How much of innovation is inspiration, and how much is hard work? If it’s mainly the former, then management’s role is limited: Hire the right people, and get out of their way. If it’s largely the latter, management must play a more vigorous role: Establish the right roles and processes, set clear goals and relevant measures, and review progress at every step. Peter Drucker, with the masterly subtlety that is his trademark, comes down somewhere in the middle. Yes, he writes in this article, innovation is real work, and it can and should be managed like any other corporate function. But that doesn’t mean it’s the same as other business activities. Indeed, innovation is the work of knowing rather than doing.

The Discipline of Innovation