Cover image for Innovation as usual : how to help your people bring great ideas to life
Innovation as usual : how to help your people bring great ideas to life
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vi, 216 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.


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30000010321476 HD53 M549 2013 Open Access Book Book

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Turn team members into innovators

Most organizations approach innovation as if it were a sideline activity. Every so often employees are sent to "Brainstorm Island": an off-site replete with trendy lectures, creative workshops, and overenthusiastic facilitators. But once they return, it's back to business as usual.

Innovation experts Paddy Miller and Thomas Wedell-Wedellsborg suggest a better approach. They recommend that leaders at all levels become "innovation architects," creating an ecosystem in which people engage in key innovation behaviors as part of their daily work.

In short, this book is about getting to a state of "innovation as usual," where regular employees--in jobs like finance, marketing, sales, or operations--make innovation happen in a way that's both systemic and sustainable.

Instead of organizing brainstorming sessions, idea jams, and off-sites that rarely result in success, leaders should guide their people in what the authors call the "5 + 1 keystone behaviors" of innovation: focus, connect, tweak, select, stealthstorm, (and the + 1) persist:

* Focus beats freedom : Direct people to look only for ideas that matter to the business
* Insight comes from the outside : Urge people to connect to new worlds
* First ideas are flawed : Challenge people to tweak and reframe their initial ideas
* Most ideas are bad ideas : Guide people to select the best ideas and discard the rest
* Stealthstorming rules : Help people navigate the politics of innovation
* Creativity is a choice : Motivate everyone to persist in the five keystone behaviors

Using examples from a wide range of companies such as Pfizer, Index Ventures, Lonza, Go Travel, Prehype, DSM, and others, Innovation as Usual lights the way toward embedding creativity in the DNA of the workplace.

So cancel that off-site. Instead, read Innovation as Usual --and put innovation at the core of your business.

Author Notes

Paddy Miller is a professor at IESE Business School in Barcelona. He has worked with senior executives in organizations such as Nike, Lufthansa, Henkel, Bayer, L'Oréal, Boeing, Citi, and the World Bank, and has led courses at MIT, CEIBS, Harvard, and Darden. Miller is the author of Mission Critical Leadership , and his work on global teams was awarded by the Academy of Management.

Thomas Wedell-Wedellsborg is a partner at The Innovation Architects, a management consulting firm in New York City. He is a frequent speaker at corporate events and has worked with managers in nearly all parts of the globe, including China, India, Russia, Singapore, Britain, France, the United States, and his native country, Denmark. He has founded two start-ups and serves as an adviser to BBC Worldwide Labs.

Table of Contents

1 Innovation as Usual: How to Change What People Do, Every Dayp. 1
Leaders must help their people innovate as part of their jobs
2 Focus: How to Make People Focus on Ideas That Matterp. 35
Focus beats freedom. Leaders must limit and direct the search for innovation
3 Connect: How to Help People Get High-Impact Ideasp. 57
Insight comes from the outside. Leaders must help people connect to customers, colleagues, and beyond
4 Tweak: How to Help People Improve Their Ideasp. 83
First ideas are flawed. Leaders must make people test, challenge, and reframe their ideas repeatedly
5 Select: How to Make People Better Gatekeepersp. 111
Most ideas are bad ideas. Leaders must help gatekeepers get better at judging and filtering new ideas
6 Stealthstorm: How to Help People Navigate the Politics of Innovationp. 135
Stealthstorming rules. Leaders must help people deal with organizational politics
7 Persist: How to Increase People's Personal Motivation to Innovatep. 153
Creativity is a choice. Leaders must help their people persist in the pursuit of innovation
Epilogue: The Monday Morning Problemp. 173
What you do in the next twenty minutes is the difference between failure and success
Appendix A Further Readingp. 177
Appendix B Innovation Definedp. 187
Appendix C Four Good Reasons to innovatep. 191
Notesp. 195
Indexp. 201
Acknowledgmentsp. 211
About the Authorsp. 217