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Corporate Creativity: How Innovation & Improvement Actually Happen Paperback – January 1, 1998


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 276 pages
  • Publisher: Berrett-Koehler Publishers; 1 edition (January 1, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1576750493
  • ISBN-13: 978-1576750490
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 0.8 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #568,754 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Alan G. Robinson and Sam Stern, university professors who have served as advisors on creativity to organizations around the world, believe that the proper combination of imagination and originality is what really pumps life into a company. In Corporate Creativity: How Innovation and Improvement Actually Happen, they cite numerous examples of its place in celebrated corporate success stories and suggest various ways that other firms can harness it. Focusing on six elements they see as essential to the process, the authors show how virtually any institution can work to encourage creativity within its ranks. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

I recommend it for pleasure as well as for serious reading. (Philip Crosby )Fire up your company-wide brainpower to hatch ideas and make sure the ideas reach the people who can implement them. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Dr. Alan G. Robinson specializes in lean production, managing continuous improvement, creativity, ideas and innovation, and is the co-author of six books, which have been translated into more than twenty languages. His new book, The Idea-Driven Organization (co-authored with Dean Schroeder) is scheduled to be released on March 31, 2014.

According to the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME), Modern Approaches to Manufacturing Improvement -- his 1991 book with Shigeo Shingo, one of the developers of the Toyota Production System -- "remains a must-read for anyone interested in lean production".

Corporate Creativity (co-authored with Sam Stern) was named "Book of the Year" by the Academy of Human Resource Management, was a finalist in the Financial Times/Booz Allen & Hamilton Global Best Business Book Awards, and has been translated into thirteen foreign languages.

His 2002 book Vos Idées Changent Tout (co-authored with Isaac Getz) has been translated into six languages. In his preface to the German edition of this book, Heinrich von Pierer, President and CEO of Siemens AG, called this "an important book on a topic that is fundamental to every business".

Robinson's book Ideas Are Free (co-authored with Dean Schroeder) was based on a global study of more than 150 organizations in 17 countries. It describes how the best companies go about getting large numbers of ideas from their front-line employees, and the competitive advantages they gain from this. The book was named Reader's Choice by Fast Company magazine and one of the 30 best business books of 2004 by Soundview Executive Books, and was featured on ABC World News and CNN Headline News. A syndicated small business columnist for Scripps-Howard, Paul Tulenko, wrote about Ideas Are Free, "I rate this book 5 1/2 stars, a first in this category. It's that powerful. (Only the Bible and the Constitution receive 6 stars.)".

Robinson has advised more than 200 companies in fifteen countries on how to improve their performance. Some of his more well-known recent clients include: the Federal Reserve Bank, Lucent Technologies, Interbrew, General Electric, IKEA, Mass Mutual, UBS, Alcan, Volkswagen, Standard and Poors, The Washington Post, Danaher, Wyeth, Medtronics, Blue Shield of California, Toyota, Northeast Utilities, Millitech, Bemis, Pyosa (the Mexican chemical company), Fanuc (the Japanese robotics company), Schneider Electric, the Japan Industrial Training Association, Brookhaven National Laboratory, Coor Service Management, Lafayette 148 and the Applied Physics Laboratory.

He has served on the Board of Examiners of the United States' Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award and on the Board of Examiners for the Shingo Prizes for Excellence in Manufacturing.

Dr. Robinson is on the faculty of the Isenberg School of Management at the University of Massachusetts. He received his Ph.D. in applied mathematics from the Whiting School of Engineering at Johns Hopkins University, and a B.A./M.A. in mathematics from the University of Cambridge.

He has also taught at St. Petersburg Technical University in Russia, the Athens Laboratory of Business Administration in Greece (affiliated with INSEAD), the Jagiellonian University in Poland, the University of Porto in Portugal, the Hanoi Business School, and Tianjin University in China.

