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Orbit-Shifting Innovation: The Dynamics of Ideas that Create History [Paperback]

Rajiv Narang , Devika Devaiah
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

3 Jan 2014

"The Dynamics Of Ideas That Create History"

Orbit-shifting innovation happens when an area that needs transformation meets an innovator with the will and the desire to create, and not follow, history. At the heart of every orbit-shifting innovation is the breakthrough that achieves a transformative impact.

Businesses, social enterprises and even governments need orbit-shifting ideas to create a transformative impact. But how does that ground breaking idea come about, and what translates it into actuality? Charting the vast global landscape of orbit-shifting innovation and using unique examples from prominent businesses, the social sector, entrepreneurs and public services - spread across US, UK, Europe, Africa and Asia - the authors build insight into the key drivers behind taking on a transformative challenge and provide a unique framework to navigate the pitfalls and challenges in making it happen.

Orbit-shifting innovation empowers everyone to overcome the obstacles to innovation and provides the tools to maximize the impact of transformative change. The inspirational examples and tools for success compel leaders and entrepreneurs to not only pursue impossible challenges but lead the successful journey from conception of an orbit-shifting idea to actually creating history.


Product details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Kogan Page (3 Jan 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0749468750
  • ISBN-13: 978-0749468750
  • Product Dimensions: 23.4 x 16 x 1.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,074,141 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"Devaiah & Narang's new book is an utterly fresh take on the urgent topic of disruptive innovation. The planetary metaphor of gravity and orbits frames a lively exploration of hidden forces (cultural gravity of arrogance/subservience) and surprising allies (lateral thinking). The authors share an inspiring diversity of first-hand case examples, from cataract surgery to TV quiz shows, and cultural backdrops ranging from Korea to Hindustan. You'll come away not only believing it can be done, but knowing how you can do it."--Tim Ogilvie "CEO, Peer Insight and co-author, "Designing for Growth" "

Book Description

This book brings alive the challenges of innovation in business, and provides a unique exploration of what it takes to make successful innovation happen through the use of compelling global techniques and models.

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
By Robert Morris TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
An orbit-shifting innovation is among the most disruptive. As Rajiv Narang and Devika Devaiah explain, it happens "when an area that needs transformation meets an innovator with the will and the desire to create, and not follow history. At the heart of an orbit-shifting innovation is the breakthrough that creates a new orbit and achieves a transformative impact." Narang and Devaiah thoroughly examine the entire process, from initial insight to fulfillment and refinement.

They pose a question of special importance to me: "What are the real dynamics of executing an orbit-shifting innovation with as much focus as it takes to conceive it?" This book is their collaborative response to that question and duly acknowledge the valued assistance of their colleagues at Erehwon, a 20-year-old pioneering innovation firm.

So what drives their insights concerning orbit-shifting? They suggest three powerful sources: Hundreds of breakthrough innovation missions in which they have been involved thus far, leadership mindsets that they have studied for more than two decades of working with senior management teams, and direct experience with more than 100 "orbit shifters" that they have identified thus far. In other words, the information, insights, and counsel they provide is experience-driven, evidence-driven, and anchored in real-world business experience, theirs and others'.
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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  5 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Thought Provoking Discussion 8 April 2014
By Beth - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This is an incredibly dense book that reads more like a textbook so if you're expecting light, motivational business ideas this is not for you. It is also unfortunately printed in rather small text which is packed onto the page with very small margins which can quickly lead to a loss of focus for the reader. Thankfully the chapters are split into smaller sections so it is relatively easy to find your place again when you pause and then pick the book back up.

If you ignore the book's physical shortcomings this is a very thought provoking discussion of innovation and what it means for people and business. It covers topics ranging from healthcare to technology and provides numerous examples of innovation in the world.

