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The Innovation Killer: How What We Know Limits What We Can Imagine -- and What Smart Companies Are Doing About It Kindle Edition
"""Knowledge is good,"" preaches the inscription under the statue of college founder Emil Faber in the film Animal House. But as valid as that declamation may be at a university, in the corporate world what passes for knowledge can be a killer.
Companies and teams rely on ""what we know"" and ""the way we do things here"" to speed decision making and maintain a sense of order. But progress demands change, risk taking, and occasionally, revolution. Processes must be overhauled, assumptions challenged, taboos broken.
But how do you do it? Who among the group will take responsibility for a brand new initiative or unorthodox decision? Who will be willing to stand up and say, in essence, that the emperor has no clothes? As much as we laud the concept of ""thinking outside of the box,"" most of us think it’s a lot safer to stay inside.
It’s time to call in a ""zero-gravity thinker"" who is not weighed down by the twin innovation killers -- GroupThink and its close cousin, ExpertThink. Such outsiders are in plentiful supply, whether from the department down the hall, the branch office, a consulting firm or even another company. Unburdened by all the nagging issues that plague even very effective groups, the outsider will know new ways around a problem, identify possibilities where none seemed to exist, and spot potential problems before they spin out of control.
According to The Innovation Killer, the right zero gravity thinker will ideally possess the following traits:
Psychological distance: the most important tool of the impartial observer, it enables him or her to maintain an open mind.
Renaissance tendencies: a wide range of interests, experiences, and influences more readily inspires innovative approaches.
Related expertise: strength in a relevant area may lead to ""intersection points"" at which solutions are often found.
The book helps identify when and why you should call in a collaborator, where to find one, and how you and your team can start working with him or her. There are also strategies for turning yourself into a zero-gravity thinker when it’s simply not practical to bring in a true outsider.
Knowledge is good, except when it trumps real innovation. Whether your team is too focused on the forest or can’t see past the trees, this book will help you add the perspective you need to make the great decisions that will move your company forward."--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
- ASIN : B0058243QW
- Publisher : AMACOM (July 17, 2006)
- Publication date : July 17, 2006
- Language : English
- File size : 1540 KB
- Simultaneous device usage : Up to 5 simultaneous devices, per publisher limits
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Sticky notes : On Kindle Scribe
- Print length : 240 pages
- Best Sellers Rank: #2,826,014 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
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There are many companies that follow the basics, they create diverse teams, they encourage dissent and accept that mistakes will be made. Yet, expert think and group think are not kept at bay.
When this happens, it is easy to blame the process. But processes will not keep human nature at bay. For that you need an outside perspective, a zero gravity thinker.
The power of the outsider is rarely used as a weapon against entropy. Here's a book that shows you how to do it.
The ideas that bother her the most are GroupThink and ExpertThink which she describes "as groupthink on steroids". Groupthink is the idea that everyone in the group will follow the majority. The weaker group members will not dissent because the majority commands the choices. ExpertThink means the same thing except there is a person that is highly qualified that leads the group into a bad idea. The group will not speak up because the "expert" could be there boss. These are two common mistakes and Rabe shows plenty of examples to get her point across.
The entire premise of the book focuses on Zero Gravity Thinkers. A Zero Gravity Thinker (ZGT) is well rounded in three areas that set him/her apart from the group. The first is psychological distance. This means there is an objective thinker set apart from the group so his/her decision is not influenced by the group (groupthink). The next is renaissance tendencies meaning the person is well rounded is several areas and never stops learning new ideas. This is good because the ZGT can link ideas together easier than other group members. Then to finish the cycle there is related expertise. This is the one that does not flow with the other two areas. Rabe says that it is good to be naïve sometimes. The related expert can link his field with the group's field then it is good for innovation.
The last section of the book details how a ZGT fits into the group and can help innovation. She discusses Big Picture problems that a ZGT can help with and that hiring consultants can help innovation. The ninth chapter in the book tells how to work with a ZGT. She discusses a process that should be followed or include some of the steps to help promote innovation. The last chapter tells the reader how to help become a ZGT.
The book as a whole became repetitive at times, but it was a quick read that can help many people that are stuck in a rut and will not move. The book is definitely easier to read if you have studied innovation and the other ideas discussed in the book. I would recommend the book because it can help and everyone should understand how to avoid killing innovation. I take a star away because the book did a get repetitive that is the only reason; the repetition does not slow the book, but I have studied these ideas for the past year so I became a little bored with it.
p.s. Below please find some of my favorite quotes in the book for your reference:-
Insanity in individuals is something rare - but in groups, parties, nations, and epochs, it is the rule. Friedrich Nietzsche pg 23
Alfred Sloan, who ran GM from 1923 to 1956, was onto something when he said at a meeting, "Gentlemen, I take it that we are all in complete agreement on the decision here. Then I propose that we postpone further discussion...to give ourselves time to develop disagreement and perhaps gain some understanding of what the decision is all about." pg 39
The world hates change, yet it is the only thing that has brought progress. - C.F. Kettering pg 143
The first and greatest victory is to conquer yourself; to be conquered by yourself is of all things most shameful and vile. - Plato pg 157