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Roland Hegi

Fantastic article! Spot on....


Hi, John, thanks for an excellent post. I just blogged about it: http://greenandprofitable.com/innovation-threats-and-corporate-immune-systems/

Tried to sign up for your feed but instead I got a download of something called an .rdf file.

Excuse if this is a duplicate. I didn't get any kind of confiration when I submitted just now.


Thanks for this John,
I think this institutional immune system phenomenon is so difficult to beat because of intense corporate
"idea-xenophobia" and the fact that organizations are still made up of people :). Unless senior leadership is explicit in words and actions to the contrary, nothing will change. This idea of being open to new ideas, ways of thinking and people has to be believed and practiced from the breakroom to the boardroom. Organizations without a clear and accepted set of values/drivers will treat every new idea as an invader and threat to the status quo.
I think a good question to ask is...
"Does your organization execute new ideas or do they execute new ideas?

neal oswald

I use the antibodies attack the virus analogy all the time to make it clear that the "change" is a foreign body. I do agree that the immune system is not malicious it's doing what it was meant to do.


Thanks a lot, John. I use for my research and consulting another analogy, with the armor, see the link, because it is extremely practical and operational, but I must say I like very much the immune system analogy, very powerful intellectually!
Dominique Turcq

Hans Haringa

'You will be assimilated; resistance is futile'.


Agreed and aligned -
you would enjoy this John! https://www.huffingtonpost.com/mandar-apte/intrapreneurs-need-to-lea_b_8802224.html

Kevin Noble

Recognize too, that even well managed now, the immune system can reappear when senior leadership changes.

Dr. Alexandra T. Greenhill

This is so spot on! I have always used the "transplant rejection" analogy to explain to people why change in health care is so hard to execute, all while all agree that the given change is much needed.

Marienne Mills

Enlightening article - definitely will reference it in the future.

Do you think it is possible to do a T-cell count, so to speak, of a large organisation, to identify the network of internal immunity nodes, and degree of immunity?

Now that would be quite handy.

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