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The Idea Hunter: How to Find the Best Ideas and Make Them Happen Hardcover – 6 May 2011
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"Humans make progress by discovering new ideas, but also, importantly, by repurposing the ones that already exist. Boynton and Fisher show how each of us can get better at this critical skill, identifying and reapplying existing ideas."
Paul Romer, Senior Fellow, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research
Hunting is an apt metaphor. Ideas exist everywhere in the wild. The trick is knowing where to look for them and how to capture them. Boynton and Fischer tell us how.
Ron Sargent, Chairman & CEO, Staples, Inc.
The Idea Hunter is unique. It s about curiosity, agility and perpetually hunting for better ideas. It s a must read for anyone who wants to compete and collaborate more effectively each and every day.
Greg Brown, President & CEO, Motorola Solutions.
This book upends a number of persistent myths about innovation and what it takes to be an idea person. It shows that what s required is not spectacular creativity or remarkable IQ, but curiosity a genuine desire to engage in a daily search for ideas. It will help transform the way you and your business operate.
Jay Hooley, Chairman, President & CEO, State Street Corporation
The Idea Hunter is not only an enjoyable read. It offers a practical method so that anyone or any firm can learn the secrets of harnessing the power of ideas to drive success.
Laura J. Sen, President & CEO, BJ s Wholesale Club
Boynton and Fischer offer powerful and practical advice on how to jump–shift the flow of ideas in your organization. This will become required reading for any leader intent on shaping a high–performance organization.
Michael D. White, Chairman & CEO, DirecTV
Observe, ask questions, be curious, dare to throw odd ideas into a group s conversation to make it better. Be an Idea Hunter!
Ton Büchner, CEO, Sulzer, Ltd
My company aims to add about $4 billion in new sales every year. This won t be possible without everyone in the organization contributing new ideas. The Idea Hunter is an essential guide to systematically developing this critical capability.
Werner Geissler, Vice Chairman, Global Operations, Procter & Gamble
Thrilling, fun, and inspiring, The Idea Hunter tells stories and discerns patterns of behavior and habits shared by the great innovators of the past century. It finds similarities among the greats ranging from Warren Buffet to Steve Jobs, and even going back earlier in the century to Walt Disney and Thomas Edison. Through brief stories and simple self–reflection exercises, this book distills the quirky essence of leading imagination in a way we can consume it, and hopefully aspire to become one with it.
Aaron C. Sylvan, Serial Entrepreneur and Technologist (One Technology, TrustWorks, LemonadeHeroes, Sylvan Social Technology)
We rely on using the ideas of thousands of experts to win against tough competition in a crowded market. Using The Idea Hunter as a trail map, any leader can win the daily wars of ideas that differentiate the innovator from the rest.
Jack Hughes, Chairman and Co–founder, TopCoder, Inc.
Idea hunters are normal people, with a normal life in a common social contest. The only difference is that they have an open mind and are skilled in searching. This brilliant book is an ideal guide to achieve an open mind in our complex world.
Maurizio Marinelli, Visual Artist & President of Baskerville Research Center on Communication, Bologna, Italy
From the Inside Flap
"Breakaway ideas come to those who are in the habit of looking for them."
from the Introduction
Ideas are arguably the most valuable asset in an information–based economy. But how do you find the best ideas the kind that can boost careers, change organizations, and ramp up the value of projects? Why do some people seem to come up with these ideas whenever they need them?
In this myth–busting book, the authors reveal that great business ideas do not spring from innate creativity, or necessarily from the minds of brilliant people. High–value ideas come to those people who are in the habit of looking for such ideas all around them, all the time. These are the Idea Hunters. Such people do not buy into the notion that the only great idea is a pristinely original one. They know better. They understand that game–changing ideas are already out there, waiting to be spotted and then shaped into an innovation.
The authors present an eclectic band of Idea Hunters, ranging from Thomas Edison, Mary Kay Ash, and Walt Disney, to Warren Buffett, Apple′s Phil Schiller, and others including the leaders of Twitter, Pixar Animation Studios, and the Boston Beer Company. These people have certain characteristics embodied in the four I–D–E–A principles (Interested, Diverse, Exercised, and Agile). They also know their gig their personal mission, and why it matters. They don′t let the organization, job, industry, or profession define their Idea Hunt. And they recognize how the world around them connects with their plans and projects.
