The background to the STITCH home page is the leafy canopy of the Puka tree. The verdant and comely Puka tree Meryta sinclairii is a hardy New Zealand native that is resistant to strong winds and salt-spray.
The Puka tree plays a key role in the Maui myth in many parts of Polynesia where the Puka grows. A branch of the Puka, so the legend goes, was attached as a signal to the hook of Maui by the sea-goddess before he would pull up the islands that legend has him fish out of the sea. No doubt a more prosaic interpretation was that Puka leaves in the water signalled the nearby land.
But the Puka's hardy resistance to hostile winds and caustic spray, coupled with its legendary role in discovery, makes it an ideal New Zealand symbol for the arduous path to the implementation of innovation that is the prime concern of STITCH.
STITCH is an R&D company based in Wellington, New Zealand.
STITCH brings together the diverse talents of William Giesbers and Bob Gauldie. William's background is in the financial governance and management of large corporations. These include banking and insurance companies as well as Church and School Boards. William is currently the Group CFO of Allied Farmers corporation. Bob's background is in the biological sciences and University administration both in New Zealand and the USA. Bob has continuing research programs in the USA, New Zealand, Europe and South America. The details of William's and Bob's respective backgrounds are available by clicking on the CV buttons on this page. STITCH as a company suffers from all the defects that William and Bob bring with them, but strives to rise above them.
STITCH is concerned with the management of ideas. Ideas spring from individuals. A company or a board, or any organisation, can no more produce ideas of itself than bricks and mortar can talk. But ideas by themselves have little value other than the satisfaction of the sense of intellectual curiosity of the individuals who produce the ideas. For ideas to flower and fruit they must take root and grow to maturity in an organisation. But all organisations, with only rare exceptions, struggle with new ideas. Regardless of their type, companies, churches, political parties, Universities, sporting bodies, even the most loosely structured family groups, all struggle with ideas that are new and unfamiliar. And so they should. Most new ideas are as impractical as they are novel. If they were all obvious and practical, then it is unlikely that they would be new ideas!
The struggle with new ideas takes many forms.
Inertia is always there to overcome. Changing the way we do things, or accept things, or even just think about things is always a battle between inertia and acceptance.
Cost is another issue that new ideas face. Innovation is always costly to introduce, even if only in the sense that all innovations have a time lag before they realise their full value.
The clash of new ideas with each other is proverbial. Optimisation that brings a quick return often clashes with innovation that always takes longer and more cost to implement even if it will eventually make a greater profit.
The popularity of fashionable new ideas can be misleading. New ideas can spell disaster to organisations that too readily accept them on the basis of their popularity. Political parties are by their very nature most susceptible to creating legislation based on the public's perception of new and fashionable ideas. Legislation, unfortunately, has a turnaround time that is vastly longer than the time course of the fashionable new ideas on which legislation may be based.
How can the governance and management of organisations be structured to reap the benefits of new ideas while avoiding their pitfalls? It would be nice to have a magic formula that turns new ideas into cash in hand. The formula however is not magic. It is the same formula for success that applies in every field of endeavour. Ideas have to be managed within the context of an organisation if they are to be valuable to the organisation. We strongly suggest that if you are considering moving your company towards optimisation and innovation of product that you read two books before you venture out. These are Profiting From Innovation by Howard Guile and Out of the Crisis by John Edwards Deming. Both books have been around a long time, but the advice therein is as good now as it was when they were first published.
STITCH publications are available by clicking on the publications button. STITCH publications are downloadable free of charge as pdf files.