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Why You Should Embrace Your Company’s Heretics

Magazines
CNNMoney’s Fortune published a story last week called Why You Should Embrace Your Company’s Heretics. The story was written by Polly LaBarre. I have not talked to Polly for ten years but we did attended a number of the same conferences back then. This new story described my evangelism of the Internet and she said some complimentary things. The story is accurate, but I never thought of myself as a heretic. One fellow board member who read the story sent me a note saying he thought heretics were burned at the stake. Back in 2006, Polly and Bill Taylor, founding editor of Fast Company Magazine, wrote a book called Mavericks at Work where they described 50 “mavericks”. I was one of them, but had not yet been promoted or demoted (not sure which it would be) to “heretic”. I was labeled with the term “rebel” by Gary Hamel in his Waking Up IBM: How a Gang of Unlikely Rebels Transformed Big Blue that appeared in the Harvard Business Review in April 2001. A few months before that, Fast Company magazine published an interview I did with Polly where we talked about technology futures (see Think Ahead: John Patrick). The only heretic I can think of is “Homer the Heretic” — an episode of The Simpsons‘, which originally aired in 1992.