Step by step, The Idea Hunter unveils a strategy for unearthing new ideas in any industry or organ– ization. It is a must–have resource for anyone who wants to tap into the successful business ideas that are just waiting to be rediscovered.See all Product description
Top customer reviews
A very basic book that will
V ery likely leave you wondering if you will
E ver read one of these management/ self-improvement efforts which
R eally gives you fresh insight.
A gain and again, slim content is
G lossed up to promise much, but in the
E nd the message is simply - you have to keep working at it!
In fairness, this is an easy read, and it might inspire a few people, but I always worry that the success stories given to illustrate the points are a self-fulfilling, what about all the heroic failures, who did all the right things but never made it?
A bit disappointing
The message of 'The Idea Hunter' by Andy Boynton and Bill Fischer is that it didn't take a genius to come up with the idea of a standard-size lid for take-away coffee cups. Wow Einstein, you're telling me that wasn't the work of a genius? No kidding!
Admittedly, 'The Idea Hunter' doesn't get any banal than that, but how could it? It's a formulaic book whose jargonistic language and bland, templated structure makes you want to hate it so much that it's hard to remain objective and recognise any good ideas when they appear. The first 'leverage' (as a verb) is in the preface, 'ongoing' appears on page 1 and we're only on page 5 when the laughable acronym I-D-E-A makes its first appearance, followed a page later by 'super-guru'. If you get to page 28, you'll come across the irony-free use of the term "wow-ize". Throughout, we are in the world of the inspirational management mystic - the kind who gets shown the door in any serious organisation except in America (and even there they went out of fashion a decade ago).
The usual business paragons are here: Warren Buffett, Neutron Jack Welch and Steve Jobs; but the first company to get the sycophancy treatment is Intuit, an organisation whose business methods have drawn some interesting comments on the web.
In some ways, this book lives by the principles it expounds. It insists that the best ideas aren't original but come from using "loose ties", picking up ideas from places that don't have an obvious link with a company's business, and doing a lot of talking and reading. This is sensible advice and I won't disparage it.
In keeping with the authors' philosophy that the best ideas are found rather than created, there doesn't seem to be much primary research here and the quotes from the top executives featured read like they're secondhand. The arguments follow the standard structure of hypothesis-quote-q.e.d., with little explanation of how to use those examples to advantage. Indeed, it seems to revel in its intellectual shallowness, and I can't see how the authors' method is worthy of its own trademark.
There is some useful content in here and there is some practical advice later in the book, but its pompous style and self-importance are off-putting.
Now, I have to admit that this book has been half read for almost 18 months, and I've been dipping in and out of it over that time. It's written in an accessible style, and I like that it business books - any fool can make business turgid, impenetrable and uninteresting, and Messrs Boynton and Fischer, assisted by journalist William Bole, certainly don't do that. The very many examples they give, ranging from Walt Disney to Henry David Thoreau, are illuminating, interesting and possibly, if you're inclined that way, inspiring. In fact, this book is primarily a series of anecdotes to explain their ideas arranged under the broad IDEA acronym headings, and there is very little practical advice as to how you might develop the necessary culture in a business. (There is a short "Ideawork" section at the end of each chapter, but that too has as many new examples as practical suggestions.) That, of course, is what the authors presumably hope you might pay them, or Deloittes, a great deal of money to help you with! This book is definitely not an explanation of what the DeepDive(R) method is or how you go about applying it. (In fact, you find out more about applying this on the Deloitte website.)
So, if you are interested in innovation in business, I think you will enjoy the book. If you're already actively employing techniques to stimulate such innovation, I don't think that you'll find much new here to help you, unless you're simply looking for a bank of examples to spice up presentations.
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Most recent customer reviews
Some of it was interesting, but a lot of it was information already available.Read more
So, why a healthy four stars? The BO is something that's often overlooked by people in the pursuit for complexity and uniformity...Read more
The authors' thesis is that in order to think of new ideas, you need to train yourself to hunt for them.Read more