If you can keep your focus through the many challenges to reading that this book presents it's really a very good read and well worth the time investment.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant explanation of what orbit-shifting innovation is and how to make it happen 13 Jan 2014
By Robert Morris - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
An orbit-shifting innovation is among the most disruptive. As Rajiv Narang and Devika Devaiah explain, it happens "when an area that needs transformation meets an innovator with the will and the desire to create, and not follow history. At the heart of an orbit-shifting innovation is the breakthrough that creates a new orbit and achieves a transformative impact." Narang and Devaiah thoroughly examine the entire process, from initial insight to fulfillment and refinement.

They pose a question of special importance to me: "What are the real dynamics of executing an orbit-shifting innovation with as much focus as it takes to conceive it?" This book is their collaborative response to that question and duly acknowledge the valued assistance of their colleagues at Erehwon, a 20-year-old pioneering innovation firm.

So what drives their insights concerning orbit-shifting? They suggest three powerful sources: Hundreds of breakthrough innovation missions in which they have been involved thus far, leadership mindsets that they have studied for more than two decades of working with senior management teams, and direct experience with more than 100 "orbit shifters" that they have identified thus far. In other words, the information, insights, and counsel they provide is experience-driven, evidence-driven, and anchored in real-world business experience, theirs and others'.

They carefully organize and present their material as follows:

Part 1: Orbit shifts that created history
Part 2: Seeding orbit-shifting innovation
Part 3: Combating dilution in execution
Part 4: Leading orbit-shifting innovation

I agree with Narang and Devaiah that the most valuable insights, those that lead to breakthroughs, do not emerge during a process to generate as many ideas as possible; innovation does not equal ideation. Rather, innovation emerges as boundaries are identified. "This book surfaces our painful realization that most big ideas don't get killed; they just get diluted." That is to say, big ideas are reduced in terms of their potential value and impact.

By nature, orbit-shifts involve significant change. There are always barriers to such change and often cultural in nature, the result of what James O'Toole so aptly characterizes as "the ideology of comfort and the tyranny of custom." That is to say, big ideas are reduced in terms of their potential threat to the status quo and its defenders.

More often than not, Narang and Devaiah suggest, executing a breakthrough insight is more difficult than formulating it. They also stress the importance of an "out of the box challenge" that requires thinking beyond the given "box" or context. Only then can an orbit-shifting idea be generated.

Over the years, I have been retained to assist with hundreds of innovation initiatives and, with rare exception, the greatest challenge to those involved was to think innovatively about innovation. This is what Albert Einstein had in mind when asserting that problems can't be solved with the same thinking that created them.

Innovative thinking should be sustained in any organization, whatever its size and nature may be, and at all levels and in all areas of the given enterprise. I agree with Narang and Devaiah that this process is best viewed as a never-ending journey - a series of orbit-shifting projects -- rather than limited to any one of them. If a workplace environment is thought of as a greenhouse, potentially big ideas are seedlings that must be carefully nourished...and protected.

When concluding their book, Rajiv Narang and Devika Devaiah observe, "Whether in fiction or reality, the most enduring stories, the ones that excite us the most, are thee ones of orbit shifters, where ordinary people achieve the extraordinary. Where they create history, rather than follow it. Where they show us that there are no impossible dreams or problems, only limited dreamers and problem solvers."

Through human history, there have been thousands of breakthrough ideas and that process will continue in months and years to come. New dreams will pose exciting new opportunities and new problems will present exciting new challenges. We would be well-advised, meanwhile, to keep in mind an astute observation by Richard Dawkins: "Yesterday's dangerous idea is today's orthodoxy and tomorrow's cliché."
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 stars 2 July 2014
By Evgeny - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Dear authors,

I was appreciated reading this book.

Thank you for your job!
5.0 out of 5 stars A Roadmap to Make Innovation Work 4 Mar 2014
By John Chancellor - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Many CEOs dream of their company coming up with a revolutionary new product/service that will be the “next big thing”, create massive success for the company and establish the legacy of the CEO. In theory, this process often involves some eccentric genius working in isolation who stumbles on the newest big innovation.