Customer Reviews

We at getAbstract recommend this book to managers and executives in any industry.
Rolf Dobelli
Ways To Free Your Creative Spirit and Find Your Great Ideas, I am always looking for good books on the topic I am most passionate about.
Tom Williams
This is the true nature of corporate creativity, and it is here that a company's creative potential really lies.
Turgay BUGDACIGIL

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Turgay BUGDACIGIL on September 5, 2001
Format: Audio CD
"Most companies are aware that their creative 'potential' greatly exceeds their creative 'performance.' The problem is that they don't know what to do about it. We believe that this potential cannot be realized until people recognize where it actually lies. Consider this. Most creative acts, as they now occur in companies, are not planned for and come from where they are least expected. It is impossible to predict 'what' they will be, 'who' will be involved in them, and 'when' and 'how' they will happen. This is the true nature of corporate creativity, and it is here that a company's creative potential really lies. For corporate creativity, the real power is in the unexpected" (from the Introduction).
In this context, in describing the corporate creativity, Alan G. Robinson and Sam Stern write that a company is creative when its employees do something new and potentially useful without being directly shown and taught. And they argue that in every unexpected creative act the following six essential elements are key to promoting consistent corporate creativity:
1. 'Alignment' is the degree to which the interests and actions of every employee support the organization's key goals. Strong alignment requires three things: *clarity about what the key goals of the organization are, *commitment to initiatives that promote the key goals, *accountability for actions that affect the key goals.
2. 'Self-initiated activity.' The majority of creative acts in companies are self-initiated, which explains why they are unanticipated by management. To promote it, companies only have to unleash what is already present. The key is an effective system for responding to employee ideas, which must have five characteristics.
Read more ›
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 8, 1999
Format: Paperback
A well written book with lots (maybe even too many) examples of unexpected creativity.
Boils down to 6 areas which you need to boost to increase creativity: corporate alignment, self-initiated activity, unofficial activity, serendipity, diverse stimuli, and within-company communication
The chapter on serendipity is not really convincing.
The book is rather short on practical advice. Provides a list of questions to help you 'start unleashing corporate creativity'. This is where the book is a bit of a let down.
Overall a pleasant read with useful insights.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By steve@trusted.net on June 18, 1999
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Outstanding work by Robinson & Stern! This book wins the Triple Crown. The first crown is for bringing in academic research, the second for real-world experience, the third for practical application.
The numerous backgrounds that reference specific studies and research add credibility and initiate construction on the framework for most of Robinson & Stern's (R&S) points. References to the JMA's work is also noteworthy. These hard numbers give R&S the data to back their points, and gave me the *data* I needed to make my case.
In more traditional "business book" fashion, copious references to real-world business experiences bring the researcher's statistics onto the shop floor, and into the office. The pages devoted to American Airlines are especially good. The work here reflected a consultant's-eye-view, with many high level surveys of situations.
Last, the practical application method is a good start, and is probably the best approach given R&S's audience. I think, if a creativity strategy is to work, there are broader cultural issues that need more attention, and there are interpersonal issues that need to drive training.
I'm new to the topic, with only a smidgen of experience, and a few books under my belt, but five minutes into this book I was saying to myself, "Ah ha, this is what I wanted!".
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Tom Williams on January 14, 2001
Format: Paperback
Corporate Creativity is not an oxymoron. Robinson and Stern have written a good book that explores the key concepts that based on their work differentiate a creative organization from those that are not. The key steps the book expands on are that corporate creativity stems from: 1-Allignment 2-Self initiated activity 3-Unofficial activity 4-Serendipity 5-Deverse Stimuli 6-Within-company communication
While the book does a great job at exploring these concepts and gives excellent examples, what I found lacking was the "how-to" compontent.
As the author of Aha! - 10 Ways To Free Your Creative Spirit and Find Your Great Ideas, I am always looking for good books on the topic I am most passionate about. As far as creativity books, this one takes a unique perspective, the corporate rather than the individual. I applaud their work in this regard. Their examples are well-researched, and from a variety of industries.
If you are looking to dig deep into the field of organizational creativity, this is an excellent addition to your library.
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Format: Paperback
Creativity is critical to a company's long term survival. Without the development of creative thought within the organization, companies will be trapped within the paradigm of their existing business and will not be able to adapt to the needs and changes in the world around them. In Corporate Creativity, Robinson and Stern develop a clear definition of the attributes necessary for successful corporate creativity with strategies to help develop these attributes.
I found the real world stories illustrating the necessity for corporate creativity to make the points clear as the authors discussed the need for corporate alignment, self-initiated activity, unofficial activity, serendipity, diverse stimuli, and within-company communication to be informative and enjoyable. Learning some of the history behind the invention of Nutrasweet, Teflon, and barcodes made the creative process come to life. This book is a must read for anyone who believes that their company is not doing everything possible to develop creative thought within the organization.
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