spread. And as they spread, they pass through different types of minds, and they also evolve and create a collective new reality. 

And then the fifth stage may sound like the antithesis of imagination, but it actually involves a special type of imagination. And that is the creating the New Ordinary. That’s when the things that were originally intangible ideas become scaled, replicable, and we take them for granted, they become the new ordinary, the vacuum cleaner doesn’t become a big thing anymore. It’s just something we have in our, in our homes. And the the key thing there is Codification, we have to have an idea which is replicable in different situations. 

And then the last step is probably the hardest and the most valuable, which is in spite of success, because if you’ve gotten that far, you’ve you’ve essentially exploited an idea to actually undermine your own success and keep things fluid and the strategists would call it Strategic Ambidexterity, which is you Self-disrupt, and you, you create the next thing. 

So where does complacency coming to your question fit into those stages? Really, it comes in even at the first stage, because if you’re too comfortable, you’re not necessarily looking at looking for an anomalies, and especially if you’re a large corporation, a corporation, I think is somewhat like a sphere, the ratio of the surface area to the volume decreases. As the sphere gets bigger, more and more, just almost by the laws of physics, more and more of the focus is internal, and you’re not going to adapt to or be inspired by things that you’re not even looking at. And if you’re complacent on top of that, you probably wouldn’t see any need to look for the anomalies and the surprises which trigger imagination. You know, it applies to the second stage too…. ..if we’re very comfortable with our mental model, if we believe our mental models are immutable facts rather than choices, we may not even conceive of the possibility of progressing our mental model. If I say, you know, I’m in the, I’m in the consulting industry and I and I do A, B and C and I consider that to be a fact I may not even imagine the possibility that I would view  my business in a different way. It comes in experimentation, you know, if one is too complacent about the existing product you’re offering and not curious enough about the the ugly, scrappy, you know, prototypes of the thing, which is a set of unrealized possibilities, then you’re always going to bias towards the well established you know, NPV documented business case of the existing product and so on. So complacency can can pollute any any step in the process.

Roddy Millar  14:58

It’s slightly stereotypical, I suppose, but the the idea of of a lot of large organization executives is that they become pretty risk averse. So it’s not just complacency. It goes back to that that fear concept that you mentioned.

Martin Reeves  15:17

If we, if we tease apart some of the strands of complacency, or risk aversion, I think one of the one of them would be simply the implicit assumption that successful perpetuators, historically this was actually reasonable, leaders 20 years ago would could reasonably expect to be leading corporation in 10 years hence. And so  there’s the sort of unstated assumption of the constancy of the business. It’s what I call the baseline fallacy, when you look at something new, and you say, Well, that doesn’t make sense, the numbers don’t make sense, you’re assuming that the thing that did make sense will continue to make sense. But in fact, you’re, you may have a fading baseline of attractiveness for your existing offerings, you may have a baseline fallacy. 

I think another one is sort of measurement fallacy. So we look at what companies measure. Large companies, most of their managerial metrics are of two flavours. One of them is financial outcomes. And the other one is productivity ratios, input output ratios. And those are excellent measures for excellent back, excellent backward looking measures for the efficiency of the current business model. They don’t have very much prospective value. So if you’re always looking in the rearview mirror, then you’ll be seeing how good things were as opposed to you know, how good or bad things will prospectively be.  Also, of course, if you if you are, this is famous adage, which is attributed to Drucker the you know, ‘what gets measured, gets done’. You know, if you if you’re too addicted to measurement measurements, of course, has its value. But if you restrict yourself to the things which are measurable with financial precision, then you’ll be very intolerant to the early stage ideas. And one of the things we did, we wanted to market the book and communicate the book in an imaginative way. So it’s an example of, of what it talks about.

So we created something called the ‘napkin gallery’ that people can find online. If you go to and look in the menu or find the Napkin Gallery. The Napkin Gallery, is the apocryphal napkins of inventors that sketch their new inventions on the back of napkins, where we collected a number of these napkins, and we displayed them using some art gallery software. And the interesting thing is, if you look at these first instantiations, these first representations in the real world of things that have just come out of the entrepreneurs mind. They’re uniformly scrappy, nothing like the eventual thing that we now take for granted. The business case was probably horrible. If you consider these things in the context of the prevailing wisdom at the time, probably very few of them were supported, or made sense. So imagine how how well those things do in an overly financialized environment.

