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.
Why are some people and organizations more innovative, more influential, and more profitable than others? Why do some command greater loyalty?
In studying the leaders who've had the greatest influence in the world, Simon Sinek discovered that they all think, act, and communicate in the exact same way-and it's the complete opposite of what everyone else does. People like Martin Luther King Jr., Steve Jobs, and the Wright Brothers might have little in common, but they all started with why.
Drawing on a wide range of real-life stories, Sinek weaves together a clear vision of what it truly takes to lead and inspire.
IDEO doesn't believe in the myth of the lone genius working away in isolation, waiting for great ideas to strike. The fact is, as Kelley points out, everyone is creative, and the goal at IDEO is to tap into that wellspring of creativity among its employees. How does it do that? First, IDEO fosters an atmosphere conducive to freely expressing ideas, throwing out (most of) the standard rules, and freeing people to design their workspaces and environment to fit their personalities. It is IDEO's focus on teams that has resulted in its countless innovative breakthroughs—the constant give-and-take among people willing to share ideas and trust in the group process, dubbed "the deep dive" by IDEO. In entertaining anecdotes illustrating some of IDEO's own successes (and mistakes), as well as poineering efforts at other leading companies, Kelley shows how teams—usually in groups of twelve to twenty people—research and completely immerse themselves in every possible aspect of a concept or problem, examining it from the perspective of the companies they are designing for, from the perspective of safety, and from the perspective of consumers. In the course of the book, Kelley outlines the steps IDEO and other successful companies use to achieve successful problem solving:
IDEO has won more awards in the last ten years than any other design firm, and a full half-hour Nightline presentation of its creative process received one of the highest ratings in the show's history. Total immersion in The Art of Innovation will provide business leaders with the insights and tools they need to make their companies the leading-edge, top-rated stars of their industries.