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Brainsteering: A Better Approach to Breakthrough Ideas Hardcover – March 1, 2011
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From Publishers Weekly
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“The authors pepper their narrative with [...] idea-sparkers, with an appendix that is worth the cover price… [I]f the book evokes a few creative ideas, it will have done good service.” (Kirkus Reviews)
Top Customer Reviews
It should come as no surprise to anyone, anywhere, that a frequently used technique like brainstorming is often poorly applied or misused. Even less surprising in today's environment is the discovery that some executives use brainstorming as a means to their own agendas, or that teams don't spend enough time preparing to generate ideas. If these "revelations" are news to you, you've missed quite a bit of the commentary on innovation.
So, what are we to say about "Brainsteering", the new book from Kevin and Shawn Coyne? The subtitle promises "A Better Approach To Breakthrough Ideas". The Coyne brothers present Brainsteering - their title for their approach to idea generation - as if it were wholly new and completely different. But the approach they describe is what most innovation practitioners would recognize as simply good idea generation methodology.
The Coyne brothers, like others who have written about idea generation recently, take great pains to identify all that's wrong with a traditional brainstorm. They recognize that executives may have unstated agendas, and that different power levels in a brainstorm may result in pre-conceived ideas.Read more ›
Their approach is research- and results-driven, based on two core principles: (1) "If you ask the right questions, answers and good ideas soon follow" and (2) "The right process for consistently generating breakthrough ideas looks very different from what [most people have] probably been taught." In other words, asking the right questions and following the right process will "steer" the brain to the right answers.
It is worth noting that the material provided is based on revelations generated by more than 200 McKinsey client projects, refined further by other real-world applications of insights and practices. The Coynes come across to me as being diehard pragmatists who are determined to share everything they have learned about establishing and then sustaining a process by which to generate new and better ideas all day, every day, and even on demand.
The exemplary breakthroughs they cite include easily portable personal computers (How to create one that fits into an overhead bin on an airplane?), direct sales of personal computers (How to by-pass costs and complications of the retail channel?Read more ›
Their alternative is to "steer" the ideation process by focusing on important questions. They supply a bunch of them in the appendix to help the reader get started. The questions are broken down into categories, depending on the type of problem to be solved, such as questions to help create a new product or service, or questions to find ways to trim costs. The authors also provide suggestions for helping the readers create their own questions.
It's an entertaining read with an interesting approach to idea creation. Give it a read and you'll be anxious to give brainsteering a shot.
Nick McCormick, Author, Lead Well and Prosper, and Acting Up Brings Everyone Down
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Had the privilege of sitting in a session from Shawn Coyne this week at EventTech 2014 and he gave us an overview of the book. I bought it for Kindle on the spot. Read morePublished 22 months ago by Larry E. Castle
Advise is too high of a level. Not granular enough for mid-level manager to implement. The reading was a labor.Published 24 months ago by Hung Nguyen
Points of book were great and useful and I enjoyed the examples throughout book has something for novice to expert.Published on March 2, 2014 by Christopher Moore
Brainsteering is the authors unassuming way of advocating a process which focuses on asking the right questions to unlock the creative process and arrive at breakthrough ideas. Read morePublished on October 22, 2012 by Jamie Gianna
Full of interesting examples and different perspectives. Could be 50% shorter, but its worth a read or two. There are several ideas that I'll apply from now on.Published on April 16, 2012 by Eduardo Angel
This is a book that every manager should have in their tool kit. I found it to be a great approach to generating new ideas and problem solving. Read morePublished on December 22, 2011 by TFudala