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Little Black Book of Innovation: How it Works, How to Do it Hardcover – 11 Jan 2012

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Harvard Business Review Press (11 Jan. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1422171728
  • ISBN-13: 978-1422171721
  • Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 15.2 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 59,064 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"Great wit and insight" -- The Economic Times "Highly recommended." -- Choice magazine "Innovation knowledge is locked up in relatively dense books or in people's heads. [Anthony] makes innovation more accessible, to help readers realise their full potential." -- Engineering and Technology Magazine "This book is insightful, with actionable tips to increase an organisation's innovation capacity. It is easy and essential reading for business leaders and their teams." -- Business Executive "The core of the book is a very practical 28-day programme on innovation. Anthony cuts through much jargon and sums up the key ideas and imperatives for those who wish to innovate. Written in a light-hearted and sometimes humorous style, it also draws on the authors own innovation journey including some early failures." -- The Irish Times "This 'little black book' is a quick-read how-to book that boils down the principles of innovation to discreet ideas anyone can understand," -- BizEd "The Little Black Book of Innovation is one of the most thought-provoking business books I've read recently, one of those "whacks on the side of the head" that one needs from time to time." -- Business Standard "At just 304 pages and about 6-by-9 inches in size, you can easily take this book places--and it may do the same for you." -- Directorship "Powerful for a team, this is the kind of book that can help a group of people start producing innovative ideas..." -- 800 CEO READ

About the Author

Scott D. Anthony is the managing director of Innosight, a global strategic innovation consulting and investment firm. He is the head of Innosight's Asian headquarters in Singapore. He has worked with clients ranging from national governments to companies in industries as diverse as healthcare, telecommunications, consumer products, and software. He has authored The Silver Lining and coauthored Seeing What's Next and The Innovator's Guide to Growth.

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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Robert Morris TOP 500 REVIEWER on 17 Jan. 2012
Format: Hardcover
I have read and reviewed all of the other books that Scott Anthony has authored or co-authored and think this is the most valuable...thus far. In ways and to an extent even Clay Christensen hasn't, Anthony has embraced his reader and said, in effect, "I am now going to share with you everything I have learned about what innovation is...and isn't, what it does...and doesn't do, and how you can master the skills of innovative thinking." He immediately establishes a direct and collegial rapport with his reader and then sustains it throughout the lively and eloquent narrative.

Although his book is technically not a memoir, Anthony draws heavily on his own experience, sharing anecdotes from defining moments and memorable relationships throughout his "personal innovation journey" that "began in earnest" during an airline flight more than a decade ago. He was carrying with him and began to read a copy of Christensen's The Innovator's Dilemma. He was among the students enrolled in an experimental course ("Building a Sustainably Successful Enterprise") at Harvard Business School taught by Christensen. Thus began a personal as well as professional relationship with him that continues to this day. Anthony's aforementioned "journey" since that day (October 20, 2000) enabled him to learn "the truth" about innovation (especially from academic researchers who have "decoded" many of its mysteries") that has prepared him well to help each of his readers to embark on a comparable journey. As he explains,

"Much of this learning is out of reach for the layperson. It is locked up in books that are too dense, or even worse, it is locked up in the heads of individuals.
Read more ›
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By R de Bulat TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 20 Mar. 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is a solid training manual in innovation: it begins with a walk through the basics of innovations and pioneers of the art with some useful caveats that concentrate the mind, especially on one's own faults. The 28 day programme takes you through the main points of developing and implementing a programme of innovation and meeting the challenges of competition and creating customers. Innovation, as presented here is a creative process: you are, indeed, creating the future, according to Peter Drucker, one of the champions of innovation and old school exponents of business management, showcased in this book. I'm reading a lot of business books, lately, none can tell you everything you need to do, but a few valuable pointers makes some worth the cost and time it takes to read and absorb. The best, set you to work and greatly aid your ability to meet the challenges that anyone in business faces at any time, but more especially in the current marketplace and most definitely in my field of training where over-provision and, apparently, a shrinking client base, means that you need to be constantly mining new, potential markets and set yourself apart from the competition. I found this book helpful and thought provoking, able to generate ideas and inspire confidence - easily 5 stars.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
So where is a good place to start your innovation thinking? You could do a lot worse than starting with Scott D Anthony’s Little Black Book of Innovation. It’s a great overview of the modern debates, ideas and processes surrounding how to commercialise a new idea. A large part of the book includes Anthony’s 28-day innovation programme, a chronological 4 week process. However the highlight of this book is Anthony’s introduction to the great ‘masters of innovation’. For those who are not engaged in full-time study and do not have the time or the book shelf space to collect and study the works of Clay Christensen, Pete Drucker, Steve Blank, Richard Foster and A.G. Lafley – Anthony neatly summarises the the key points to note...

You can read my full review of this book and three other great books on digital, social and innovation - here. http://goo.gl/ca3bWc
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Harry C. Sharman on 3 April 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is the first book I have read on innovation, as I try and teach myself strategy. It is very nicely written with a lively and approachable style.

The first half of the book takes you through a whistle stop tour of how the greats think innovatively - and acts as a great stepping stone for where else your reading on innovation should go. The second half then walks you through practical steps on how to adapt the way you think.

