A recent post I ran in to by Tim Leberecht was really insightful. Most of it can really be applied to IT services.
The post has a quote by Ronaldinho, the soccer player:
"The important thing is to keep on innovating and finding a way to surprise. You always look to surprise, with dribbling, a new move, a new pass. (...) As long as I believe I have the creativity for that, that's what I'll try and do. I'm never going to lose my characteristics because that's what I know how to do. I want to mix everything that is innovative with the same things as always. Perhaps the fans expect me to do all the tricks, the opponents as well. If you don't innovate, they all take the ball away from you. I believe it's important to innovate in order to avoid repetition."
It concludes by saying:
Soccer can be researched, carefully planned, and strategically devised -- however, the most beautiful thing about this "beautiful game" is the fact that there is no lag between idea and implementation. Creativity can be immediately applied and has to be found on the pitch again and again. Every match is a blank slate. There is no history, only anticipation. Nothing is ever the same. This is what business leaders can learn from soccer: Innovation is, literally, a "play," and the best players will win.
So true. Like I said in my previous post, innovate and promote innovation.