Gary Hamel quotes

  • One doesn't have to be a Marxist to be awed by the scale and success of early-20th-cent ury efforts to transform strong-willed human beings into docile employees.
    -- Gary Hamel

    #Strong #Effort #Scales

  • We owe our existence to innovation. Our species exists thanks to four billion years of genetic innovation.
    -- Gary Hamel

    #Years #Innovation #Four

  • A noble purpose inspires sacrifice, stimulates innovation and encourages perseverance.
    -- Gary Hamel

    #Perseverance #Sacrifice #Inspire

  • From Gandhi to Mandela, from the American patriot to the Polish shipbuilders, the makers of revolutions have not come from the top.
    -- Gary Hamel

    #Revolution #Patriot #Makers

  • We've reached the end of incrementalism. Only those companies that are capable of creating industry revolutions will prosper in the new economy.
    -- Gary Hamel

    #Creating #Innovation #Revolution

  • Never before has the gap between what we can imagine and what we can accomplish been smaller.
    -- Gary Hamel

    #Imagination #Gaps #Imagine

  • Remarkable contributions are typically spawned by a passionate commitment to transcendent values such as beauty, truth, wisdom, justice, charity, fidelity, joy, courage and honor.
    -- Gary Hamel

    #Commitment #Justice #Joy

  • Win small, win early, win often.
    -- Gary Hamel

    #Winning

  • Dakota tribal wisdom says that when you're on a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount. Of course, there are other strategies. You can change riders. You can get a committee to study the dead horse. You can benchmark how other companies ride dead horses. You can declare that it's cheaper to feed a dead horse. You can harness several dead horses together. But after you've tried all these things, you're still going to have to dismount.
    -- Gary Hamel

    #Change #Horse #Together

  • The goal is not to speculate on what might happen, but to imagine what you can make happen.
    -- Gary Hamel

    #Imagination #Goal #Might

  • In the age of revolution you have to be able to imagine revolutionary alternatives to the status quo. If you can't, you'll be relegated to the swollen ranks of keyboard-pounding automatons.
    -- Gary Hamel

    #Age #Alternatives #Able

  • 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.
    -- Gary Hamel

    #Loyalty #Irrelevance #Long

  • The real damper on employee engagement is the soggy, cold blanket of centralized authority. In most companies, power cascades downwards from the CEO. Not only are employees disenfranchised from most policy decisions, they lack even the power to rebel against egocentric and tyrannical supervisors.
    -- Gary Hamel

    #Real #Decision #Rebel

  • As human beings, we are the only organisms that create for the sheer stupid pleasure of doing so. Whether it's laying out a garden, composing a new tune on the piano, writing a bit of poetry, manipulating a digital photo, redecorating a room, or inventing a new chili recipe - we are happiest when we are creating.
    -- Gary Hamel

    #Stupid #Writing #Garden

  • An adaptable company is one that captures more than its fair share of new opportunities. It's always redefining its 'core business' in ways that open up new avenues for growth.
    -- Gary Hamel

    #Opportunity #Growth #Way

  • At the heart of every faith system is a bargain: on one side there is the comfort that comes from a narrative that suggests human life has cosmic significance, and on the other a duty to yield to moral commands that can, in the moment, seem rather inconvenient.
    -- Gary Hamel

    #Heart #Yield #Comfort

  • Building human-centered organizations doesn't imply a return to the paternalistic, corporate welfare practices of the 19th century. Most of us don't want to be nannied.
    -- Gary Hamel

    #Practice #Organization #Want

  • You can't build an adaptable organization without adaptable people - and individuals change only when they have to, or when they want to.
    -- Gary Hamel

    #Inspirational #Change #Inspiring

  • When a politician bends the truth or a CEO breaks a promise, trust takes a beating.
    -- Gary Hamel

    #Promise #Politician #Break

  • Online hierarchies are inherently dynamic. The moment someone stops adding value to the community, his influence starts to wane.
    -- Gary Hamel

    #Community #Adding Value #Hierarchy

  • Obviously, you don't have to be religious to be moral, and beastly people are sometimes religious.
    -- Gary Hamel

    #Religious #People #Moral

  • Management innovation is going to be the most enduring source of competitive advantage. There will be lots of rewards for firms in the vanguard.
    -- Gary Hamel

    #Innovation #Rewards #Management

  • To be embraced, a change effort must be socially constructed in a process that gives everyone the right to set priorities, diagnose barriers , and generate options.
    -- Gary Hamel

    #Giving #Effort #Priorities

  • Like a child star whose fame fades as the years advance, many once-innovative companies become less so as they mature.
    -- Gary Hamel

