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What's NEXT for INNOVATION?

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The 1980s and 1990s can broadly be called the era of optimization. Companies focused on exploiting winning business models. They expanded their businesses globally for top-line growth, and used tools like Six Sigma to bring greater predictability to the bottom line. Looming constraints might seem to make innovation impossible. Excess is a root cause of many innovation struggles, allowing companies to follow the wrong path for too long. EnerNOC could be just such a company in today's market. The company's demand management service allows it to remotely control a company's energy use. When the electrical grid is nearing peak utilization, EnerNOC can dynamically lower a company's use. The world of innovation could change substantially in the next few years. During the 1990s and early 2000s, a small group of companies -- Cisco Systems, Procter & Gamble, General Mills, IBM and Nokia among them -- quietly started to work to bring greater predictability to their innovation efforts.

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