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The Science of Serendipity: How to Unlock the Promise of Innovation

The Science of Serendipity: How to Unlock the Promise of Innovation [Kindle Edition]

Matt Kingdon
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)

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Product Description


‘Jam–packed with eye–opening real world examples of how brilliant ideas can solve difficult real world problems.’ (London Loves Business, 20th December 2012) ‘Colourful, lively and interesting’   (Management Today, March 2013) ‘This is a treasure trove of insight from a real expert in the field and there are lessons to be learnt on every page.  It’s really all about how to make new ideas less of a happy accident…if you only read one book this month…’ (Business Life, April 2013) ‘The book is packed with great stories to inspire ideas…the great many provocations in the book, nicely told, make it one of the better books on the topic. Although it fails to offer a strong methodology, it does collect all the latest thinking into one place and is a great place to start’ (B2B Marketing, May 2013)

Product Description

Innovation. The word might make you think of Silicon Valley. But innovation isn’t the sole province of start-ups. They didn’t invent it, and they’re not always the ones from which we can best learn. 

As Matt Kingdon argues in The Science of Serendipity,  it’s corporate innovators battling within large, established organisations who are the field’s real heroes. Tapping into 20 years of experience on the front lines of innovation—bringing new products and services to market and helping organisations become more creative—Kingdon dissects the ways in which corporations are continually reborn. He looks at the anatomy of innovation, asking: How do time-pressed executives go about taking risks? How do they prepare to see—and seize—opportunity? And how do you place humans, with all of their fears and foibles, at the heart of commercial success?

In a conversational, jargon-free style built on a practitioner’s observations and anecdotes, The Science of Serendipity traces the dilemmas that executives in a wide variety of firms face. It details the steps taken to overcome the issues and get great ideas across the finish line. If you’re looking for a guide in your fight against the corporate machine, this is the business book for you.

Matt Kingdon is the Co-founder, Chairman, and Chief Enthusiast of What If! Innovation Partners. For 20 years, What If! has partnered with the world’s most successful, forward-looking companies—businesses such as Barclays, Four Seasons, Google, PepsiCo, Pfizer, and Virgin—to galvanise innovation and deliver impact. Its 250 inventors work across the Americas, Europe, and Asia.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1807 KB
  • Print Length: 254 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (8 Feb 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S. r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B009MB9HG6
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #129,391 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I am very sad, as I have a large library of innovation books - but I have almost stopped buying them because few say anything new, and even fewer make it real or entertaining enough for me to remember anything.
Enter Matt, who talks utter sense and in an engaging way rammed full of short, pithy and meaningful stories.

And it is these informative stories that is the triumph of the book.

Even if their is no mind blowing overarching breakthrough in thinking - like with the excellent Sticky Wisdom, his last book - this one is even more useful and readable and dare I say enjoyable . Yes I said it.

Nowadays I use my brilliant GetAbstract subscription to avoid having to read overinflated hard backs that they can, and do, summarise down to 3 pages. Not this book. Frustratingly, I had to read it all and have enjoyed every moment.
Good on you Mr Kingdom
In short.... The only innovation book I would actually buy right now, apart from the Brilliant Little Bets... Which has a bigger message but actually was easy to summarise down to 3 pages. Tis one you have to buy it all.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Innovation is hard work 15 Jan 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
"The storms of creative destruction are blowing us to a better place". This is a quote directly from "Megachange, the world in 2050". If you watch the technology trends, there is no question about it. Big data, the internet of things, social media, genetics, biology, quantum computing are all big waves. In that context, innovation and future proofing your business, become more and more important.
nnovation as the key challenge
99% of our clients are now struggling with innovation as their key challenge. Companies need to become asymmetric. They need to embrace the unexpected. They need to be able to cope with chaos, hyper-competition, uncertainty and change. They need to embrace ambiguity, disruptions and turbulence. They need to rehearse the future and serendipity is a big part of the scenarios. Optimisation is a given, not a distinctive feature any more. What set the standards in one market, sets the standard for all. Innovation and opportunity spotting will give you the edge.

Explosive mix
We have read many (MANY!) books on innovation. My favourite are "Business model innovation factory" , "Makers" and "Digital disruption". Mix it with some books on future trends (like Megachange) and you have an explosive mix of big bang disruption and innovation.