If you want a quick and practical start to thinking innovatively - this is it. And if you just want a well written bit of business literature that doesn't take itself too seriously and that is accessible, filled with practical examples (as opposed to academic and ethereal ones that business are often plagued with) - then this is also the book for you!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 30 reviews
24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
One for the masses 26 Dec. 2011
By PT Navendra - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I manage a team of individuals in a very large organization and I have been waiting for a book like this for a very long time. For the serial innovator, this book may be a little light, but for individuals and teams wanting to get with the program or are being cajoled into innovation initiatives, I can't think of another simpler or more practical primer than this. While I found a few spots that I thought were corny in there, this is something that I will not hesitate to recommend for entire teams and organizations as a synthesis on innovation and a starting point in their innovation journey. It is an easy read and it was hard to put down. Even if only one internal/non-commercial idea is identified and implemented within an organization using the practical tools and simple exercises in the second part of the book, one would have thousand-folded their investment. And I am only looking at it from an internal cost center perpective. I see strong potential here for pervasive transformation of individuals, teams, and organizations if used systematically.
19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
How to develop and then apply the skills needed to create "something different that has impact" 6 Jan. 2012
By Robert Morris - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I have read and reviewed all of the other books that Scott Anthony has authored or co-authored and think this is the most valuable...thus far. In ways and to an extent even Clay Christensen hasn't, Anthony has embraced his reader and said, in effect, "I am now going to share with you everything I have learned about what innovation is...and isn't, what it does...and doesn't do, and how you can master the skills of innovative thinking." He immediately establishes a direct and collegial rapport with his reader and then sustains it throughout the lively and eloquent narrative.

Although his book is technically not a memoir, Anthony draws heavily on his own experience, sharing anecdotes from defining moments and memorable relationships throughout his "personal innovation journey" that "began in earnest" during an airline flight more than a decade ago. He was carrying with him and began to read a copy of Christensen's The Innovator's Dilemma. He was among the students enrolled in an experimental course ("Building a Sustainably Successful Enterprise") at Harvard Business School taught by Christensen. Thus began a personal as well as professional relationship with him that continues to this day. Anthony's aforementioned "journey" since that day (October 20, 2000) enabled him to learn "the truth" about innovation (especially from academic researchers who have "decoded" many of its mysteries") that has prepared him well to help each of his readers to embark on a comparable journey. As he explains,

"Much of this learning is out of reach for the layperson. It is locked up in books that are too dense, or even worse, it is locked up in the heads of individuals. The Little Black Book of Innovation aims to address this issue by providing the tools and giving you [his reader] the confidence to more reliably turn your dreams into reality."

After establishing his book's "foundation" in Part I, he introduces a 28-day innovation program in Part II. Here are the primary goals for each of the four weeks:

Week 1: Discovering the Opportunities ("Wrap Up" on Page 126)
Week 2: Blueprinting Ideas ("Wrap Up" on 165)
Week 3: Addressing and Testing Ideas ("Wrap Up" on 206)
Week 4: Moving Forward ("Wrap Up" on 245)

Anthony introduces each of the four ("This week will help you to accomplish the following [objectives]") and devotes a separate chapter to each of the 28 days, posing a "Central Question" followed by a "One-Sentence Answer" as well as a set of "How-To Tips." Within this framework, he provides an abundance of information, insights, and recommendations based on real-world situations that illustrate what innovation is...and isn't, what it does...and doesn't do, and how almost anyone can master the skills of innovative thinking.

This four-week/28-day program will be of substantial benefit both to individuals and to teams. If a senior-level executive reads this book and decides to create and lead a project team whose objective is to develop a game plan to increase and support innovation throughout the given enterprise, I presume to suggest that Anthony's previously published book, The Silver Lining: An Innovation Playbook for Uncertain Times, also be read. In it, he also offers a wealth of advice. For example:

o Identifying the "different approach to take when prudently "pruning" by obtaining the answers to five questions (Pages 30-31)
o What the four business unit portfolio "traps" are and how to avoid or escape from them (Pages 34-35)
o Four specific analyses that can help to determine the degree to which an existing business has unexploited or under-developed potential (Pages 38-39)
o Three important lessons for cost cutting to be learned from the basic pattern of disruptive innovation (Page 52)
o The three-step process to drive "intelligent cost cutting" (Pages 52-63)
o The three-step process that innovators have used to drive disruption to create "spectacular success" (Pages 75-82)
o Four common strategic traps that may appear (Pages 96-98)

Mind you, all this is provided during the first hundred pages.

With all due respect to the other books that have been written about these and other issues, if you will read only one, I think it must be The Little Black of Innovation. If you read only two, The Silver Lining is my recommendation.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Highly recommended! 13 Jan. 2012
By jplatypus - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I don't work for a big company, so when someone recommended I read this book I was a bit skeptical. But I am glad I read it. The book is very accessible, and can be put into action immediately. And I think the point the author makes about innovation being a challenge everyone faces is spot on. I feel much more confident that I am going to "do something different that has impact." Highly recommended!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Innovation for everybody 20 Aug. 2012
By Patrick - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This Scott Anthony book is not just a book, it's an innovation workshop for your mind. Irrespective of your gender, location, position or status, there are valuable lessons to be learned.The Little Black Book of Innovation: How It Works, How to Do It
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Truly enjoyed! 5 Jun. 2014
By Hope - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I purchased this on audio first as I listen to books on my daily commute and usually that's enough. In this case I also bought the kindle version because I was enjoying it so much and there are so many ideas, facts, point of views, stories and perceptions that I wanted to take notes. The first half of the book introduces you to some of the leader novelists on the topic of innovation, what they wrote and the highlight points of their books. I loved this idea because you get the high overview of innovation as a whole and a glimpse at what books you want to invest in for deeper dive. The second half of the book is him discussing what he learned from being an innovation specialist for the nearly past two decades. He himself has great ideas and point of views as well as more than a few success and fail stories of his own. He's able to tell you an idea then make it concrete with a real world example.

If you get the audio version; I loved the reader. He was fun to listen to and clearly understandable. Keep in mind you'll probably want to take notes though because each chapter is packed with ideas so if you listen in the car use a voice recorder or buy the book/kindle version as a companion.
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