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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Vision without execution is hallucination." Thomas Edison, 7 May 2013
This review is from: Ten Types of Innovation: The Discipline of Building Breakthroughs (Paperback)
With regard to the Edison quotation, I agree while presuming to add, "Execution without discipline is merely activity."

Larry Keeley wrote this book with Ryan Pikkel, Brian Quinn, and Helen Walters. "As the principal author of the text, I am responsible for the basic arguments throughout, and the system of ideas here either succeeds or fails because of me." However, as explains in the Preface, it really is the result of a team effort. Each of his colleagues made significant and unique contributions, as did Bansi Nagii. Although not one of the authors of the book, Nagii "played a role in refreshing and advancing the Ten Types of Innovation." As I read the book, I recognized that it is an excellent example of the collaborative process by which breakthrough innovations are achieved if (HUGE "if") sufficient discipline has been developed by everyone involved.

The material is carefully organized and effectively presented within three categories of innovation types: Configuration, Offering, and Experience. As Keeley explains, more than 2,000 of what were at that time (i.e. in 1998) considered to be innovations were discovered, examined, and evaluated. Each was "the creation of a viable new offering." As he then adds, innovation may involve invention but requires a great deal more (e.g. a deep understanding of customer need), innovations "have to earn their keep" (i.e. return value), very little is in fact new in innovation (rather, the result of an evolving process of improvement), and it is important to "think beyond products" to new ways of doing business, for example, and news ways of engagement with customers. Keeley and his colleagues are convinced that all great innovations, throughout history, comprise some combination of ten basic types that are, as indicated, organized within the three categories. "This is our Periodic Table." Part Two examines each of the ten in detail.

These are among the dozens of passages that caught my eye, also lusted to suggest the scope of coverage in the book:

o Rethink Innovation: Eradicate Lore, Substitute Logic (Pages 2-3)
o How to Organize and Align Your Talent and Assets (26-29)
o Product Performance: How to Develop Distinguishing Features and Functionality (34-37)
o Customer Engagement: How to Foster Compelling Interactions (54-57)
o McDonald's Invents a Convenient Food System (74-75)
o Lexus Invents a New Luxury Car Experience (76-77)
o Strength in Numbers: Innovations Using a Combination of Types Generate Better Returns (78-79)
o Mind the Gap: Uncover Your Blind Spots (100-103)
o Challenge Convention: See Where Your Competitors Are Focusing -- And Then Make Different Choices (104-111)
o Pattern Recognition: See How Industries and Markets Shift -- And Learn from Those Who Saw the Signs and Acted on Them (118-125)
o Declare Intent: By Being Clear Where and How You will Innovate, You Massively Increase Your Odds for Success (130-135)
o Innovation Play: Collaborative Creation, and Competency-Driven Platform (168-171)
o Innovation Play: Connected Community, and, Values-Based (178-181)
o Fostering Innovation: Installing Effective Innovation Inside Your Organization (188-195)
o Defining Characteristics of Innovation Leadership (197-199)

I agree with Keeley and his colleagues that "innovation is a team sport. In fact, an organization that depends on individual innovators alone is destined to fail. Understanding how you can wire innovation into your organization -- and build a robust internal innovation capability -- is an imperative for any firm doing business in today's world."

Those who read this book will especially appreciate the provision of "stories" (mini-profiles) of dozens of organizations, including five for each of the ten categories plus 21 others that illustrate (to varying degree) innovation initiatives whose primary focus is one of these three: on the innermost workings of an enterprise and its business system; on an enterprise's core product or service, or a collection of products and services; or, on more customer-facing elements of an enterprise and its business system. In Part Seven, Keeley and his colleagues suggest how to put the various practices into practice and thereby "go beyond the book to create [their reader's] own innovation revolution."

The best business books tend to be research-driven and that is certainly true of this one. Authors of the best of the best business books make brilliant use of their research when sharing information, insights, and wisdom with their reader. I know of no other that does that better than does this one. To Larry Keeley, Ryan Pikkel, Brian Quinn, and Helen Walters, I now offer a hearty "Bravo!"
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