Serendipity is interesting. There are not that many books on that subject. Surprisingly so. In commodity hell, happy accidents will become more and more important as early warning signals for a potential opportunity.

The science of serendipity
"The science of serendipity, how to unlock the promise of innovation" by Matt Kingston, talks about serendipity as the raw material for innovation.
Read more ›
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Hitchikers Guide to Innovation 26 Nov 2012
Matt is one of the great experts on innovation, and his book reads like a traveller's guide written by an author who has not only been there, but knows the best bars. He's distilled over 20 years of experience into a readable, practical and entertaining tour of what it takes to innovate in business today. Having spent a few years innovating in large companies myself, it's the book I wish someone had given me at the start.

The strength of this book is its practicality. Matt explains how to innovate by drawing on real world examples from companies large and small, and the book is crammed full of case studies and anecdotes, describing what works and what doesn't, and providing tips, ideas, stimulus and inspiration. Given this, the title is actually a bit of a misnomer, since one thing Matt doesn't do is set out a "scientific theory" of innovation, and the book is (intentionally I suspect) light on models and analysis. So if this is a science book at all, it's not one designed for those studying innovation, but for those who are out in the field actively experimenting.

But actually I don't think it's a science book. I think it's a travel guide, and an immensely readable and useful one at that. If you're going on any kind of innovation journey, you should take it with you.
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5.0 out of 5 stars An Innovation Bible for Large Companies 14 April 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book is extremely well-written and thus very easy to read. Having worked for many years in large, blue chip companies
where it can be virtually impossible to introduce change, I found the case studies extremely interesting and useful. I would recommend it to anyone who is keen to embark on an innovation project in a big company, and departments would do well to purchase it as their team bible.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Practical and easy to read 28 Dec 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Nice book, doesn't pad it out with lots of nonsense. Plenty of practical examples and a nice storytelling style. Good examples of dealing with fear and change issues.
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Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I was looking for a practical book to assist with ideas around driving innovation and creating an in-house innovation team within a relatively small organisation. Absolutely loved this book. It's an easy read - and very dip 'in and outable'. I made so many notes throughout - and the book sparked so many ideas. Great pace and energy in the writing, packed with useful case studies and stories - and I really enjoyed the 'If I only had 30 seconds I'd tell you... before each chapter. Very insightful - so many gems. It's one of those books you don't lend to people as it's a keeper and a book I'm sure I'll keep referring back to for a long time.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars Keyboard kindle version is unreadable! Be warned!
I am sure this book is well worth reading but when it downloaded onto my kindle it came up as very pale grey print on white background. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Merry Baskin
5.0 out of 5 stars Keeps its promises
Whether you skim read or dive straight into this book, it give you much more than other 'how to' bibles or ego-driven guru guides... and tells it straight. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Louise Barfield
5.0 out of 5 stars An insightful and practical study of Corporate innovation
In my view this is very, very good. It took me longer than some business books to read, but I think that is actually because there is much to reflect on. Read more
Published 14 months ago by Joe Garner
5.0 out of 5 stars A truly practical guide to making innovation repeatable!
I'm in awe of people and companies that have track record of innovation (not one off innovations but that innovate again and again). Read more
Published 14 months ago by pcjharrison
5.0 out of 5 stars From the Practitioner's Mouth
Matt gets straight to the core of all you need to know about innovation in large organisations.
If we would only do the things Matt described - nothing more, nothing less -... Read more
Published 14 months ago by Marilien Romme
5.0 out of 5 stars An innovative book about innovation
Decades of reading business books has left me jaded with their typical format: a good idea or insight that could easily be explained in a concise article, padded out with analyses,... Read more
Published 15 months ago by V. Grand
5.0 out of 5 stars Treasure Trove for Innovation Pirates!
As an `Innovation Pirate' working in a large Multi national this book resonated completely with me on every level. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Jill Ellul
5.0 out of 5 stars Practical guide filled with in-the-trenches expertise
What I like about this book is that it shows instead of tells. It's filled with anecdotes that really help illustrate innovation in action. Read more
Published 16 months ago by Fred Reagan
5.0 out of 5 stars Refreshingly human and engaging
How come business books don't normally follow the same rules as 'normal books'? A compelling biography or a ripping novel are beautifully written (style) and leaves you feeling... Read more
Published 16 months ago by Matthew C
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