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Welcome to an enjoyable, easy read - which is not to dismiss Tom Kelley's fine ideas. With the aid of Jonathan Littman, Kelley works throughout this book to show how innovation can be much more painless than most people think, and more fun. Kelley makes thinking collaboratively sound like a blast. In the process, he convinces you that your organization should nurture and cherish playing with ideas. Although he admits that his consulting company, IDEO, found itself grinding along on tedious projects at times, and that he has watched people shoot down perfectly good suggestions, his underlying message is one of open possibility. He presents 10 roles you can play during meetings, any one of which would be enough to add considerable value. By showing that these roles are temporary, he sends the message that if you want to stay competitive, you can change, and even must. As he examines everything from product names to rules governing how workers decorate their cubicles, Kelley demonstrates the many opportunities you have to create something new. The cost is often little or nothing; sometimes innovation simply means getting out of your employees' way. We recommend this book to managers who wish to break old patterns and encourage creative thought companywide.
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VINE VOICEon 23 April 2006
This book is a wonderful insight into the practices of one of the world leading innovators.

At around 265 readable pages, The Ten Faces of Innovation's author Tom Kelley takes a look at the ten different persona's which one might adopt whilst innovating. Innovation can happen anywhere but the book's primary viewpoint is to convey it through the eyes of Business (Tom Kelley has an MBA) and Design (IDEO are, of course, a design consultancy).

The Ten Faces of Innovation, as stated on the cover, are: The Anthropologist, The Experimenter, The Cross-Pollinator, The Hurdler, The Collaborator, The Director, The Experience Architect, The Set Designer, The Storyteller and the Caregiver. Along with an introduction and conclusion, the book warrents just over an hour's worth of reading per chapter.

Each chapter seems to contain three similar things.

1. At least one (usually more) example within the company of an individual or a team adopting the role or persona.

2. At least one (usually more) example of a source outside of IDEO who has adopted the persona, using examples such as Amazon, Levis, Japan Airlines, Brazil, Apple, BMW, etc.

3. Each section also contains clear bullet pointed sections for returning to later on, and acts as a great quick and clear reminder.

Intertwined is a little history about IDEO, a few examples of innovation throughout history and famous inventors. There are also local elements to the book, bringing in some of the authors personal feelings, thoughts, observations and experiences.

Although this is the second title from Tom Kelley (the first being 'The Art of Innovation'), and a few of the experiences and thoughts have been brought forward and expanded upon, this is by no means a sequel. The books can be read as two seperate entities. There is no previous reading needed in any subject.