Roddy Millar  18:11

But I mean, that begs the question also of how many other napkins there are, that ended up on the on the restaurant floor,

Martin Reeves  18:21

Probably about 10 times more than the number of successful ones. I mean, depends upon the business. But you know, even in the hands of the other legendary Steve Jobs, I mean, he his, I assess his success rate at about 19%. And for, for most mortals, there’s probably much less so there are,

Roddy Millar  18:46

I’m interested in this and your your. And this whole idea of putting forward imagination as counterfactual thinking which humans are inherently good at, if given the opportunity. In fact, you probably see children being far better at it than than adults who we’ve trained our minds. But as we see the rise of AI and I know you talk about this, that which we’re going to increasingly do mundane tasks. Can we see AI starting to do counterfactual thinking, do I mean it? Or are we going to have a head start at that, you know, be ahead of the game. For them for quite some time.

Martin Reeves  19:33

You touched, touched on a number of interesting things. So yes, in a way, we’re talking about corporations becoming children, children have this wonderful propensity for play, and imagination. And, you know, if you have high vitality, you see future possibilities. If you’re fully adult, in all respects, you probably exploit existing possibilities and stop looking for for new ones. So we are talking about is a sort of a certain type of rejuvenation here. And

Roddy Millar  20:04

beginner’s mind,

Martin Reeves  20:05

the beginner’s mind or even the child’s mind. Because, and this takes I’m a former biologist, and if you look at the biological function of play, you could say that it is essentially de-risked accelerated learning. If you think about little boys playing with plastic swords, you know, they don’t injure each other in combat, and they can through play, they can learn. They can learn self defense, and so on. So,  play is incredibly important. And if you think about things that you rarely associate with the idea of a modern Corporation, your play and play would be one of them. If we’re more likely to think of almost the opposite of play, which is efficiency with rote process, no, no element of, of improvisation. So I think that that connection is an important one. 

But coming on to your point about AI. I think you have to distinguish between different types of cognitive operations. So the the mathematician Judea Pearl, distinguishes between three types of thinking one of them is ‘correlative thinking’, which essentially is, you know, if I buy coffee, what else do I buy? I buy donuts, that’s correlative thinking. So in, in most aspects, AI is already better than humans, in even complex correlative thinking. Like, for instance, reading x-rays, x-rays are all unique, and they’re full of little shadows, and they have ambiguity. And one visual sign could mean multiple things, it’s very hard. It’s very sort of complex job to begin to become a sort of a radiological interpreter of X-rays. But AI is better than humans, in many respects. And much of management is correlative thinking, if this happens, what else happens is coordination, scheduling, etc. 

The second type of thinking it distinguishes is is is ‘causal thinking’ which is do I buy coffee, because I buy donuts or donuts, because I buy coffee. Now there’s a quirk in the in the in the developed, historical development of statistics, that means that we’re not very good at proving causality. And, and the mathematics that AI is based on, the current gradient descent, deep-learning sort of school of AI, is also not very good at causality, but probably there will be new models that get there.  And then we have ‘counterfactual thinking’, which is thinking about things that are not the case, but could be the case. And the caveat is important, ‘but could be the case’. Because what imagination is not, is it’s not the same thing as fantasy or dreaming, because it is grounded in the laws of physics and economics, we think of things that are possible, that are not actually the case.

So how does AI intersect with all of that, as I would expect that on a reasonable timescale, perhaps within the timescale of our careers, that much routine management will be replaced by AI and the economic incentive to do so is obviously enormous. Causal thinking, we don’t yet have the technologies to do that. But I expect that we expect that we will. But counterfactual thinking almost by definition is not accessible to AI, because you can’t analyze the data, you can’t learn from the the non-existent data for the things that don’t yet exist. The conclusion we came to, when we looked at the creative applications of AI is, you know, there are paintings that have been painted by AI that sell for hundreds of 1000s of dollars. So the temptation to believe that machines are doing something creative there is, is high. When we looked at this, our conclusion was that we are very, very far indeed from having general artificial imagination. But we what we already have, is we have some embryonic tools, which help us to imagine and I’ll give you a specific example,

I just, I think last week, it was I put out a Harvard Business Review piece on the art of harnessing anomalies, and it was about how to notice unusual customers or new or unusual usages of your product that suggest new possibilities, what we call poignant anomalies. Well, the old way of doing that is to go out into the field and to do anthropological research on your customers, and that’s still valid. But we now have wonderful semantic analysis software and visualization software that enables you to find needles in haystacks of unstructured text data. And so I actually teamed up with a company called Netbase Quid, Silicon Valley analytics company, that has such a tool to write this HBR article and we, we looked at how you can use these new tools to X-ray more complicated patterns and find anomalies. That’s a good example of the tool not imagining, but the tools supporting human imagination.

