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The Wide Lens: A New Strategy for Innovation Paperback – 29 Mar 2012

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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Portfolio Penguin (29 Mar. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0670921688
  • ISBN-13: 978-0670921683
  • Product Dimensions: 15.3 x 2 x 23.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 512,308 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"As Ron Adner makes crystal clear, when it comes to proliferating a successful innovation, "it takes a village!" And if you do not think about the needs of your co-innovators, or the chain of adopters that helps it get all the way into the hands of your end users, you are likely to find yourself stranded on the wrong side of a chasm, looking longingly at the customers that could have been yours."

About the Author

Ron Adner is a tenured professor at Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth and former Fellow and professor of Strategic Management at INSEAD. He teaches executive education courses and has advised companies such as Microsoft, PWC, Siemens and Toshiba. He has been published in the Financial Times, Wall Street Journal and Forbes, and is an official blogger for the Huffington Post.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Gives you an interesting reason about why some products or business models fail. Encourages you to think about the wider lens - the bigger picture. I have recommended this book to my work colleagues, as the narrow minded guys always think a product lives in its own isolation.

Another interesting think about this book is that it seems it is replacing the term "stakeholders" with ecosystem. However, challengeable this may be, it is still great to think about the entire ecosystem of any product or service that one wants to launch.

However, the author needs to recheck Nokia's country of origin.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 62 reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Must Read!!! 9 Mar. 2012
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I've started far more business books than I've finished - quite simply, I find them a chore.

Adner's The Wide Lens is the opposite - it is a joy to read. Filled with useful concepts and real world lessons, and written in a clear, compelling manner, Adner makes each chapter interesting by telling the real story of companies that succeeded or failed - and why.

Interesting - it's a FUN read. How often can you say that about a business book?
Clear and concise - Adner excels at transferring knowledge efficiently - little wonder that he is a successful teacher
Useful - Adner's description of the interconnected nature of many of today's innovative products and services, and how to avoid the trap of a narrow focus, are great lessons
Great Stories - From digital movies, to inhalable insulin, to run-flat tires and many more, you will find yourself very knowledgable about business successes and failures covering a wide range of products and services

This is Adner's first book, I wish there were more!

In short: read this book.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
The most useful business book I've ever read 3 Mar. 2012
By John Kaye - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Adner's work is both richly insightful and easy to grasp. The cases are vivid and tools applicable to a wide audience - general managers, product managers, founders, business school students, C-suite executives and everyone in between. I found the three-part structure of the book to be extremely useful and thought it enhanced my level of learning by clearly and systematically building upon the earlier concepts presented - developing a very valuable toolbox of relevant examples and frameworks along the way.

The first section introduces the inherent challenge of innovating within innovation ecosystems (which exist in every industry once you learn how to spot them) and makes explicitly clear the hazard that co-innovation and adoption chain risks pose to even the most well-funded and highly skilled organizations (the Michelin run-flat debacle and Nokia's epic 3G failure are especially illuminating). He proves the point that in today's business environment, listening to customers and flawless execution are not enough - these are necessary but in no way sufficient. In the second section, Adner presents a bold assessment of how, when, and where to compete in order to maximize one's likelihood of success - including a brilliant discussion of how to spot when first-mover advantage is a benefit and when it's a curse via the First-Mover Matrix. In the final section, a clear blueprint is presented to teach managers how to think about ecosystem reconfiguration and steps for shaping ecosystems in order to eliminate a firm's innovation blind spots and prevent avoidable failures.

The singing reviews from other A-list business minds like Jim Collins and Clay Christensen are spot on. This book has changed the way I think - I use at least one of Adner's case examples or frameworks on a daily basis. Buy this book, read it, and then keep it on your desk - it will change the way you think about managing innovation and your business.
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
Game-changing strategic frameworks 3 Mar. 2012
By Ken Fraser - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The strategic frameworks developed in the Wide Lens have changed how I think about the world. I have little doubt that this ecosystem perspective will pervade managerial thinking and business school training for future generations of leaders throughout the world. For now, these ideas offer a distinctive, practical and ground-breaking view on innovation strategy. This work is at the forefront of business thought and Ron Adner is on a climb that will see him join the highest echelon of business strategists, alongside FW Taylor and Michael Porter. This book is a must read for any serious or aspiring executive.
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
The Wide Lens - A Must Read 6 Mar. 2012
By Vijay Govindarajan - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Ron Adner's The Wide Lens is a welcome addition to the important topic of innovation. Everyone agrees that in a fast changing world, innovation is the key. Yet, most companies struggle to innovate. Why? One reason is that they tend to focus on their own innovations but fail to leverage innovations outside the company's four walls. Competition for the future depends upon collaboration among an eco-system. Ron Adner shows how to do it. This is a must read.
16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
An Essential Look at 21st Century Business 3 Mar. 2012
By VTReader - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I was fortunate enough to take Ron Adner's class at Tuck as a student and it was far and away the best class I took. To this day I still apply his teachings on a daily basis working in the startup world.

Adner challenged students to think beyond the standard strategy frameworks and view success or failure with a "wide lens." It was an eye-opening experience. Once you get used to this way of viewing the world, it's impossible not to see innovation ecosystems cropping up everywhere. And it frequently leads to counterintuitive conclusions!

In this book Adner highlights the best of his teachings and punctuates each concept with vivid case studies of Apple, Michelin, Nokia, Pfizer, and more.

As an MBA student I was required to read many, many books on strategy and innovation. I could have saved a lot of time by just reading The Wide Lens and skipping the rest. If only it had been available back then!
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