Altogether a brilliant read, containing heaps of useful insights, and a whole new way to adopt roles within the working environment. Easy to pick up and involving once in the read, this is definately a good read for anyone interested in tried and tested innovation.
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TOP 100 REVIEWERon 20 October 2005
With Jonathan Littman, Kelley provides in this volume a wealth of information and counsel which can help any decision-maker to "drive creativity" through her or his organization but only if initiatives are (a) a collaboration which receives the support and encouragement of senior management (especially of the CEO) and (b) sufficient time is allowed for those initiatives to have a measurable impact. There is a distressing tendency throughout most organizations to rip out "seedlings" to see how well they are "growing." Six Sigma programs offer a compelling example. Most are abandoned within a month or two. Why? Unrealistic expectations, cultural barriers (what Jim O'Toole characterizes as "the ideology of comfort and the tyranny of custom"), internal politics, and especially impatience are among the usual suspects. That said, I agree with countless others (notably Amabile, Christensen, Claxton, de Bono, Drucker, Kelley, Kim and Mauborgne, Michalko, Ray, and von Oech) that innovation is now the single most decisive competitive advantage. How to establish and then sustain that advantage?
In an earlier work, The Art of Innovation: Lessons in Creativity from IDEO, America's Leading Design Firm, Kelley shares IDEO's five-step methodology: Understand the market, the client, the technology, and the perceived constraints on the given problem; observe real people in real-life situations; literally visualize new-to-the-world concepts AND the customers who will use them; evaluate and refine the prototypes in a series of quick iterations; and finally, implement the new concept for commercialization. With regard to the last "step", as Bennis explains in Organizing Genius, Apple executives immediately recognized the commercial opportunities for PARC's technology. Larry Tesler (who later left PARC for Apple) noted that Jobs and colleagues (especially Wozniak) "wanted to get it out to the world." But first, obviously, the challenge was to create that "it" which they then did.
In this volume, as Kelley explains, his book is "about innovation with a human face. [Actually, at least ten...hence its title.] It's about the individuals and teams that fuel innovation inside great organizations. Because all great movements are human-powered." He goes on to suggest that all good working definitions of innovation pair ideas with action, "the spark with fire. Innovators don't just have their heads in the clouds. They also have their feet on the ground." Kelley cites and then examines several exemplary ("great") organizations which include Google, W.L. Gore & Associates, the Gillette Company, and German retailer Tchibo. I especially appreciate the fact that Kelley focuses on the almost unlimited potential for creativity of individuals and the roles which they can play, "the hats they can put on, the personas they can adopt...[albeit] unsung heroes who work on the front lines of entrepreneurship in action, the countless people and teams who make innovation happen day in and day out."
Because individuals and organizations constantly need to gather new sources of information in order to expand their knowledge and thereby grow, Kelley recommends three "Learning Personas": The Anthropologist, The Experimenter, and The Cross Pollinator.
Because organizations need individuals who are savvy about the counterintuitive process of how to move ideas forward, Kelley recommends three "Organizing Personas": The Hurdler, The Collaborator, and The Director.
Because organizations also need individuals and teams who apply insights from the learning roles and channel the empowerment from the organizing roles to make innovation happen, Kelley recommends four "Building personas": The Experience Architect, The Set Designer, The Caregiver, and The Storyteller. Note both the sequence, interrelatedness and, indeed, the interdependence of these ten "personas."
I am reminded of comparable material in A Kick in the Seat of the Pants. Specifically, Roger von Oech's discussion of what he calls "The Four Roles of the Creative Process" (i.e. Explorer, Artist, Judge, and Warrior). Also Six Thinking Hats in which Edward de Bono explains the need for a creativity "wardrobe" comprised of several hats. Specifically, white (rational, logical, and objective), red (emotional), black (negative), yellow (positive, hopeful, optimistic), green (creative and innovative), and blue (ordered, controlled, structured).
What Kelley achieves in this volume is to develop in much greater depth than do von Oech and de Bono what are essentially ten different perspectives. He does so, brilliantly, by focussing the bulk of his attention of those who, for example, seek and explore new opportunities to reveal breakthrough insights...and while doing so wear (at least metaphorically) one of de Bono's hats (probably the green one). Kelley devotes a separate chapter to each of the ten "personas," including real-world examples of various "unsung heroes who work on the front lines of entrepreneurship in action, the countless people and teams who make innovation happen day in and day out."
Two final points. First, most of those who read this book can more easily identify with "unsung heroes" such as those whom Kelley discusses than with luminaries of innovation such as Thomas Edison or with celebrity CEOs such as Andrew Grove, Jeffrey Immelt, Steve Jobs, and Jack Welch, all of whom were staunch advocates of constant innovation in their respective organizations. Also, presumably Kelley agrees with me that those who read and then (hopefully) re-read his book should do so guided by a process which begins with the curiosity of an anthropologist and concludes with the empathy of a caregiver. This is emphatically not an anthology of innovation recipes. Rather, it offers an intellectual journey whose ultimate value will be determined, entirely, by the nature and extent of innovative thinking which each reader achieves...and then uses the breakthrough insights to drive creativity throughout her or his own organization.
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on 12 December 2009
The idea in the book is a nice one, saying that different skills are needed in a team, if one aims for innovation. Plus, the company's attitude and culture needs to embrace a positive view towards being creative, experimenting, supporting new ideas.
However, the book is written in a repetitive tone of "this is the idea; we at IDEO have known it all this time already; and here are some examples on how companies applied this idea, mostly with IDEO's help".
It is a pity such an interesting topic, with much potential to make the reader be inspired and start thinking about ways to implement the book's topics is disguised in too long, repetitive text.
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on 5 March 2012
The author draws one's attention to taking note of seemingly everyday things on the one hand and sheer determination to succeed on the other. Some examples appeared almost flat. On the whole the book is worth reading.
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on 2 August 2014
If you're responsible for team management, or the management of highly charged creative people, this is a must for you. It's full of practical examples of eminent good sense and is a fountain of wit and wisdom when you're trying to marshall your forces, or balance your team's strengths and behaviours. As a team leader, I find it indispensable. It's about simple things persistently done well and reading the signs that can make things work better, or succeed with more certainty and more clarity.
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on 26 June 2014
Although I like the book, there's some printing aspects that make it terrible. Could you have a smaller font? Why do you have massive blocks of highlights in the text "a la newspaper". Is this for people skimming the book? Doesn't make sense.
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on 6 May 2013
This book is essential for anyone who wants to do more than just the minimum. This offers a very valuable window into the workings of one of the most creative companies in the world.
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on 18 May 2014
This book is really well written and is divided into really manageable and easy to remember chapters (or faces!). Good quality writing from a very innovative team of people.
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on 21 February 2014
It is a useful book for beginner innovators, explains all critic personas in detail. Highly recommended who wants to learn more thing about innovation
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