Roddy Millar  24:50

And you use the word there, it’s finding patterns, isn’t it? That’s what AI does, and imagination, you know, if we are creating something new then it’s something that isn’t following a standard pattern presumably,

Martin Reeves  25:05

You are right, it’s more likely to be associated with an anomaly or an accident, or an analogy is this like that, or I was trying to do this thing. But this other thing happened. You and I serendipitously have similar color background, backgrounds on our video today. Serendipity is, we could pretend that we designed it this way we….

Roddy Millar  25:26

…you’ve ruined it, I was hoping it would appear carefully managed!

Martin Reeves  25:32

But the interesting thing is, if you ask, you know, what is, what is the combination of the tool and the human telling us about the use these anomalies as it’s partly art, and is partly science. So the science part is we can find the anomalies. And we can quiz the anomalies, we can say, well, is this an anomaly that is persistent over time? Is this an anomaly which is increasing over time? Is this anomaly that we see across a wide variety of situations? Is this an anomaly that is associated with something which has economic significance, something that somebody might conceivably pay for? But what what of course, the the observation of the anomaly can never tell you is the future possibilities that might stem from there. So that’s the that’s the art part of the imagination part of us.

Roddy Millar  26:19

I mean, you write in the book, “businesses will need to become much more knowledgeable about and more competent at extracting value from unique processes and human brains”, which really chimes with me, because I think that sort of trying to reinvigorate that, some of that magic of human-ness is, is a really valuable thing. But have you seen companies that are particularly good at doing this? And what is it that they’re doing?

Martin Reeves  26:48

And yes, while we focused particularly on, you know how to do this, because we’re practitioners, non academics, and we, and we tried to be very tangible by showing examples. And so have many examples in the book. And a particularly interesting one I found was the company Recruit, it’s a Japanese company, and it’s a services conglomerate. But interestingly, it’s a successful repeat business model innovator, it constantly moves into new areas, and turns sleepy, low growth businesses into leading positions in rejuvenated businesses. So it was pretty interesting to see how do they do that. And what we found is that they were extremely good at stage four of our framework, maybe that maybe the best that we’d seen. And stage four is the Epidemic, they when ideas become social.  So what they do is, this is the answer is festivals, festivals and heroes for them.

So they did a lot of research actually, on how do other companies do this. And they, they found that the idea of a festival is a key concept, a festival is, has got a number of elements, number one is egalitarian, which is anybody’s invited to the festival. And the other one is that whatever’s going on at the festival is celebrated. A large corporation is more likely to to celebrate and recognize past success, a big P&L, a 1000 people working for you, than it is the emerging innovation. And then the third thing about a festival is that everyone can actively participate. And so they design, they have something called their ring scheme, which is essentially designed to communicate and to show that anybody, not only can but should, it’s everybody’s job to, to create to create new, new new businesses. So actually, they have a hurdle of, they have no hurdle for creating new business. Other than that, somebody wants to deal with you, you have to have a team of at least two people. Now for later stages for more funding, you’ll, you’ll need to show some proof of concept. But essentially, they’re constantly budding new businesses.

And then the other thing they do is they say that the the association of a particular personality with the new business model, it’s not a bug, it’s a feature that essentially so they would agree with Kahneman that we we don’t buy things for purely rational economic reasons. We we buy narratives we buy ideas and stories which are packaged to excite and motivate human beings and a key part of most stories is is a heroic figure. And so the… when I first walked into Recruit, they said let me, they said welcome. Let me introduce you to the most important person in the company. I thought they were going to introduce me to the to the head of finance or the CEO. In fact, they introduced me to somebody called Mr. Yamazaki. Mr. Yamazaki is one of the entrepreneur heroes. So he is greatly celebrated and sincerely celebrated because he created a major new business, I think he created two in fact, and then I met another entrepreneurial hero and another entrepreneurial hero. And this this is these other people, these companies celebrate. So they are celebrating the future, not the not the past. And I found that very inspiring.

Roddy Millar  30:13

Now that it is inspiring, but and it goes back to that other piece that you were mentioning earlier, which is, you know, that this process, it can certainly the beginning part of this process is scrappy, and chaotic, which is a sort of entrepreneurial….

