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Making Innovation Work: How to Manage it, Measure it, and Profit from it Hardcover – 22 Jul 2005


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Financial Times/ Prentice Hall; 1 edition (22 July 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0131497863
  • ISBN-13: 978-0131497863
  • Product Dimensions: 16.3 x 3.1 x 23.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 579,910 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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From the Back Cover

Making Innovation Work presents a formal innovation process proven to work at HP, Microsoft and Toyota, to help ordinary managers drive top and bottom line growth from innovation. The authors have drawn on their unsurpassed innovation consulting experience -- as well as the most thorough review of innovation research ever performed. They'll show what works, what doesn't, and how to use management tools to dramatically increase the payoff from innovation investments. Learn how to define the right strategy effective innovation; how to structure an organization to innovate best; how to implement management systems to assess ongoing innovation; how to incentivize teams to deliver, and much more. This book offers the first authoritative guide to using metrics at every step of the innovation process -- from idea creation and selection through prototyping and commercialization.

About the Author

Tony Davila is a faculty member of Stanford's Graduate School of Business. Building on his doctoral work at the Harvard Business School, he works with both large industrial companies and Silicon Valley startups to design management control and performance measurement systems that drive innovation. He has been published in Harvard Business Review, Research Policy, and other leading journals.

Marc J. Epstein has been a visiting professor and Hansjoerg Wyss visiting scholar at Harvard Business School and a distinguished research professor at Rice University's Jones Graduate School of Management. He has been a senior consultant to leading corporations and governments for over twenty-five years, specializing in strategy implementation, innovation, governance, accountability, and performance metrics. Epstein has also served as a professor at Stanford Business School and INSEAD.

Robert Shelton is managing director of Navigant Consulting's Innovation practice. His client list is a "who's who" of innovative Fortune 500s, including leaders in the electronics, energy, health care, automotive, consumer goods, software, and aerospace industries. Shelton has served as vice president and managing director with Arthur D. Little and as managing director of the Technology and Innovation Management practice at SRI International (formerly Stanford Research Institute). His work has been referenced in media ranging from The Wall Street Journal to CNN Financial News.


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First Sentence
For any organization, innovation represents not only the opportunity to grow and survive but also the opportunity to significantly influence the direction of the industry. Read the first page
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Robert Morris TOP 500 REVIEWER on 22 Sep 2005
Format: Hardcover
A book's subtitle is often very informative and that is certainly true of this book. I also appreciate the fact that its co-authors explain why their book was written, what its key points are, and how its material has been organized. According to Davila, Epstein, and Shelton: "The truth is that there is not much that is truly new about innovation. The basics have not changed for centuries. However, we have become smarter about managing innovation." There is a compelling need in 2005 to view it from different perspectives. The co-authors suggest three:
"Innovation, like many [other] business functions, is as management process that requires specific tools, rules and discipline -- it is not mysterious."
"Innovation requires [accurate] measurement and [generous] rewards to deliver sustained, high yield."
"Companies can use innovation to redefine an industry by employing combinations of business model innovation and technology innovation."
It is impossible to exaggerate the importance of these three separate but interdependent perspectives when attempting (struggling?) to determine how to manage, measure, and profit from innovation. The co-authors have obviously done some innovative thinking about innovation, especially in terms of its practical applications. The most valuable business books tend to be those whose narrative is driven by a question. In Jim Collins' Good to Great, "How can a good company become a great company?" In Jason Jennings' Think Big, Act Small, "What traits do America's best performing companies share?" In this book, the co-authors seem to be primarily interested in answering two questions: "Why is innovation a necessary ingredient for sustained success?" and "Why is innovation an integral part of [any] business?
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Donald Mitchell HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 1 Mar 2006
Format: Hardcover
Many executives decide they want more innovation from their organizations . . . but aren't quite sure how to encourage that result. Relax. You can read and apply Making Innovation Work, and you'll do a lot better.
The authors clearly understand today's best practices in innovation both for breakthroughs and for on-going incremental improvements. They take what seems amorphous to many and make it as concrete as is desirable to do.
The basic approach entails helping readers to understand that the processes you use to innovate determine what kind and how much innovation you will accomplish. From there, the book focuses on how to use a process that permits all of the kinds of innovation to prosper that the company's strategy pursues.
While many such books exhort everyone to go for breakthroughs, Making Innovation Works also explains when it's appropriate to have a more defensive innovation strategy . . . but to stay in the game . . . rather than to fall behind by being too defensive.
For me, though, the book really hit its stride in chapter six where the appropriate measurements are described to identify how your innovation process is doing. The book became even more impressive in chapter seven where incentives for innovation are explained. Chapter eight on how to learn innovation is perhaps the most pivotal section in the book. Chapter nine on creating a supportive culture for innovation was also solid.
I was pleased to see that Making Innovation Work looks beyond just innovating products and processes. The book also addresses business model innovation, perhaps the most important subject for innovation.
The only weakness I found in the book came in describing business model innovation and how to pursue it.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Rolf Dobelli TOP 500 REVIEWER on 1 May 2006
Format: Hardcover
We recommend this book to everyone involved in innovation. Whether you're involved as a creative thinker, a promoter of new products, a manager guiding the innovation process or an investor evaluating an innovative company, there's gold here for you. Authors Tony Davila, Marc J. Epstein and Robert Shelton compress a mass of research and experience in innovation practices into a set of rules and guiding principles. Then, they use stories, lucid explanations, charts and careful definitions to illustrate how these principles work. A few of these concepts could have been expanded profitably - for example, how to tell in practice when radical innovation is needed, how to determine if you're innovating too much or too fast, and how to sort out the best ideas without discouraging the creators of the rejected concepts. That's the only caveat; everything else is fascinating and immediately applicable.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
At last, a PRACTICAL book on this subject, easy to read with examples so you know what to do and how to go about doing it!
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