In 2002 I left the lectureship that I had thought would be my dream job. The university world was, I felt, changing into something I did not believe in and did not want to belong to. Since then I have discovered that two of my main complaints, audit and celebrity culture, are making work difficult far beyond academia. Yet there is an appetite – particularly among people with power and influence – for more of the same. One thing that makes the situation worse, but that is not much talked about, is the ongoing obsession with innovation and creativity.