While many managers still view creativity and originality in the workplace with suspicion and apprehension, some of today's top corporations are parlaying these same traits into notable long-term success. In Innovation: Breakthrough Thinking at 3M, DuPont, GE, Pfizer, and Rubbermaid,
business scholars Rosabeth Moss Kanter, John Kao, and Fred Wiersema examine the way five visionary firms and dozens of other companies have flattened hierarchies, opened communication, encouraged inventive thinking, and ultimately improved their operations.
Case studies by executives of 3M, DuPont, GE, Pfizer, and Rubbermaid show their company's commitment to innovation and present lessons learned by these well-known companies that have turned themselves into integrated innovation machines. Considering innovation a key element in their long-term success, the companies have made it part of their culture. As an introduction, the editors offer enlightenment on innovation, including the fact that size is not the test of being innovative, that innovation is messy, and that innovation happens at the margins and companies must search for and protect innovators from criticism by the "system." The editors tell us that arrogance is the major enemy of innovation and that although the most interesting ideas come through the interaction of different points of view, teams and their structure can inhibit creativity. The insight gained from the experiences and achievements of these companies can help the reader think more clearly about the elusive concept of innovation. Mary Whaley