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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great insight for business and life, January 17, 2012
By 
Amy Alexander "Zydepoet" (Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Innovative Team: Unleashing Creative Potential for Breakthrough Results (Hardcover)
I really enjoyed the way that Grivas and Puccio break down the creative process so that it becomes evident that creativity is not reserved for those typical "creative" types. In fact, a truly innovative powerhouse like Apple thrives when sleuths, hole pokers, and go-go deal closers get involved. It's not just the brainstorming whizzes who bring success to an innovative effort. If your company is stocked with so-called creative types, you will want to read this book. If you feel like there is no way your straight-shooting widget building company can find a new way of doing things and wow the marketplace, then read this book to see what you can do with your collective brain.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars May the Best Team Win, February 15, 2012
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This review is from: The Innovative Team: Unleashing Creative Potential for Breakthrough Results (Hardcover)
Whether you are just starting out in business or a seasoned pro, the scenario, personalities, and prose format make this book accessible and engaging for a wide range of readers. The tools and processes towards the back make it a handy reference for anyone engaged in teamwork focused on innovation.

I've made a career with creative teams large and small, and was delighted to find useful insights and reminders that will improve performance for me and my teams. There's a Myers-Briggs like approach towards individual preferences for various aspects of the creative process that provided an AHA moment for me.

If you're looking for ideas and a framework for moving your business or team forward in innovative ways, this is the book for you.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How and why an innovative team can leverage its organization's creative resources to achieve and sustain breakthrough results, June 20, 2012
This review is from: The Innovative Team: Unleashing Creative Potential for Breakthrough Results (Hardcover)
By nature, an innovative team is one comprised of members who rely on innovative thinking to improve a concept, methodology, system, process, or product. Those who comprise a team know more and can do more than any of its members can. In Tom Davenport's latest book, Judgment Calls, he and co-author Brooke Manville offer "an antidote for the Great Man theory of decision making and organizational performance": [begin italics] organizational judgment [end italics]. That is, "the collective capacity to make good calls and wise moves when the need for them exceeds the scope of any single leader's direct control."

Please keep the reference to "organizational judgment" in mind when considering these comments by Chris Grivas and Gerard Puccio in the Foreword to their book: "we have discovered that most people report having higher levels of energy for some areas of creative process over others. We refer to these four creative creative-thinking preference types as Clarifiers, Ideators, Developers, and Implementers. Each way of thinking is fundamental to the creative process; that is, you need all four to generate breakthroughs, but our research and applied work has highlighted the fact that people will vary in regard to how comfortable they are thinking and behaving as Clarifiers, Ideators, Developers, and Implementers."

However different members of an innovator team may be in many respects, Grivas and Puccio urge them to consider a theory, developed into a methodology, called FourSight that has been severely tested and rigorously refined over a period of several decades in real-world organizations whose leaders were determined to "un leash creative potential for breakthrough results." They organize their material within two Parts: a business fable that involves fictional executives in a fictional company that faces very real challenges and crises (viewed both as perils and as opportunities). Although Grivas and Puccio have by no means written a potboiler, a page-turner, they make skillful use of the narrative components (setting, cast of characters, dialogue, plot developments, etc.). The details of the fable are best revealed in context, in the book.

These are several of the themes, subjects, and issues that Grivas and Puccio cover in Part 2, "Exploring the Four Creative Thinking Styles" (Chapters 17-23).

o Clarifying the organization's current resources, strengths and weaknesses, opportunities, etc.
o Prioritizing problems initiatives
o Determining what must be done to use innovative thinking and initiatives to achieve strategic objectives
o Generating ideas of sufficient quality and in sufficient number
o Developing solutions to root causes rather than responding to symptoms of problems
o Implementing "game plan" with on-going measurement, evaluation, and modification as-needed
o Increasing what works, correcting/eliminating what doesn't, and "getting the word out" on lessons learned

Then Grivas and Puccio explain how to create and then sustain conditions for success (i.e. breakthrough results) in the final chapter, observing (and I agree), "CEOs and managers `prize `team players' because they know that in today's collaborative world economy an organization's success, and even survival, hangs on the ability to tap team potential" so that team members tap their organization's potential. "By becoming more consciously and deliberatively creative, we can enjoy our days with more satisfaction, enable others to do the same, and together produce results that no one has yet dreamed of"

After I read this book and then again as I re-read it prior to composing this brief commentary, I was reminded of a passage in Paul Schoemaker's latest book, Brilliant Mistakes: "The key question companies need to address is not `[begin italics] Should [end italics] we make mistakes?' but rather `[begin italics] Which [end italics] mistakes should we make in order to test our deeply held assumptions?'"

