In your excellent interview with Gifford Pinchot, he states his belief that companies can best develop new products and services by offering incentives to their inhouse personnel. My 19 years of experience in resource management leads me to disagree. I have seen corporations more successfully reach their goals of innovation and creativity by hiring outside teams of professionals.

Pinchot's theory works in the limited instances where a brilliant employee produces a startling new design the transforms an entire industry. However, if a company knows what new direction it wants to pursue, or what specific invention or product it needs, it does not have to wait for lightning to strike. Calling in a professional team can save both time and money.

An outside group comes to a corporation with a fresh and critical eye. Many corporations hire consulting firms -- such as ours -- to redesign or remarket a product that has failed. Outsiders can spot underlying weaknesses because they come in with no preconceived notions; they have no emotional investment in rationalizing a failed concept or concealing its flaws. Intrapreneurs are not inclined to rock the boat by disagreeing with corporate findings or reporting that there is no potential market for a product.

If there is an edge to be had in encouraging innovation and developing new products, it must go to the outside entrepreneur.