In my blog entry arguing for a unified theory of management, I proposed that most top management reference a fundamental distinction between exploration of new knowledge (i.e. innovation) and exploitation of existing knowledge (i.e. efficient operations).
Business and indeed the entire society is caught in an evolutionary dynamic that balances exploration and exploitation – see David Hurst’s ecological perspective. While the exploitation cycle is amenable to incremental thinking, exploration appears to be prone to discontinuities – hard to predict leaps of logic.