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Dealing with Darwin: How Great Companies Innovate at Every Phase of Their Evolution Paperback – May 27, 2008
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From Publishers Weekly
"Innovation" is one of the great buzzwords of management theory, but this treatise accords it a thoroughgoing analysis. Management consultant Moore, author of the bestselling Crossing the Chasm, argues that companies can escape the marginless hell of commodity and price competition only through innovations that differentiate their products from their competitors' in the minds of consumers. He elaborates a taxonomy of 15 "innovation types," from "disruptive" breakthrough technologies like Apple's iTunes to more mundane marketing innovations like hiring a sports superstar to endorse athletic shoes. Unlike many business futurists, Moore doesn't exalt innovation for its own sake, insisting it must be tied to concrete business goals. To help companies determine the right-and wrong-strategies for innovation, he develops an analytical framework that distinguishes emerging from mature market categories and "complex systems" companies that sell pricey customized projects to a few customers from "volume operations" companies that sell standardized products to the masses. Moore illustrates these ideas with real-world examples, biased toward tech-sector companies; an extended case study of innovation-management at networking leviathan Cisco Systems forms the backbone of the book. Moore's approach is somewhat theoretical and replete with diagrams that feature sine waves and fractals. Fortunately, his treatment remains lucid and commonsensical, and offers a wealth of insights for thoughtful managers.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
aLess a cookbook than a detailed menu of meals that can be prepared to turn your competitors into dinosaurs. Brontosaurus burger, anyone?a
a"Dealing with Darwin" provides a lucid and engaging perspective on managing innovation.a
aEd Zander, CEO, Motorola
aMoore has delivered an innovative and instructive treatise on innovation.a
a"The Boston Globe"
a"Dealing with Darwin" is teeming with ideas and practical advice.... Mooreas new book is a very significant and valuable addition to the strategistas bookshelf.a
a"Strategy and Leadership"
?Less a cookbook than a detailed menu of meals that can be prepared to turn your competitors into dinosaurs. Brontosaurus burger, anyone
?"Dealing with Darwin" provides a lucid and engaging perspective on managing innovation.?
?Ed Zander, CEO, Motorola
?Moore has delivered an innovative and instructive treatise on innovation.?
?"The Boston Globe"
?"Dealing with Darwin" is teeming with ideas and practical advice.... Moore's new book is a very significant and valuable addition to the strategist's bookshelf.?
?"Strategy and Leadership"
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Top Customer Reviews
One nit is that the examples and anecdotes in the book, while true to the author's experience, seem a bit dated and narrow now. It would be good to get an update to this book in light of some of the recent thinking around innovative organizational design.
Also, like many a business book, this book's central theme could be grasped in a 45 minute presentation. The central argument feels a bit drawn out, and the messages are a bit repetitious.
This book is the third in a series of Crossing the Chasm, and Inside the Tornado. To start this author down right fascinates me with this ability to pick tremendous management concepts and explain them to great effect; I also very much envy his simple and persuasive writing style, I guess that is a result of his Ph.D in English. In this book he presents four models and presents them with strong arguments and illustrative examples of real companies. Being a Ph.D in business I very much believe that these models should be taught in every Corporate strategy course to MBA, and be the base of every Product Development class. In all this is a gem of a book and a recommend reading for any top executive and top innovation strategist!
The first concept presented is the Complex-System vs. Volume Operations Models. Here he basically says that best practices for say Wal-Mart are not compatible with say Cisco, because they both fundamentally do business in different ways. Wal-Mart, Dell, British-Petroleum, and others are considered volume operation because they make money of the small margin over a large volume of sales and are organized to do such; where as, complex-system companies, IBM, Cisco, McKinsey, and the countless other consulting, and integration companies, make high margins on a low number of sales and are organized to do so. The two are mutually excusive and getting stuck in the middle is a horrible position.
The second concept is that of the Category-Maturity model and takes the crossing the chasm model, and Tornado model and ads on to the life-cycle for mature and declining markets. This understanding is very valuable for investors and business men, because the position in the maturity has more to do with the company strategy than the board of executives often chooses to admit. All managers should understand this fundamental model!
The third concept is the fifteen innovation vectors which relate directly to the position in the maturity of the market. For example, if the market is highly mature, one should concentrate on process innovation and value-engineering to help reduce costs. This understanding of innovation is invaluable; once you understand this framework you can step back and really focus your company's innovation efforts on one or two main directives to great effect!
Finally, the last concept is that of the core-context model, which really tell you that resource allocation should be done not as a function of last years operating budgets but instead be done with a deep understanding of what markets and products are 1) mission critical or non-mission critical and which are 2) core to future success or context (supporting) of success. They use this simple understanding to create a valuable four quadrant model of Invent, Deploy, Optimize, and Offload which explains in great detail how to manage your product portfolio and market strategy. Again, I highly recommend this book!
Dr. Brian Glassman
Ph.D in Innovation Management and Management from Purdue University
I especially liked the Complex Systems vs. Volume Operations model, which properly frames how to evaluate whole products required by customers, and the value chains required to create those whole products.