The one-sentence summary
Everyone has the ability to innovate – curiosity, creativity and growth can be generated by following a rigorous programme.
WHAT THE BOOK SAYS
· 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:
- Steve Blank: start-ups are temporary organisations searching for scale
- Clayton Christensen: doing everything ‘right’ can lead to vulnerability
- Peter Drucker: the customer rarely buys what the company thinks it is selling
- Joseph Schumpeter: sometimes you have to destroy to create
- A. G. Lafley: innovation is a process that can be managed and mastered
- Roger Martin: managers need to take ors and turn them into ands
- Bill James: looking at old data in new ways can highlight counterintuitive patterns
- Michael Mauboussin: insight can come from applying lessons from ‘non-obvious’ fields to your problem
WHAT’S GOOD ABOUT IT
· 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
WHAT YOU HAVE TO WATCH
· 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.