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The Other Side of Innovation: Solving the Execution Challenge (Harvard Business Review) Hardcover – September 2, 2010
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How do companies generate new ideas? And how do they turn those ideas into products? Hardly a week passes without someone publishing a book on the subject. Most are rubbish. But The Other Side of Innovation: Solving the Execution Challenge is rather good In their new book [the authors] address two subjects that are usually given short shrift: established companies rather than start-ups and the implementation of new ideas rather than their generation.” The Economist
a veritable how-to guide for CEOs and entrepreneurs.” Inc. Magazine
Excellent in-depth case studies ” well-written book” Summing Up: Recommended” - CHOICE Magazine
About the Author
Vijay Govindarajan is the Earl C. Daum 1924 Professor of International Business and the Founding Director of the Center for Global Leadership at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College, and the 2008 Professor-in-Residence and Chief Innovation Consultant for General Electric. Chris Trimble, a well-known innovation speaker and consultant, is also on the faculty at Tuck.
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Top Customer Reviews
I've really struggled to wrap my head around The Other Side of Innovation. What can you say about a book that is correct in all its recommendations yet doesn't seem to add anything new to the discussion. Everything that the authors talk about is absolutely correct, and perhaps needs to be rehashed again and again.
In the introduction the authors use a mountain climbing metaphor to think about the focus on the exciting "summitting" but point out that achieving the summit is only half the job. What's left is the less interesting but equally important dismount. Similarly, innovation requires both the generation of ideas and the evaluation and implementation of ideas, with implementation usually receiving the short shrift. This assertion is absolutely correct, but is it new? Implementation, whether it is focused on new ideas or an update to an existing product or service, is always the "hard part". The authors pursue a consistent definition of innovation, looking at several different models:
* innovation = ideas + execution
* innovation = ideas + motivation
* innovation = ideas + process
But they don't seem to have a definitive answer. Again, interesting, but does this add to the conversation?Read more ›
The fundamental assumption that "the other side of innovation: SOLVING THE EXECUTION CHALLENGE" is based on is that your organization is attempting innovation initiatives beyond its current capabilities. Capabilities that you are not willing to develop internally. In other words you are attempting to climb Mt. Rainier, to use the authors' opening example, when you are neither fit for the challenge nor possess the skills for it. Think about this for a second. Contemplate the likely outcome of such an attempt. If it doesn't kill you it will most assuredly maim you leaving you worse off for having tried.
However, Vijay Govindarajan and Chris Trimble "see no reason why established organizations should be incapable of executing any innovation initiative". So, what is the solution these authors dictate? After 10 years of field research at "[innovative companies] as diverse as Allstate, BMW, Harley-Davidson, IBM, Nucor, and Timberland", they recommend that you "Build the Right Team" and "Run a Disciplined Experiment". Let us understand something clearly: it doesn't matter how many expert mountain guides you hire or how well you plan your expedition, if you are not fit, if you do not possess the necessary skills, it will fail... disastrously. So, shame on the authors for making a flawed assumption and then impelling organizations to attempt such challenges.
To be fair, they have made valid observations of several crucial shortcomings in organizations today:
* It is not an organization's creativity and technology that falls short, it is its management's capability: leaders just aren't trained to drive innovation.Read more ›
Reading these books, it seems that many of the pitfalls that result in an innovation initiative petering out can be attributed to a lack of rigor in approach. For example, Govindarajan and Trimble find widespread the assumption that conversational awareness of the differences between the new initiative's and the established company's business models is enough, whereas they see a change in behavior as necessary.
Ten Rules and The Other Side are both excellent books that offer a clear guide for what can be a rocky process of innovating in established businesses. Govindarajan and Trimble say that the principles outlined in their approach are also valid for other types of innovation. This is true to the extent that you cannot go wrong in reading these books, although they hardly scratch the surface of topics such as employee or executive motivation to persevere through the process, say. Our biggest quibble is that The Other Side is a repeat of Ten Rules, and as such it wastes the time of those who have read the first book and take up the second one hoping to learn something new.
reviewed more fully at [...]
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book is full of ideas and practical applications that help your company grow while at the same time meeting the demands of day to day operations.Published 7 days ago by Amazon Customer
Excellent Book. Would recommend this to anyone. Success is in this purchase.Published 5 months ago by Hazelwom
This is an outstanding book! It is especially helpful for those of who have had the big idea and now need to make it come to life.Published 11 months ago by Jim Bernhardt
Fantastic read on creating a successful innovation engine, while still keeping the core business profitable and running well.Published 13 months ago by Matt
Very good book. I find myself quoting it now and then. Lots of interesting ideas.Published 15 months ago by JustMe
Innovation has no social boundary. These days a number of farmers, agricultural workers, craftsmen and young citizens in the rural areas in a developing country like India are... Read morePublished 16 months ago by Dr Anup K Das
Unlike other innovation books, this one tackles a very important side of the innovation process, which i did not find much literature about on the web.Published on November 26, 2013 by ShadenN