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Innovation You: Four Steps to Becoming New and Improved Hardcover


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Product Details

  • Hardcover
  • ISBN-10: 0345530705
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345530707
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)

More About the Author

Jeff DeGraff's life reads like an innovation playbook. The pages are speckled with failures followed by great successes all because of the mantra adopted at an early age from icon Walt Disney: "Keep moving forward." Jeff knows how to innovate because he has been through the wringer and rolled with the punches, each time adding a new, better, and cleverer play than the last to his dossier. Jeff's creative and direct take on making innovation really happen have made him a world renowned thought leader and have prompted his clients and colleagues to dub him as The Dean of Innovation.

Jeff has advised many of the world's leading corporations, using the Competing Values Framework that he co-created, on how to grow, change and ultimately move forward to see positive results. Jeff's clientele list reads as a 'who's who' of the business world, boasting Eaton, American Airlines, Coca-Cola, Microsoft, General Electric, Prudential and Pfizer, all as happy customers.

Clients call Jeff when they want to achieve a cultural change that leads to sustainable innovation and growth. Time and time again, clients have been enthralled and inspired by Jeff's speaking abilities and unorthodox view of innovation. He commands the room as he combines theory and practice to instill the mindset needed to make innovation truly happen. Jeff's ideas have gained such a following that he created the Innovatrium, an innovation institute in the heart of the University of Michigan's campus.

The Innovatrium is what every great innovator in the past has had: a laboratory for experimenting with new ideas and creating tangible prototypes to prove the concepts. Throw in the fact that you can write or draw on every surface while looking out the large bay windows at one of the most prestigious schools in the world and the inspiration simply becomes organic.

Not to be pigeon-holed; Jeff is also well known as an author whose witty and insightful prose have landed him regular columns with The Huffington Post, Psychology Today and Management Innovation Exchange. His talent for breaking down the steps needed to innovate effectively also prompted him to write a slew of successful books on innovation including Creativity at Work, Leading Innovation, Innovation You: Four Steps to Becoming New and Improved, and The Enlivened Self: The Art of Growing. Other publications that showcase Jeff's innovation principles are Business Week, Fortune, USA Today, Training+Development and the Wall Street Journal. He also has video learning modules with Big Think.

For the past 25 years Jeff has also spent his time as a Clinical Professor of Management and Organization for the University of Michigan's Stephen M. Ross Business school. His energetic personality and practical business experience have made his classes some of the highest rated and hardest to get into at Ross, and he enjoys discussing the changing face of innovation with the next generation.

Taking into account Jeff's extensive experience and mixing it with the creative streak and competitive edge he's known for, it is not hard to see why he is called 'the guru to the innovation gurus' of Fortune 500 Companies.

For more information visit www.JeffDeGraff.com.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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This book is loaded with helpful ideas, tools, methods and examples to help you innovate AND motivate a better you.
Jimmy
At one point De Graff tells us that he originally called his system the "competing values framework", and therein lies the great conundrum of innovation.
Rob Cuesta
Innovation You showcases DeGraff's natural talent for dynamic storytelling with his passion for the book's subject matter.
AdriW

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By kimmpossible on April 24, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I checked this book out from the library for a test spin. I found the guidance and exercises included to be so helpful that I wanted to have it available when dilemmas present themselves to me in the future. I've been trained on many different personality based methodologies, i.e. HBDI, Behavioral Styles, etc. This book nicely compliments them as it offers a way to think outside of your usual box and assists you in finding ways to overcome obstacles and self-inflicted barriers.
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6 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Roger C. Parker on September 7, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Jeff DeGraff's Innovation You is an uncommonly useful book; rather than presenting a "prescription for success" based on a universal process or system, Innovation You teaches you how to innovate.

It encourages you to focus on the process of innovation, rather than blindly following a particular approach to health, wealth, and happiness.

Innovation You teaches you how to identify your underlying behaviors and habits, so you are more sensitive to the "hard wired" approaches to change and threats. It encourages you to recognize your default reactions, and explore different approaches.

I particularly liked the way Innovation You encourages you to explore individuals, situations, and behaviors that you might find uncomfortable: often, "where the sparks fly," is where your great opportunities for change are to be found.

A small point, but--unlike many other change-based books--there are just a handful of characters, (i.e., illustrative stories), yet they reappear throughout the book, illustrating different stages of the "learning how to innovate" process. An excellent value.
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6 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Justin R Adams on August 2, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Professor Jeff DeGraff thinks of himself as a football coach. He wants to help you understand the game of life so you can call the right play at the right time.

As a student in his class at the University of Michigan, I learned how to use the Competing Values Framework to develop innovative solutions to business problems. In Innovation You, Jeff takes those same frameworks and makes them personal. The book really helped me think more holistically and more clearly about my life.

For instance, I now understand why I went to business school. I may not have been aware of it or able to articulate it at the time, but what I was doing was innovating in the "Collaborate" quadrant. Going to business school helped me increase my capabilities and develop a community (read: the Ross School of Business network and the U of M network more generally) that will be an important part of my life from now on.

During grad school I spent a lot of time working in the "Create" quadrant. I did a lot of self-discovery. Through my classes, group projects, and career-related self-assessment exercises, I learned about my strengths and my weaknesses. (It wasn't always pretty or easy, but like most things that don't kill you, it made me stronger.) I also worked on creating a positive vision of the future -- a kind of north star to help me way-find.

Now that I've graduated, I need to focus more on the "Compete" and "Control" quadrants. I need to develop a plan for creating prosperity in my life while maintaining my physical health and mental focus. And I need to develop consistent systems that will enable me to sustain my career success. If I do those things right, I should find the financial security I need.

There are no guarantees. As Jeff says, nothing is certain.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Robert Levit on September 20, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Disregard the 1 star review, I just purchased the audiobook, it's fantastic. It's full of real stories from many different situations. It's accessible. This, by the way, is not a fake review. It makes innovation accessible and enjoyable.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Daniel Stotz on August 17, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have always been intrigued by the subject of innovation and creativity. I have purchased numerous books. Innovation You is the first book that I've read on this subject that immediately inspired me to look at innovation in a totally different way, and also inspired me to order a dozen more. Our organization wants to build a truly innovative culture that wows our customers. After reading Professor DeGraff's excellent book, I now realize that transformational innovation starts with the individual. As Margaret Mead stated so well: "A small group of concerned citizens can change the world, indeed it is the only thing that ever has." My entire staff is now reading Innovation You. We have never been so excited about our future!
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Chris Mueller on August 4, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Practical and engaging, Innovation You has given me a new set of lenses to see myself and the world around me. I find myself using the four color framework all the time. "She's a blue, so what is she going to expect?" "How would a green approach this situation?"

I am in the process of applying the Innovation You framework to my job search post grad school. The Many Shots on Goal principle, in particular, has resonated loudly with me. It had not occurred to me to approach a job search like a venture capitalist would approach a business investment - simultaneously diversifying risk and accelerating the failure cycle. The framework has proven sound and the opportunities that are opening up for me are more exciting than anything I could have found in a traditional job search.
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