The one-sentence summary

Everyone has the ability to innovate – curiosity, creativity and growth can be generated by following a rigorous programme.


· This is a primer on how innovation works and how to instigate it.

· It explains the history of innovation and then maps out a 28-day programme you can follow.

· Innovation is defined as ‘Something different that has impact’ (note the absence of the words ‘creative’ and ‘never been done before’).

· He nominates 12 masters of innovation, including:

  1. Steve Blank: start-ups are temporary organisations searching for scale
  2. Clayton Christensen: doing everything ‘right’ can lead to vulnerability
  3. Peter Drucker: the customer rarely buys what the company thinks it is selling
  4. Joseph Schumpeter: sometimes you have to destroy to create
  5. A. G. Lafley: innovation is a process that can be managed and mastered
  6. Roger Martin: managers need to take ors and turn them into ands
  7. Bill James: looking at old data in new ways can highlight counterintuitive patterns
  8. Michael Mauboussin: insight can come from applying lessons from ‘non-obvious’ fields to your problem


· Attitudinally he draws from:

A.G. Lafley: Take an external viewpoint

Mike Tyson: Recognise that you are wrong (he famously said: “Everyone has a plan, until they get punched in the face.”)

Thomas Edison: Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration

Robert Anthony: Fight the sucking sound of the core (this is his father commenting on the persistent drag of a company back to what it always does)

· The seven deadly sins of innovation are:

1. Pride: forcing your view of quality onto the market

2. Sloth: letting innovation efforts slow to a crawl

3. Gluttony: throwing too much resource at something

4. Lust: getting distracted chasing too many bright shiny objects

5. Envy: pitting the core business against innovation efforts

6. Wrath: punishing risk takers severely

7. Greed: impatience for growth, leading to pursuit of low potential markets


· There’s nothing new here, but it would be a good starting place for anyone researching the area, or wanting a method for a first attempt.