    #Stars #Children #Years

  • Innovation is the fuel for growth. When a company runs out of innovation, it runs out of growth.
    -- Gary Hamel

    #Running #Innovation #Growth

  • Are we changing as fast as the world around us?
    -- Gary Hamel

    #World

  • Out there in some garage is an entrepreneur who's forging a bullet with your company's name on it. You've got one option now - to shoot first. You've got to out innovate the innovators.
    -- Gary Hamel

    #Names #Entrepreneur #Bullets

  • There are as many foolhardy ways to grow as there are to downsize.
    -- Gary Hamel

    #Growth #Way #Grows

  • We live in a moment that is pregnant with possibility.
    -- Gary Hamel

    #Opportunity #Moments #Possibility

  • You can't use an old map to see a new land.
    -- Gary Hamel

    #Land #Use #Maps

  • Companies do not do new things because they understand it but because they feel it.
    -- Gary Hamel

    #Business #Company #Feels

  • It doesn't matter much where your company sits in its industry ecosystem, nor how vertically or horizontally integrated it is - what matters is its relative 'share of customer value' in the final product or solution, and its cost of producing that value.
    -- Gary Hamel

    #Educational #What Matters #Ecosystems

  • In most companies, the formal hierarchy is a matter of public record - it's easy to discover who's in charge of what. By contrast, natural leaders don't appear on any organization chart.
    -- Gary Hamel

    #Organization #Leader #Records

  • I'm not one of those professors whose office is encased floor-to-ceiling with books. By the way, I think academics do this to intimidate their visitors.
    -- Gary Hamel

    #Book #Thinking #Office

  • In a world of commoditized knowledge, the returns go to the companies who can produce non-standard knowledge.
    -- Gary Hamel

    #World #Return #Produce

  • In an ideal world, an individual's institutional power would be correlated perfectly with his or her value-add. In practice, this is seldom the case.
    -- Gary Hamel

    #Practice #Would Be #Add

  • In a well-functioning democracy, citizens have the option of voting their political masters out of office. Not so in most companies.
    -- Gary Hamel

    #Office #Political #Voting

  • It's important to remember that innovators in business don't always get a platform.
    -- Gary Hamel

    #Important #Remember #Platforms

  • I am an ardent supporter of capitalism - but I also understand that while individuals have inalienable, God-given rights, corporations do not.
    -- Gary Hamel

    #Rights #Corporations #Individual

  • Fact is, inventing an innovative business model is often mostly a matter of serendipity.
    -- Gary Hamel

    #Serendipity #Matter #Facts

  • Businesses fail when they over-invest in what is at the expense of what could be.
    -- Gary Hamel

    #Failing #Expenses

  • An enterprise that is constantly exploring new horizons is likely to have a competitive advantage in attracting and retaining talent.
    -- Gary Hamel

    #Horizon #Talent #Advantage

  • An uplifting sense of purpose is more than an impetus for individual accomplishment, it is also a necessary insurance policy against expediency and impropriety.
    -- Gary Hamel

    #Uplifting #Accomplishment #Purpose

  • I live a half mile from the San Andreas fault - a fact that bubbles up into my consciousness every time some other part of the world experiences an earthquake. I sometimes wonder whether this subterranean sense of impending disaster is at least partly responsible for Silicon Valley's feverish, get-it-done-yesterday work norms.
    -- Gary Hamel

    #Earthquakes #Yesterday #Valleys

  • The biggest barriers to strategic renewal are almost always top management's unexamined beliefs.
    -- Gary Hamel

    #Belief #Management #Renewal

  • Top-down authority structures turn employees into bootlickers, breed pointless struggles for political advantage, and discourage dissent.
    -- Gary Hamel

    #Struggle #Political #Authority

  • Trust is not simply a matter of truthfulness, or even constancy. It is also a matter of amity and goodwill. We trust those who have our best interests at heart, and mistrust those who seem deaf to our concerns.
    -- Gary Hamel

    #Heart #Matter #Deaf

  • The fact is, society is made more hospitable by every individual who acts as if 'do unto others' really was a rule.
    -- Gary Hamel

    #Facts #Individual #Made

  • I don't know whether the universe contains any evidence of intelligent design, but I can assure you that thousands of everyday products do not.
    -- Gary Hamel

    #Intelligent #Design #Everyday

  • This extraordinary arrogance that change must start at the top is a way of guaranteeing that change will not happen in most companies.
    -- Gary Hamel

    #Change #Arrogance #Way

  • Any company that cannot imagine the future won't be around to enjoy it.
    -- Gary Hamel

    #Imagine #Enjoy #Company

  • The single biggest reason companies fail is they overinvest in what is, as opposed to what might be.
    -- Gary Hamel