Rajiv Narang and Devika Nevaiah, authors of Orbit Shifting Innovation, have written a book that dispels the notion about how “orbit shifting innovation” occurs. The first point they make is that additional ideas are not what is needed. Most companies have multiple ideas in the pipeline. But, the vast majority of those ideas are just incremental improvements on existing products/services. If an idea is to be orbit shifting, it must go beyond the boundaries of conventional thinking by examining totally different approaches. According to the authors, “orbit shifting insight is a quest for questions, not a search for answers.”

The book is divided into four parts. Part one presents case studies of dozens of orbit shifting innovations that made history. Part two focuses on the barriers that orbit shifting ideas will encounter. The first barrier is the mindset gravity. As the authors point out, most ideas don’t get killed, they just get diluted. There are plenty of other barriers that orbit shifting ideas encounter – most of them because of the self-interest of employees/divisions that are unwilling to take the risk involved with orbit shifting innovation.

The third part of the book deals with the normal dilution that occurs when an orbit shifting idea moves into the execution stage. There will always be plenty of doubters and gatekeepers whose interest is to protect their own territory. Part four discusses methods for leading through orbit shifting innovation.

The book is based on real world experience of the authors in working with countless companies creating and executing orbit shifting innovation. There are literally dozens of success stories scattered throughout the book. In addition, there are plenty of text boxes “As a CEO think about this” that raises questions for a leader to consider about their own business. There are end notes at the end of each chapter and an extensive reference section at the end of the book.

The authors write in a business/conversational style and it is easy to read/understand. There are plenty of illustrations/charts to help explain the concepts the authors are discussing.

This book will be most valuable to CEOs, and other C-level executives involved in or responsible for the growth/innovation of the company. The book takes a straightforward, business like approach to innovation. If you are committed to helping your company achieve orbit shifting innovation, this will certainly be a valuable addition to your resources.

I was provided a review copy of this book.
5.0 out of 5 stars An assist in steering away from the cliff of destruction 19 Jan 2014
By Charles Ashbacher - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
The authors define an orbit shifting innovation as a new product or service that is revolutionary, something that completely changes the current dynamic. Some of the examples cited in the book are the Grameen Bank for microlending in the third world, the Aravind Eye Care methods that made their eye surgeons 10 times more productive in treating cataracts among the poor and the use of a simple pen device to inject insulin into diabetics.
These projects are truly revolutionary, but the real point of the book is not to impart a history lesson but to explain the very complicated process of working through an orbit shifting innovation from start to successful implementation. It is not difficult to determine which step in the process is the most difficult.
The first step is getting the idea for a product or service that is truly revolutionary. This by definition means that someone must have the breadth and depth of original thought to think far enough outside what is passing for "normal thinking" to develop the idea. In many ways this is the hardest step of all and the one that is least covered, for the simple reason that there is no formula for such creations.
However, the rest of the process can be organized and discussed, starting with fanning the flames of the innovation rather than damping it down due to the fear of the unknown. The authors describe several examples where an idea was founded by one organization, only to be dismissed as inappropriate for whatever reason. The most significant example of this is when a Microsoft team developed an e-reader in the late 1990's but the idea was dismissed by Bill Gates as in his opinion, "The e-book wasn't right for Microsoft." Most of the pages deal with the ways that the initial spark of a new idea is converted into a killer app.
This book is an interesting one for the fundamental reason that it will lead to some more effective strategic reasoning by the people that read it. History is full of once-powerful companies that seemed unassailable, yet in only a few years found their key markets imploding or lost to the point where the entire company was put at risk. There was a recent online news article about the last movie rented at Blockbuster, a company that failed to adapt and now does not really exist because their market largely vanished. In my area a large K-Mart store closed right after Christmas, this is another example of a company that should have been successful forever, for their market did not evaporate, in fact it continues to grow. They didn't.
If you are paranoid, and as Andy Grove of Intel said, "Only the paranoid survive", then you are looking for any edge that you can find. This book will help you steer your organization away from the cliffs encountered by companies like Blockbuster and K-Mart.
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