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Novel framework for innovation strategy,
This review is from: Dealing with Darwin: How Great Companies Innovate at Every Phase of Their Evolution (Paperback)
Geoffrey Moore has once again managed to write an insightful and convincing book with many original ideas. Similarly as in his earlier books, he builds from the product life-cycle model and in this book the focus is on managing innovations across the life-cycle. The book creates a taxonomy of 14 different types of innovations in different stages of product evolution as well as provides practical advice on how to select appropriate innovations and then execute them efficiently.
The book is based on three simple ideas explained in the first part of the book. Firstly, innovation is not automatically valuable - you need to focus innovation activity to create the differentiation needed for competitive advantage. Secondly, innovation does not become less important as products matures, rather the nature of innovation changes. Finally, there are two main company architectures - complex systems and volume operations - which require distinctly different way to create innovations in organisations.
The remainder of the book focuses on two issues: (1) how to innovate, and (2) how to manage inertia. Different types of innovations are valid depending on how mature your product category is. The ideas here are partly the same as in Moore's earlier books such as Crossing the Chasm and Living on the Fault Line. The second issue on how to mange inertia provides more new ideas - at least for me - on how companies can think about their internal resource allocation and innovation management.
I liked this book very much for several reasons. Compared to earlier books of Geoffrey Moore, Dealing with Darwin provides a relatively holistic view as the framework is suitable to companies with different structures, industries, and product maturity. Moore is not overstating his case by claiming omnipotence of the framework - a typical sin for business books. He e.g. acknowledges that there are other valid ways to look at innovations and there some difficulties in applying the framework such as identifying product maturities. The book is eloquently written, even basic ideas are explained in insightful ways, and there are a lot of examples, especially the case example of Cisco that goes throughout the book. Most importantly of all, the book is very convincing and thought-provoking. Recommended reading for managers.