If an innovative team is not making enough mistakes that test its members' and its organization's "deeply held assumptions," it will never unleash creative potential for breakthrough results. Never.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Innovative is Invigorating for Business as well as Education, February 21, 2012
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This review is from: The Innovative Team: Unleashing Creative Potential for Breakthrough Results (Hardcover)
This book was an eye-opener for myself as well as my Team, a alternative HS in Brooklyn. It is written in an extremely accessible way and is a game changer in terms of thinking about designing your team in work and all areas of life.
I loved it so much that I showed it to my Principal, who was always looking for new angles on innovative approaches to education. She invited Mr. Grivas to speak to all of our team and he delivered a riveting presentation which allowed us to identify our roles on the team and re-think how we can react to each other in a proactive way. She also bought copies for the whole staff who read it voraciously over the vacation and came back renewed and enjoyed applying business principles to our work. We were also able to apply these lessons to our students and help these understandings to our pedagogy.
I highly recommend the book and the author for speaking purposes
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars awakening!, February 15, 2012
This review is from: The Innovative Team: Unleashing Creative Potential for Breakthrough Results (Hardcover)
After a recent facilitation on Innovation, each participate received a copy of "The Innovative Team". The comments expressed were the book pulled the process all together for the company. "it was an awakening" "I finally get it" "can't wait to apply the process" totally enjoyed by all!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thorough guide to creative innovation, May 16, 2013
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Great book, recommend it! The story at the beginning makes the concepts slowly sink in and the strategies at the end make it very easy graspable and time-saving.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Teams Innovating, October 5, 2012
This review is from: The Innovative Team: Unleashing Creative Potential for Breakthrough Results (Hardcover)
The authors have developed an innovative framework, which offers companies and organizations a clear advantage both in product development and job creation. Their innovative process is called FourSight--one which the authors researched over the years and then developed a proprietal product named after their process. Simply put, their framework/process calls for an innovative team to assess their strengths and then work with them--maybe not brand new, but you need to read further. They do provide a simple, replicable process based on four phases (and ultimately four thinking types of people): Clarify the Situation; Generate Ideas; Develop Solutions; and Implement Plans. Using their field-tested approach, the authors attempt to demystify innovation and creativity.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Create Your Competitive Edge, May 21, 2012
This review is from: The Innovative Team: Unleashing Creative Potential for Breakthrough Results (Hardcover)
We have long known that there are different personality types and our predominate type has a bearing on how we relate in the world. In The Innovative Team the authors Chris Grivas and Gerard Puccio explore our personality types from a different perspective.

When dealing with creativity in the work place, according to the authors, there are five different personality preferences which we encounter: Clarifiers, Ideators, Developers, Implementers and Integrators. All significant developments in the world of business come about as a result of team efforts. One person may have an original idea, but breakthrough innovations are generally the results of a team effort.

How that team works together will have a real bearing on the creative output of the team. There needs to be a balance between the various personality types and there needs to be a process they follow in order to ensure that the team produces the best and most innovative ideas they are capable of doing. The book is all about guiding team members to become aware of their own personality preferences and giving them a process to work through the various stages of clarifying the problem, generating ideas, developing those ideas into solutions and implementing the ideas.

The first part of the book uses a fictional story to illustrate the concepts and how they might be applied in the real world. The story shows the conflicting styles which are often encountered in most business teams. Some people want to clarify forever while others are so focused on implementation that there is constant conflict within the team. Because the individual team members are not aware of their own preferences, they do not realize the impact their personality type has on the overall performance of the team's efforts. They tend to blame others for the sub-par performance.

The story goes a very good job of working through a specific problem, showing each step of the process and giving some very good tools for making the process work. There are some valuable questions provided in the story section which can be used very effectively by any manager trying to get their team to utilize these principles. The guidelines for the processes are very good and the story shows what happens when the team fails to follow the guidelines.