    #Change #Innovation #Might

  • Only stupid questions create wealth.
    -- Gary Hamel

    #Stupid #Wealth #Stupid Questions

  • Innovation is the only insurance against irrelevance.
    -- Gary Hamel

    #Irrelevance #Innovation

  • Perseverance may be just as important as speed in the battle for the future.
    -- Gary Hamel

    #Perseverance #Persistence #Important

  • Business leaders must find ways to infuse mundane business activities with deeper, soul-stirring ideals, such as honor, truth, love, justice, and beauty.
    -- Gary Hamel

    #Justice #Leader #Soul

  • Ideas that transform industries almost never come from inside those industries.
    -- Gary Hamel

    #Business #Ideas

  • Great accomplishments start with great aspirations.
    -- Gary Hamel

    #Attitude #Accomplishment #Aspiration

  • The problem is not one of prediction. It is one of imagination.
    -- Gary Hamel

    #Imagination #Problem #Predictions

  • In the long term the most important question for a company is not what you are but what you are becoming.
    -- Gary Hamel

    #Past #Long #Important

  • For every person who can imagine a possibility there are tens of thousands who are stuck in the greased grooves of history.
    -- Gary Hamel

    #Imagination #Imagine #Possibility

  • Somewhere out there is a bullet with your company's name on it. Somewhere out there is a competitor, unborn and unknown, that will render your strategy obsolete. You can't dodge the bullet – you're going to have to shoot first. You're going to have to out-innovate the innovators.
    -- Gary Hamel

    #Names #Bullets #Firsts

  • There's a simple, but oft-neglected lesson here: to sustain success, you have to be willing to abandon things that are no longer successful.
    -- Gary Hamel

    #Successful #Simple #Lessons

  • If customer ignorance is a profit centre for you, you're in trouble.
    -- Gary Hamel

    #Ignorance #Trouble #Profit

  • Influence is like water. Always flowing somewhere.
    -- Gary Hamel

    #Water #Influence

  • people are all there is to an organization
    -- Gary Hamel

    #Organization #People

  • Most companies don't have the luxury of focusing exclusively on innovation. They have to innovate while stamping out zillions of widgets or processing billions of transactions.
    -- Gary Hamel

    #Luxury #Innovation #Billions

  • The problem with the future is that it is different, if you are unable to think differently, the future will always arrive as a surprise.
    -- Gary Hamel

    #Thinking #Different #Problem

  • Taking risks, breaking the rules, and being a maverick have always been important but today they are more crucial than ever.
    -- Gary Hamel

    #Risk #Important #Today

  • Over the centuries, religion has become institutionalized, and in the process encrusted with elaborate hierarchies, top-heavy bureaucracies, highly specialized roles and reflexive routines.
    -- Gary Hamel

    #Roles #Hierarchy #Century

  • Resilience is based on the ability to embrace the extremes -- while no becoming an extremist. ... **Most companies don't do paradox very well.** (emphasis by author) [2002] p.25f
    -- Gary Hamel

    #Resilience #Becoming #Paradox

  • What's true for churches is true for other institutions: the older and more organized they get, the less adaptable they become. That's why the most resilient things in our world - biological life, stock markets, the Internet - are loosely organized.
    -- Gary Hamel

    #Our World #Church #Internet

  • **New business concepts are always, always the product of lucky foresight.** That's right - the essential insight doesn't come out of any dirigiste planning process; it comes form some cocktail of happenstance, desire, curiosity, ambition and need. But at the end of the day, there has to be a degree of foresight -- a sense of where new riches lie. So radical innovation is always one part fortuity and one part clearheaded vision. [first-line bold by author] [2002] p.23
    -- Gary Hamel

    #Lying #Ambition #Innovation

  • As human beings, we are the genetic elite, the sentient, contemplating and innovating sum of countless genetic accidents and transcription errors.
    -- Gary Hamel

    #Errors #Contemplating #Transcription

  • I'm a capitalist by conviction and profession. I believe the best economic system is one that rewards entrepreneurship and risk-taking, maximizes customer choice, uses markets to allocate scarce resources and minimizes the regulatory burden on business.
    -- Gary Hamel

    #Believe #Choices #Risk

  • ... all too often, a successful new business model becomes the business model for companies not creative enough to invent their own. [2002] p.46
    -- Gary Hamel

    #Successful #Creative #Enough

  • The only thing that can be safely predicted is that sometime soon your organization will be challenged to change in ways for which it has no precedent.
    -- Gary Hamel

    #Organization #Way #Precedent

  • There is no way to create wealth without ideas. Most new ideas are created by newcomers. So anyone who thinks the world is safe for incumbents is dead wrong.
    -- Gary Hamel

    #Thinking #Ideas #World