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Ten Types of Innovation: The Discipline of Building Breakthroughs Paperback – April 15, 2013

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Editorial Reviews


The most pleasing thing is the fresh way it presents its subject. The artwork is beautiful throughout, the simple infographics and visual information forming an excellent companion to the subject matter. It crowns an effective and engaging approach to the subject. (Elite Business, June 2013)

This book provides fantastic guidance on how to develop an innovation culture within your business; to keep staff thinking of new ways to improve your offering and refine what made you successful in the first place. (Start Your Business, October 2013)

From the Back Cover

Innovate your way to meaningful and sustainable growth

Most scientists agree that we live in one of the greatest times of change in the history of our species. And yet the pace of change is actually increasing...

For many firms, this means innovation isn't optional, it's imperative. Customers demand it. Competitors will outflank you if you don't achieve it. Talented employees won't join your firm if you don't deliver it. Analysts expect it. Investors reward it. And yet most people still believe in primitive myths about innovation: "It's only about new products and new technology"; "It's about rare strokes of inspired genius"; "There's no disciplined, consistent method"; etc. These common assumptions are not true.

Based on over three decades of path-breaking work on innovation effectiveness, Ten Types of Innovation will help you and your teams know what to do when the stakes are high, time is short, and you really need to build a breakthrough. The solution is to look beyond new products to nine other powerful types of innovation, which can be combined for competitive advantage. The book lays out fresh ways to think, and then explains the actions that allow teams or firms to innovate reliably and repeatedly.

Written for entrepreneurs, executives, and innovators on the front line in virtually any industry, anyone who wants to move beyond the folklore and get innovation to really work will find the tradecraft revealed here to be indispensable.

" Ten Types of Innovation is a must-read for any manager seriously interested in building an innovation culture rather than waiting around hoping for the next immaculate conception."
Roger L. Martin, Dean, Rotman School of Management

"This book provides great frameworks to help you rethink the role innovation plays in your business. It will raise the quality of innovation dialogue from a black art to a serious science."
Ralph Jerome, VP of Corporate Innovation, Mars, Inc.

" Ten Types of Innovation will become the indispensable 'how to do it' textbook of disruptive innovation, providing an executable roadmap for transformative change in any industry."
Dr. Nicholas F. LaRusso, Medical Director, Mayo Clinic Center for Innovation

"This book distills three decades of innovation research into an action-oriented framework, offering a comprehensive map to guide creative teams as they venture into challenging new territory."
Dipak C. Jain, Dean, INSEAD

" Ten Types of Innovation provides the insights necessary to get you started on your innovation journey."
Curt Nonomaque, President and CEO, VHA

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 276 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (April 15, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1118504240
  • ISBN-13: 978-1118504246
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 0.8 x 9.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #8,175 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Jackal on May 1, 2013
Format: Paperback
This is a good attempt to provide a classification of innovations. Very few books try to go beyond the distinction between product and process innovation, sometimes also including service innovation. This book lists a full ten ideal types of innovation. Actual innovations typically draw on a couple of the ideal types. This is a nice perspective, which can open the horizon for people engaged in innovation. People with a particular functional background often miss out on other types of innovation.

I would say the focus is the management of innovation so the key audience is business-oriented people; either higher level executives or innovation project managers that are closer to the commercial side. Still you should consider this mainly an innovation book and not a strategy book. Having said this, some of the innovation types are closer to strategy. Those sections of the book has a lot in common with All the Right Moves: A Guide to Crafting Breakthrough Strategy and Profit Patterns: 30 Ways to Anticipate and Profit from Strategic Forces Reshaping Your Business.

The book does not deal with the process of coming up with an innovation (teams, creativity, culture, decentralised organisation, skunk-works, etc.). For more practical tools you have the companion (authors seem affiliated) book 101 Design Methods: A Structured Approach for Driving Innovation in Your Organization, even though that book is not at all a very good book.
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Format: Paperback
Another reviewer has laid out the book's structure. This review builds on that one.

I've been a fan of several innovation books, such as The Innovator's Dilemma: When New Technologies Cause Great Firms to Fail and The Innovator's Solution: Creating and Sustaining Successful Growth, while also respecting earlier pioneers such as Peter Drucker, Innovation and Entrepreneurship. When I got this book my first impression was "too much design" (at first glance it looks like an advanced comic book) but after several passes I now consider this volume perfect -- the authors have put an EXTRAORDINARY amount of thinking into going beyond the ten types of innovation (each discussed in its own chapter) to the nuts and bolts of spotting trends, making innovation happen, and keeping innovation alive (often the hardest).

Certainly this book is superb for students in any sector -- government, private, non-profit, I'd even suggest the declining labor unions and churches study this book. It has universal value and applicability. It is also a book that is easily sufficient to warrant being in a CEO's handful of books worth returning to over and over again. At one level this is a textbook, at another level this book, as it is designed, is perfect for recurring reflection.

The underpinnings of the book are impressive -- over 3,000 cases. The index is usefully divided into Companies, People, and Topics.
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Format: Paperback
With regard to the Edison quotation, I agree while presuming to add, "Execution without discipline is merely activity."

Larry Keeley wrote this book with Ryan Pikkel, Brian Quinn, and Helen Walters. "As the principal author of the text, I am responsible for the basic arguments throughout, and the system of ideas here either succeeds or fails because of me." However, as explains in the Preface, it really is the result of a team effort. Each of his colleagues made significant and unique contributions, as did Bansi Nagii. Although not one of the authors of the book, Nagii "played a role in refreshing and advancing the Ten Types of Innovation." As I read the book, I recognized that it is an excellent example of the collaborative process by which breakthrough innovations are achieved if (HUGE "if") sufficient discipline has been developed by everyone involved.

The material is carefully organized and effectively presented within three categories of innovation types: Configuration, Offering, and Experience. As Keeley explains, more than 2,000 of what were at that time (i.e. in 1998) considered to be innovations were discovered, examined, and evaluated. Each was "the creation of a viable new offering." As he then adds, innovation may involve invention but requires a great deal more (e.g. a deep understanding of customer need), innovations "have to earn their keep" (i.e. return value), very little is in fact new in innovation (rather, the result of an evolving process of improvement), and it is important to "think beyond products" to new ways of doing business, for example, and news ways of engagement with customers.
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