"Genius is in-born, may it never be still-born."

"Oysters, irritated by grains of sand, give birth to pearls. Brains, irritated by curiosity, give birth to ideas."

"Brainpower is the bridge to the future; it is what transports you from wishful thinking to willful doing."

"Unless you keep learning & growing, the status quo has no status."

Friday, January 30, 2009


[Extracted from the 'Optimum Performance Technologies' weblog.]

Ever since reading 'Winning the Innovation Game' & also listening to the audio compilation, 'Innovative Secrets of Success', at the tail end of the eighties or so, I have always been impressed by the work of innovation strategist Robert Tucker.

In fact, I even had a brief fax correspondence with the author during the early nineties, during which he had generously offered me some additional valuable information.

I had also read his subsequent book, 'Managing the Future: 10 Driving Forces of Change', & its audio version, 'How to Profit from Today's Rapid Changes', as well as many of his other interesting articles in magazines, newsletters or on the web since then.

For me, after a perusal, 'Driving Growth through Innovation' seems more like an intellectual expansion of his earlier work, 'Winning the Innovation Game', with substantial refinement of the stuff he has spent the last twenty years in studying, researching & consulting.

From my personal perspective, 'Winning the Innovation Game' was a broad-brush of his findings from some 50 innovative companies during the early years.

In contrast, 'Driving Growth through Innovation' is a more in-depth analysis of the success factors of what he has designated as the 23 Innovation Vanguard companies. BMW is one of them.

What I like about the book so fondly is his artful blending & skillful machinations on how to master innovation as a "disciplined, systematic & repeatable process" in an organisation.

I certainly like his expressed belief in the Introduction, that "you'll grow as an individual in the process of mastering innovation".

That's to say, what applies in an organisational setting also works well in the personal setting, as far as the pursuit of innovation is concerned.

The author writes very eloquently & succinctly. The book is spiced with provoking questions & relevant strategy checklists.

In fact, I dare to say that very, very few innovation authors have adopted his innovative presentation style.

There are only 10 chapters, but he followed up - & peppered - each chapter of the book with "magical numbers", as follows:

Chapter 1: What It takes to Drive Growth:
5 essential practices that undergird business growth;

Chapter 2: Leading Innovation:
3 types of innovation; assessing your firm's Innovation Adeptness against 10 criteria;
6 most important leadership functions in building an all-enterprise innovation capability;

Chapter 3: Cultivating the Culture:
11 strategies designed to guide you in improving your firm's culture for greater innovation effectiveness;

Chapter 4: Fortifying the Idea Factory:
7 distinct methods of idea management,
plus 7 suggestions to guide you in designing & implementing a system;

plus 10 guidelines to keep in mind as you consider how best to empower the process;

Chapter 5: Mining the Future:
6 strategies innovation-adept firms are using to analyse trends;
3 critical components to developing your own future scan system;

Chapter 6: Filling the Idea Funnel:
6 strategies to ensure a steady stream of good ideas;

Chapter 7: Producing Powerful Products:
6 strategies to master the art of deriving business value from innovation;

Chapter 8: Generating Growth Strategies:
6 places to jump start your search for imaginative new business models for your firm;

[I like what he wrote: "Strategy innovation is, first & foremost, an act of imagination - the ability to see how something could work better from the customer's standpoint, in a way that in turn profits the sponsoring firm".]

Chapter 9: Selling New Ideas:
7 strategies for selling new ideas;

[Another good point from the author: "Innovation has always been about selling ideas".]

Chapter 10: Taking Action in Your Firm:
7 areas to look at prior to preparing an Innovation Initiative;

How do you like that? For me, that really makes perusal - & digestion - a breeze as you can zero into the brass tacks very quickly.

The author has focused primarily on what actually works, not fancy theories. Just pure insights from the battlefield trenches of 21st century innovators!

In spite of his two-decades' experience working with companies to improve innovation, the author has rightly & humbly admitted that he "rode on the shoulders of giants" in writing the book.

In this respect, I reckon that the author has fashioned his thinking as well as rethinking about strategy innovation from the work of Peter Drucker, who was the first among all the gurus out there to assert that "innovation is a disciplined, systematic & repeatable process".

To end this post, I would recommend reading Peter Drucker's 'Innovation & Entrepreneurship' as well as Michel Robert's 'Innovation Formula' as thought companions. They will certainly be worth your while.

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