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Innovation: The Five Disciplines for Creating What Customers Want Hardcover – August 8, 2006

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Crown Business (August 8, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307336697
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307336699
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.2 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #143,293 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

As CEO of SRI International, Carlson has consulted with hundreds of organizations on becoming more effective and profitable. He has distilled that experience into a thorough treatise on the innovation process. The book cites dozens of examples of innovative ideas brought to fruition by innovators from Thomas Edison to Steve Jobs. It outlines, in workbook fashion, the critical decision-making process--the Five Disciplines of Innovation--required to think innovatively along with the quantitative tools that one needs to become an innovator, regardless of one's profession. The authors deliver this in easily digestible outlines of what Carlson believes to be a tried-and-true process of how companies can effectively innovate. Tips for jump-starting the creative process, a brainstorming method based on why office mates chat around a water cooler, and how to create a value proposition along with understanding market and customer needs are all addressed in a readable, easy-to-understand tone. Weaving in stories of companies that have successfully innovated, such as Dell, with those that haven't, such as Polaroid, the authors offer a well-reasoned approach to innovation. Gail Whitcomb
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved


“Innovation—mystery or mastery? For Carlson and Wilmot, the answer is definitely the latter. Following the example of Deming’s approach to quality—another of those magically powerful substances—they lay out a thoughtful, practical methodology for managing innovation projects through to successful outcomes. Sure, in that one percent inspiration there may be the occasional moment of mystery, but for those of us operating in the ninety-nine percent perspiration part of the field, it’s terrific to finally get a great user’s manual.” —Goeffrey Moore, author of Dealing with Darwin: How Great Companies Innovate at Every Phase of Their Evolution

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Customer Reviews

That and it's well written, and a very enjoyable read.
The authors provide a highly disciplined framework (innovation best practices) to engage an entire organization in the value creation process.
AnnMarie Lanzillotto
Creating New Value = NABC - Real Need, Better Approach, Benefit/Cost, Competitive Edge 3.
Daniel Wolf

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

53 of 59 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on October 2, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This practical and accessible book eloquently argues that innovation is much more predictable and achievable when the right process is used to guide those involved in the innovative effort. The authors leave no doubt as to what the process is, or who is involved. It's the 5 Disciplines for Creating What Customers Want. And these disciplines involve everyone in the firm--not just a few guiding superstars. Rather then a long list of new and complex concepts, the 5 Disciplines will probably appear as common sense to most readers. The authors forcefully argue that innovation is what enables the world's inhabitants to choose between living in scarcity or abundance, and that the best guide to innovation in the post-industrial "Exponential Economy" is to focus on Customer Value Creation (CVC). This is a book for practitioners, not theorists, although the latter will find the models offered provide fertile ground for validation and refinement. For the practitioner, the 5 Disciplines unfold in short, easy-to comprehend chapters that invite immediate application to one's current place of employment. Sprinkled liberally in the 300+ pages between the covers are suggestions for immediate application of a principle just presented and short stories that illustrate the authors' practical experience in putting their proposals into action. While SRI is most likely a place very unlike any firm at which you've ever worked, the book's slight bias towards fundamental research and innovation (vs. incremental product enhancement) entices the reader to always think first about what's most important. To, as the authors suggest in the early pages, put your innovative energy into new pain killers, not vitamins. At the end of the day, you want the results of your innovation to alleviate real pain, to not be just a generic undifferentiated "nice-to-have". This book is an excellent guide to anyone, or organization, ready to sign up to this goal.
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Techie Bibliophile on February 28, 2007
Format: Hardcover
It has been often suggested that innovation comes from an isolated Aha! Carlson and Wilmot strongly contend that successful innovations come from a disciplined approach that creates value through new products, processes, services, or even marketing campaigns. One of their messages is to work on ideas that are profitable not just interesting. They suggest quantifying value in order to identify important innovation opportunities. They teach the reader how to create well tuned value propositions, and even those 10-minute elevator pitches. The authors provide examples their Need, Approach, Benefits per costs, Competition thinking process. This is not one of those magical matrices, it is a realistic approach that requires understanding customer and market needs, identifying costs and benefits, as well as, the value to investors and management. I thought this was a great book even before Business Week (18 Dec 2007 p.156) identified it as one of the top 2006 Business Books. "Innovation: The five disciplines for creating what customers want" is an easy to read, useful volume that helps readers to focus on the value of their idea or innovation as compared to alternatives. I would like to use this book in a course to help students to examine their business ideas
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30 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Marty on June 5, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Everybody talks about "innovation" these days, but here's a practical guide to getting it right. Carlson writes in an engaging manner, with real-world examples. It all just seems to make sense when you read it. Any company or organization out there that wants long-term success would do well to follow the five disciplines described in this book.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Lonni Sue Johnson on November 28, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Would you like to have some fresh new tools for growing your business? Then read this book.

Inside the black and silver covers of Innovation, is a Technicolor landscape of anecdotes, ideas, possibilities and specific disciplines for promoting innovation, on a regular basis, from an organized climate of creativity.

Though the ideas in Innovation originate from a research lab environment of scientific inquiry and invention, which has produced may successes in the market place, these ideas are also personally and globally useful in all types of other disciplines, such as music, art, writing and more. In fact, these ideas thrive on the interaction of different disciplines.

Innovation helps creative people not only survive, but flourish, in a time of fast technological change,

Even the first few pages of Innovation changed my point of view, and spurred me on to improve my contribution as a writer and illustrator.

A positive optimistic useful book in these times is a treat. So thank you Curtis Carlson and William Wilmot!

-Lonni Sue Johnson, Lonni Sue Johnson Inc
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Barry Friends on January 23, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Rarely does a business book strike such a delightful balance between content and readability. Carlson and Willmott collaborate to share theory, formula, and proof in "Innovation." While the case studies can at times appear boastful, they provide hard evidence. The concept of a "Value Proposition" is elegantly portrayed...a must read for anybody who has something to sell (in other words, everybody). This book's a jewel.
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105 of 133 people found the following review helpful By ARMAN KIRIM, PhD on September 30, 2006
Format: Hardcover
This is a BAD book on innovation

As a matter of fact it is a bad book in the most general meaning of the word. First of all, it does not deliver what it promises to deliver and thus misleads the buyer. It claims that it is going to provide a `framework' for an innovative organization, but instead turns out to be a most general blah blah on every subject in the area of `management'. Apart from an abundant use of the word `innovation', there is hardly anything related to the core of innovation process in this book.

If you like, let me summarise what they say:

1. The book starts with an expose of the CHANGES in the world economy, globalization etc. The usual stuff you would expect to find in any `wake-up call' book these days. But is there anyone left who is not aware of the big changes going on around us? Do we need another book warning us that business is no longer usual?

2. The book then goes on outlining their `framework' for innovation. This is called the `five disciplines'. Disciplines indeed! And such `novel' ones. Let's look at them, if you like.

3. The first and second disciplines are about `creating customer value based on an important need'. It says that if your innovative idea does not address an unmet customer need and hence create a customer value, it will not be successful! Eureka and Wow. We all needed a thick new book to arrive at this very important finding. The many pages (106 in all) then go on `teaching' us how to write a value proposition (yes, business value proposition). Believe me, it mentions things like elevator speech, how many powerpoint sheets you must use, in how many minutes you must present your idea etc. And, we do not get anything regarding the HOW TO of innovation.
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