Big ideas are useless. They represent a new uncovering and therefore don’t apply to the world as it is, but as it might become. Small ideas don’t get noticed, we merely put them to their purpose and call it a day’s work. We of course, need both: to uncover and to build.


That’s the fundamental difference between strategy, optimization and innovation. Strategy and optimization are products of design. Successful organizations are immense undertakings in clockmaking, where each piece needs to work in lockstep with every other piece. Innovators, of course, are searching for a new way to tell the time.


The real trick is to be able to do both. As F. Scott Fitzgerald put it, “The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposing ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function”