вторник, 27 марта 2012 г.

Top 10 books for innovators

Here's English version of Helen Edwards' article, published on Forbes Russia. The original Russian version you can find here.

Innovation is the lifeblood of the global economy and a strategic priority for nearly every CEO around the world. These new books about innovation published in the last year tell us how to “think different” and how to put ideas to work in the real world. A key message from the research is that openness encourages innovation: the ground zero of innovation is not the microscope but the conference table where researchers meet to discuss their work. Furthermore everyone’s innovation skills can be improved.

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The innovator’s DNA: mastering the five skills of disruptive innovators
Jeff Dyer, Hal Gregersen, Clayton M. Christensen
Harvard Business Review Press, 2011
296 pages.
ISBN: 9781422134818

Where do disruptive business models come from? This book looks at individual creativity in the business context. It is based on a large study of business innovators from companies including Amazon, Dell, eBay, Skype and PayPal. There are five discovery skills which distinguish the innovator from everyone else. These are questioning, observing, networking, and experimenting resulting in the ability to associate new ideas and make connections. The book also introduces the idea of the innovation premium, that is the extent to which the market value of a company is higher than can be attributed to its existing business, and identifies those companies, some obvious and some surprising, which are high on this measure. The leaders of these companies recognize the importance of discovery skills and are able to integrate them into the organizational culture.

What matters now: how to win in a world of relentless change, ferocious competition, and ustoppable innovation
Gary Hamel
Jossey-Bass, 2012
Xii, 282 pages
ISBN: 9781118120828

Although companies all around the world are cutting back, business guru Gary Hamel points out that the only future is in continuous innovation. He identifies 5 types of innovative companies:
• rockets who introduce new business models but may have difficulty staying
innovative.
• laureates, often high tech companies with big research departments which
innovate narrowly year on year.
• artistes, the creative businesses where innovation is the primary product.
• cyborgs, the great innovative companies – Google, Amazon and Apple.
• born-again innovators, established companies who transform themselves.
Hamel also has insights into how innovators think, their ability to challenge beliefs everyone takes for granted, to spot underappreciated trends, to value non obvious competencies and assets, and to meet unexpressed needs.

Little black book of innovation: how it works: how to do it
Scott D. Anthony
Harvard Business Review Press, 2012.
Xii, 283 pages
ISBN: 9781422171721

The author defines innovation as “something different that has impact” to the customer, a process that combines discovering an opportunity, seizing it and implementing the idea to achieve results. This book describes a 28 day innovation programme with daily activities to help you get better at innovation. It is founded on the belief that, far from being of interest just to CEOs and entrepreneurs, innovation is important for everyone just to keep up with the dynamics of life today. Research has uncovered patterns which dictate innovation success or failure and which can be studied and applied to improve people’s ability to succeed with innovation.

Gamestorming: a playbook for innovators, rulebreakers, and changemakers
Dave Gray, Sunni Brown and James Macanufo
O'Reilly, 2010
xv11, 266 pages; ISBN: 9780596804176

Written by experts from visual thinking consultancies, this book first explains the value of games in business to encourage creative thinking, innovation, team building, problem solving and strategy development. The book includes rules and sketches for such games as Pain-Gain Map to understand motivations and decisions; Speedboat to identify what customers do not like about products; and The 5 Whys to find the root cause of a problem.

Reverse innovation
Vijay and Chris Trimble
Harvard Business School Press, 2012
256 pages
9781422157640

Instead of developing products in rich countries and then trying to export them worldwide, maybe with scaled down features, reverse innovation is about products first adopted in the developing world. Surprisingly often these innovations defy gravity and flow uphill. Reverse innovation combines a global strategy with an intense focus on local needs and preferences. This book shows how, counter intuitively, there are many circumstances when business models and products developed in emerging markets can provide new opportunities in rich economies also. Three key points for multinationals:
• to capture growth in emerging markets it is necessary to innovate, not just export.
• leverage opportunities to export innovation from emerging markets to other similar economies and eventually to the mainstream
• keep watch on the emerging giants, the rapidly growing native companies.

Open services innovation: rethinking your business to grow and compete in a new era Henry Chesbrough
Jossey Bass, 2011
256 pages
9780470905746

The father of open innovation shows how companies can move from a product to a service focus and create value by co-creating with customers. Companies need to open up and work with external partners to allow unused internal ideas to be commercialized. By moving to a service- driven view of the business, based how customers use products rather than the products themselves, service functions become profit making activity rather than costs. This book shows how the redefined business can accelerate growth through shared innovation.

Little bets: how breakthrough ideas emerge from small discoveries
Peter Sims
Random House, 2011.
224 pages
ISBN: 9781847940476

Instead of large scale innovation and R&D this book advocates running lots of small experiments to see what works. As even the most innovative companies grow, managers become subject to "the tyranny of large numbers", only big projects in areas where there are already large markets seem worth pursuing. But most successful entrepreneurs do not begin with brilliant ideas - they discover them. Consultant Peter Sims describes how to use negativity to positive effect, how finding out what does not work can in the long run lead to success.

Adapt: why success always starts with failure
Tim Harford
Little, Brown, 2011.
309 pages
ISBN: 9781408701522

The author argues that the world is too complicated for grand plans. Instead we should learn from two key processes of evolution: variation and selection. The essential steps are to try new things, with the expectation that some will fail, make failure containable and survivable, and recognize failure when it happens. Disruptive innovations with experimental technologies, such as digital photography and webmail, often fail initially with the traditional customers. Industry leaders are often blindsided because they focus too closely on past successes – their most profitable customers and businesses. But if even a small group of new users are seeing a new potential, there is scope for a whole new industry to be born.

Poke the box: when was the last time you did something for the first time?
Seth Godin
Do You Zoom, Inc, 2011
85 pages
ISBN: 978 1 936719006

An important part of innovation is getting started. Concepts are one thing but actually “doing it” - picking up the phone, signing the deal, publishing – is quite another. Godin believes that a culture of compliance, established in factories for mass production and in other industries using the factory model, has robbed many people of their natural initiative. He identifies "instigation capital" as a key differentiator in the new project world, translating ideas into products or services which can "ship".

One simple idea: turn your dreams into a licensing goldmine while letting others do the work
Stephen Key
McGraw Hill, 2011
Xvi, 238 pages
ISBN: 9780071756150

This book tells how to make money out of ideas. Serial entrepreneur Stephen Key, inventor of best selling toys, describes his techniques for translating ideas into marketable products and then getting the ideas into the right hands in the right way to license them to companies. The books go through the key steps for doing this: idea generation; research into the market and manufacturing costs; prototyping; protecting intellectual property; creating a benefit statement, sell sheet and cold call script; pitching the idea; and finally bringing the product to market, all with examples from his own products and those of his successful students.

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