Martin Reeves  30:30

Entrepreneurial and human the, you know, I think, if you if you, there’s a paradox that if you make the the organization too efficient, you actually kill the future of the organization. One, because efficiency, 100% efficiency is, is probably 0% innovation, because you’re the object of efficiency is well defined. And the other one is that you probably have a corporation that no human-being with all of our, all of our messiness and aspiration would actually want to work for; so obviously, being messy as an end in its own right is probably a little questionable. But but certainly you could say that Imagine if corporations are necessarily messy, they’re embracing the, the the the ambiguity of new things, new possibilities,

Roddy Millar  31:20

now I find that I find that a very positive idea if you can see my desk, but luckily, you can’t see the suggestion that

Martin Reeves  31:29

maybe you should proudly display the messiness Roddy, it may motivate the right sort of people,

Roddy Millar  31:34

you see that there’s an innate there’s an inherent, something that’s stopping me doing that. And that might be too messy, that there really has to fall within a spectrum. But that does not mean i think that that’s a really exciting place, though, to be, to be looking at, again, how we started the conversation about how organizations can leverage this humanity really productively and positively.

Martin Reeves  32:05

And that’s another another great example of that, and one of my favorites is, is Lego. So of course, you know, the plastic bricks. Lego in Danish means ‘leg godt’, which means to play well, and their product philosophy, but also the corporate philosophy is learning through play. So they there’s a company the prizes play, and they’re constantly evolving ideas. They’re originally carpentry company, and they started making wooden toys, and then they made plastic bricks, and then they made a huge intellectual breakthrough for them was a systems of play in a reusing the same toys to make things in different combinations systems of play, and, and films and corporate games and, and theme parks. So they’re constantly playing and evolving. And, you know, something that is symbolic of that is, every year at the end of the year that the chairman, actually formally thanks people, for doing what he didn’t ask them to do. And it’s sort of symbolic in Lego culture, because it’s quite important that people don’t just do the things you ask them to do. They don’t just follow the plan. They also deviate from the plan. And they explore and they play and they and they innovate. So makes a point of thanking people for doing things that he didn’t ask them to do.

Roddy Millar  33:24

And do you think, from what you’re seeing of organizations, that there is an increasing willingness and capacity to allow that to happen? Or is the idea that leaders executives are there to manage and manage sort of inherently means order?

Martin Reeves  33:46

Well, I think I think we referring back to something you said earlier, I think we are biased towards management and coordination, we call it management. It’s what managers do. And of course, it’s necessary because as corporations get large, they become complex and they they require some coordination. But if we factor in this increased fade rate, we also need a counterweight to that which is self-disruption we need to constantly keep the ideas in in motion. And we know that the average company is not imagined to be enough and we know that because we can measure this thing I referred to earlier called vitality, which is the future growth potential of the company with with the performance, the current performance signals stripped-out. And what we find is that the potential for future growth declines with age and size and roughly speaking for every doubling of size or doubling of age of a company, the growth potential decreases by three percentage points. So the the vitality or the imaginative corporations especially goes like this with, with with with size and age. Now the good news is that that is not a law of nature, that’s a tendency, and the scatter is quite great. So you have, you know, fast growing and imaginative and innovative companies that all scales, and you have sluggish companies that all scales, but one way of thinking about imagination is that it’s the tool, or the human propensity to defy the gravity of, of size, and age, which, on average, will gradually erode your, your growth potential.

Roddy Millar  35:40

And, and that, but are we seeing that that trajectory change? I mean, is the is the movement in that?

Martin Reeves  35:52

Well, I think we see the outliers and in either direction, but I think there’s, I think there’s more to do. I think, I think if you look at the literature, and if you look at the, you know, the speech acts of leaders, I think we’re certainly talking about it more, but the, the analysis of vitality would say that we’re not necessarily doing everything that we we talk about, you’re getting it done is by no means trivial, self-disrupting the successful company, is not a trivial thing. And that’s another, that’s another possible framing for what our book is about. It’s about essentially, you know, turning around the successful company, which is a remarkably hard thing to do.

Roddy Millar  36:34

Fantastic, well Martin  we’re almost out of time, but so clearly, what we’re wanting people to do is, is get the book but but also in order to learn how to disrupt themselves in their organizations and, and create this, these these more human organizations in the process. It seems that there are wins on all sorts of sides for that, but you mentioned a website earlier that people can…

Martin Reeves  37:06

we have a number of resources, you know, papers, and we’ve got a video series where we actually listen firsthand to two different leaders conceptions of what imagination is and how you harness it. And we have the Napkin Gallery, and so on. So people can find all of that on it’s all one word, and, and if they want to order the book, they can they’ll they’ll find the right links there to be

Roddy Millar  37:37

a link in there too. Fantastic. Well, Martin, thank you so much. Indeed. It’s a it’s a fascinating and burgeoning area. So it’s great to get your your insight and take on it. Thank you very much indeed.


Martin Reeves  37:51

A pleasure. Thanks, Roddy.



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