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Getting to Innovation: How Asking the Right Questions Generates the Great Ideas Your Company Needs Hardcover – July 16, 2007
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As an acknowledged guru in the field of creativity and innovation, Arthur VanGundy has inspired businesses in a variety of industries to generate more original, cutting-edge ideas. Getting to Innovation is a detailed guide to achieving the critical first step in formulating creative and useful ideas–i.e., asking the right questions that define the challenges facing any organization. Readers will discover:
* how to write positioning and rationale statements for each challenge
* how to link together multiple objectives in priority frameworks
* the top 10 techniques for generating creative ideas
* tips for designing and running brainstorming retreats
* advice on how to select the best ideas from the many that have been generated
When it comes to true innovation, it’s not formulating the great ideas, but asking the right questions that will ultimately lead to results. Getting to Innovation offers the tools to help every company tap into its most inspired thinking.
About the Author
Arthur B. VanGundy, Ph.D. (Norman, OK) is an internationally noted expert on creativity and idea generation techniques. He is a professor of communication at the University of Oklahoma and president of VanGundy & Associates, a creativity and innovation consulting firm. His clients have included Air Canada, Hershey Foods, Monsanto, and Xerox.
Top customer reviews
Andy (as author Arthur VanGundy prefers to be called), spends the first half of the book explaining what an innovation challenge is, how to frame an innovation challenge and how to analyze your own organization's innovation needs and turn them into challenges.
This is critical. All too many corporate innovation programs start with suggestion schemes designed to capture all kinds of ideas. Too many brainstorming events begin with poorly thought out problems. As a result, many business innovation programs generate lots of ideas - but the ideas are largely irrelevant to current business needs. This not only wastes money and resources, but is very demotivating to employees.
Effective innovation challenges, on the other hand, are designed to generate ideas that solve your business problems. Andy explains in detail how to frame them, what to include and what to avoid. Andy then goes one step further, providing a framework for organizations to question strategic issues, determine weaknesses and frame challenges designed to overcome those weaknesses.
This is an approach that Andy has honed over many years of creativity and innovation consulting. And it works.
The second half of the book looks at idea generation methods, idea management and idea evaluation approaches. Although less focused than the first half of the book, the second part provides a wealth of tools, techniques and advice to business managers.
Seasoned innovation consultants who have read it all may feel that Getting to Innovation covers a lot of obvious ground - although even they will doubtless learn from this gem of a book. But Getting to Innovation is not written for them. It is written for the many managers today who know they need to launch innovation initiatives in their firms - but don't know where to start. If that describes you - order this book today!
Disclaimer: I should point out that Andy VanGundy is a friend with whom I've exchanged many an e-mail on the theory and practice of innovation. I've learned from him during our correspondence and I have learned from this book.
VanGundy's book offers an easy and effective approach to finding and framing problems in a way that opens them up to the possibility of solution. I've read several of VanGundy's earlier books, and each one has provided me with gems that I use almost daily in my business. Getting to Innovation will definitely join that list. My only quibble with the book is that its title may be slightly misleading: it's is less about "getting to innovation" than it is about getting to understand the problem. In that sense it's more of a springboard to innovation. This is a very practical, worthwhile book. Highly recommended if you've even encountered the "great answer -- wrong question syndrome" -- and who hasn't?
Creativity and innovation don't happen in a vaccuum. There are always other players and other issues impinging on the work we do. It's really important to get, and to analyze, that information up front. Vangundy has focussed in on THE key issue.
The writer's premise is this - before a company can innovate they need to figure out why they need to innovate. DUH! The writer fails to drill down and offer real solutions for the different types of creativity needed for an organization - product development creativity, advertising creativity, marketing creativity, social and human creativity, executive creativity. I guess I should expected this - the writer is a writer and not a creator, business artist, or innovator.
My suggestion is PASS on this book!