Someone at a large outsourcer shares with me an email he sent to his CEO lamenting the while the annual report repeatedly talks about innovation, there is no budget in R&D/innovation at the firm - and he has been there over a decade.
A friend at a large software firm complains his firm did not get much ink in my book, then proceeds to justify the lack of ink by explaining how poorly their product innovation cycle works
An executive at a large telco listens to my "tough love" about how telcos have abdicated innovation to Apple, Google, Cisco and others. No protest - he just laments how his hardworking group's internal innovations don't have much of impact on his firm's external reputation.
Each one of them works for a multi-billion technology company. Each one of them is way past sensing something is broken - they are internally yelling for things to change.
In all my time (and partly because my book tour is letting me interact in person and over the web with a wider set of people) in the technology industry I never seen this much acknowledgement that our big technology companies are inefficient organisms - much goes in, little comes out in innovation.
In the meantime, those 3 firms collectively spend over $ 10 billion a year in marketing how good they are (and many times more in selling costs). Print, web, TV - they drone on. These 3 are not overly acquisitive. In other big tech, their acquisition groups continue to spend billions seeking the magic outside their walls.
And you wonder when their executives will wake up and stop that self-delusional spend and use that money to fix things internally. And you wonder when their customers will send them the message that they are badly broken - rather than keep sending them faithful checks.