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Beyond the Idea: How to Execute Innovation in Any Organization Hardcover – September 24, 2013

4.1 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

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Frequently Bought Together

  • Beyond the Idea: How to Execute Innovation in Any Organization
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Editorial Reviews


“This book is a defining work on how we invest in and engage in the future.” ―William Green, Executive Chairman, Accenture, on Reverse Innovation

“Unique and important work, hard-hitting examples, detailed and actionable steps, and clear explanations.” ―Omar Ishrak, Chairman and CEO, Medtronic, Inc., on Reverse Innovation

“The global community is now so networked that innovation can come from just about anywhere and make an impact everywhere.” ―John T. Chambers, Chairman and CEO, Cisco Systems, on Reverse Innovation

“This elegant story, rich in insight into what it takes to make innovation happen, has already had tremendous impact in GE executive development programs and on key innovation projects.” ―Stephen Liguori, Executive Director, Global Innovation and New Models, General Electric, on How Stella Saved the Farm

“Govindarajan and Trimble have managed to do the unthinkable -- develop a case study that is both seriously thought-provoking and truly entertaining.” ―Dolph Johnson, Senior Vice President, Human Resources, Hasbro, on How Stella Saved the Farm

“We have found How Stella Saved the Farm to be a very useful tool for raising the key challenges in organizing and executing innovation initiatives.” ―James Euchner, VP, Global Innovation at The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company

“Deere has already held innovation workshops based on Stella, with very positive results. This is a powerful, practical tool for learning and executive development.” ―Mary Jones, Vice President Global Human Resources, Deere & Company, on How Stella Saved the Farm

“At first glance, I was skeptical. By the end, I was blown away. In a quick, fun read I found brilliant simplicity, capturing best practices for enabling and managing innovation. I continue to recommend Stella to executives seeking to turn new ideas into material business outcomes.” ―Roy Rosin, former Vice President of Innovation, Intuit, on How Stella Saved the Farm

About the Author

VIJAY GOVINDARAJAN (VG) is the Earl C. Daum 1924 Professor of International Business at Tuck at Dartmouth. In the latest global ranking of management thinkers, VG came in third place. He lives in New Hampshire.

CHRIS TRIMBLE, also on the faculty at Tuck, has been an advisor for dozens of top corporations. With Govindarajan he co-authored The New York Times bestseller Reverse Innovation (2012) and How Stella Saved the Farm (2013). He lives in Vermont.


Product Details

  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press (September 24, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1250040175
  • ISBN-13: 978-1250040176
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #606,806 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Two books in a row read that are thin on substance and yet get glowing accolades from the business guru network. This book may have some gems - key ideas, but it was presented to the readers as if they are complete idiots or kindergartners. Lets look at Box A children and then box B. The authors state this is just a set of notes and not a full-length tome - directing readers to their more substantial volumes. Ok I get that but why not re-publish the keys in one essential volume with some actual substance? No references are given to other works. Clay Christensen's Innovators Dilemma series covers the substance behind this is a more compelling and professional way and Beyond the Idea might be a little guide to go along with more serious coverage of the topic by Christensen and co-authors. But its not, in and of itself, a masterpiece by any means.The talking down to you tone in this current book leaves me to thinking that the reason businesses are failing or not getting the messages is because we are all idiots not capable of self-thought or not reading the right authors. The last few pages do cover some interesting points and the whole book could have been covered as a paper in a respectable business journal rather than in nearly 200 pages of a lot of redundant and repetitive text. It is disappointing to see such a book from such self promoting "guru's. But it shows the good ol' boy network of experts flourishing and touting each others wares to keep the club alive and well. Again, get this one at the library - heck you can read there in about half an hour! Pages 141-150 covers it all - at least I dog-eared these few pages. Adding 153-169 and you get the summary that the corporations who run these business book summary services will likely use.
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Format: Hardcover
According to Vijay Govindarajan and Chris Trimble, "The most important message in Beyond the Idea is very simple: innovation execution is its own unique discipline. It requires time, energy, and distinct thinking. Unfortunately, few companies treat it as such. In fact, few companies give it much thought at all."

Years ago, Oliver Wendell Holmes observed," I would not give a fig for simplicity on this side of complexity but I would give my life for simplicity on the [begin italics] other [end italics] side of complexity." More recently, Albert Einstein suggested, "Make everything as simple as possible but no simpler."

The methodology that Govindarajan and Trimble propose has twelve fundamental principles (Pages 153-156). Here are the first three:

1. Companies must shift time and energy from [begin italics] this side [end italics] to the [begin italics] other side [end italics] of innovation.

2. Organizations are not built for innovation, they are built for ongoing operations...and there are fundamental incompatibilities between the two. [Please see Pages 6-9.]

3. There are three powerful models for overcoming these incompatibilities and allowing innovation and ongoing operations to simultaneously to thrive. All three models can coexist in a single company, but it is crucial to match each initiative to the proper model.

a. Model S, for Small initiatives, attempts to squeeze innovation into slivers of slack time. It can deliver a very large number of very small initiatives.

b. Model R, for Repeatable initiatives, attempts to make innovation as repeatable and predictable as possible. It can deliver an ongoing series of similar initiatives, regardless of their size.

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Format: Kindle Edition
Where is the Idea?

Let me begin this book review with a confession. When I received my copy of the book a few weeks ago, I began reading it in all earnest. I wanted to be an early bird in sending in my review. The slimness of the book (170 pages) was an added attraction. However, as it often happens, the book along with other ‘must reads’ got parked in the corner shelf, to be ‘dealt with’ later.

Yesterday, when I began reading it again I asked myself, “Alok, given the very powerful title of this book, what do you remember of the first 22 pages that you had read?”

My mind seized; my brain cells overheated and my memory began to play tricks on me. Alas, the answer was ‘nothing’ – a ‘404’ in web entrepreneurs’ jargon. Something was not quite right.

‘Beyond the Idea’ is uninspiring, insipid and quite frustrating. If you have read Haruki Murakami, this book mimics his signature style of ‘keeping you waiting’. Alas, in ‘Beyond the Idea’, nothing happens after the wait.

As an entrepreneur, the concept of Going Beyond Ideas is very close to my heart. Most digital entrepreneurs have zillions of ideas but hardly do anything beyond fantasizing about the implementation. Hence when this book came along, my heart leapt - I thought I would find the secret of making things happen, inside.

The authors Vijay Govindarajan & Chris Trimble (both professors at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth) apply an extremely academic and boring method in attempting to solve what is one of the greatest challenges of modern day entrepreneurs and companies.

The book very early states that “Beyond the Idea is about project management…”

Huh? Ideas become projects only if they are truly worth pursuing.
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