Lisa DeAngelis, Director

UMass Boston | College of Management | Center for Collaborative Leadership

“Innovation is just reinvention and rethinking”


The above quote comes from an interview with Jack Dorsey published in a recent weekend edition insert of the Wall Street Journal.  For those of you not familiar with the name, Dorsey created Twitter and Square.  Both creations evolved an existing technology to address an emerging issue (to learn more about their impetus, see the WSJ article – .

What struck me about the article is that this is not about “version control” – making what we have incrementally better.  What Dorsey is talking about, and the environment he is creating in his company, is stepping far outside the box and looking at it from very different angles.  In the article, he shares that the idea for Square came to him while commiserating with an artist friend about a lost sale.  The customer didn’t have the cash, the artist’s business couldn’t support accepting credit cards.  As they spoke, Dorsey began thinking about the technology of the cell phones they were using for that call……

How powerful if we, and our teams, began to look at our environments through the eyes of “what if” rather than “what is.”   Even if we started simply by looking at the work we’re currently doing, picking an issue – a process that’s broken – and then got a bit creative with how to solve the problem (not just try to make it less of a problem).  We may not be creating the next Twitter or Square, but we’ll likely make life a bit better for those that we work with.

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