After the story, the authors go into detail about the various personality types and present a POINt process for getting a team to perform at its highest creativity. The POINt process is a refinement/alternative to the SWOT analysis. POINt stands for: Pluses, Opportunities, Issues and New thinking.

The book is well written and a breeze to read. The story portion takes up the greatest number of pages and it is fast moving and pulls the reader in. While the book is easy to read, implementing the lessons will take some time and effort. This is not a mechanical process. While the authors provide lots of examples, explanations and some very specific questions useful in implementing their concepts, it will still require a lot of work. This is one of those skills where you will get better each time you use the process.

If your work involves teams - either formally or informally, internal or external, there is some very good information and insights in this book. Business has become extremely competitive. To remain a top tier company requires innovation. To get your team to think at the top of their creativity, you really need the team members to understand their own personality type, and you need a process to help them work together. The Innovative Team gives you the tools you need to bring out the best in your team and remain an innovative and highly competitive company.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Group is Taught How to Become an Innovative Team, May 11, 2012
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This review is from: The Innovative Team: Unleashing Creative Potential for Breakthrough Results (Hardcover)
Just completed reading THE INNOVATIVE TEAM. Easy and enjoyable read. Though it is fiction it is an excellent example/story about how a group of individuals can be turned into an INNOVATIVE TEAM through strong facilitation while learning how to use an integrated mix of creative thinking tools and processes. Having been involved with the teaching/training/faciliating of team thinking and problem solving I found the characters a very good cross sampling of people in most to all workplaces.

I highly recommend this for managers and trainers who need to work with diverse groups of people and strive to have them truly work as teams.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars What I've Read Lately: The Innovative Team, May 8, 2012
By 
JT (White Lake, Michigan) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Innovative Team: Unleashing Creative Potential for Breakthrough Results (Hardcover)
Ok, kudos for the book cover. It's my favorite color and earned +1 brownie point right off the bat .

The Innovative Team (TIM) is perhaps first and foremost a book on improved communication.

After setting the stage initially, TIM uses a story book form, crafting its message as a short novel, to get it's points across. Personally, I appreciate business books taking this approach, similar to the late Eliyahu Goldratt .

The Innovative Team makes a valid point. Often, we confuse creativity with innovating. In many cases, innovation is simply being creative in finding solutions to existing problems.

The challenge then is to help our teams be more creative. But something often gets in the way. It can be animosity amongst team players, leaders who don't appreciate the composition of their team, and/or teams simply being `self-aware.'

Appreciating the different components of a team, being aware of how each team member's preferences contribute to the whole, is why I believe this is about communication as much as innovation.

The Innovative Team does two things. Each person has a particular area within a project where they like to contribute most. These four areas are called out and then exemplified through the novel. In essence, the roles are describes, and then a realistic skit is played out to give you a feel of how the parts work together. Second, even as team dynamics are being worked out, TIM helps illustrate the `universal creative process.'

The basic components of the universal creative process, which maps against areas different team members like to spend their time in, are:

- Clarifying the Situation
Making sure you truly understand the situation fully.

- Generating Ideas
Brainstorming is prominent here with constructive ideas on doing so.

- Developing Solutions
Taking care to fully, adequately develop solutions. What if `this' happens, and then `this', and...

- Implementing Plans
Time to execute.

One of the areas I thought TIM did very good at, was spending time helping provide mechanisms for keeping the entire team engaged throughout the different stages. For instance, there are team members that just hate brainstorming, coming up with ideas, and leave that phase to others. Then, when it's time to start separating the wheat from the chaff, the brainstormers get frustrated while others start really warming up. Yet, finally, when it's time to execute, many people get bored to tears and simply check-out, preferring to leave it to the project manager to drive everything forward.

The Innovative Team takes a unique approach, a fresh approach, toward looking at how to help teams work better as a cohesive whole, understand and appreciate each others' differences, without boring everyone to tears along the way.

As someone who has dealt with these issues in the past, and expect to do so again in the future, this book will stay on my shelf for a future re-read.

[In the interest of full disclosure, the publisher made the book available to me should I be interested in doing a review. No monetary considerations exist.]
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The Innovative Team: Unleashing Creative Potential for Breakthrough Results
The Innovative Team: Unleashing Creative Potential for Breakthrough Results by Gerard J. Puccio (Hardcover - December 20, 2011)
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