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The Innovation Zone: How Great Companies Re-Innovate for Amazing Success Hardcover – February 24, 2009
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"Koulopoulos's distinctions between innovation and invention are fascinating. An important read for anyone looking to build and foster a culture of innovation within his or her comnpany." --Colin Angle, CEO and cofounder, iRobot
"Takes the mystery out of innovation. Moves innovation from something secret, behind the curtain, sequestered in the laboratory to a real-life, practical approach of freeing staff to generate ideas and work the ideas through a rigorous process that produces results." --Janice M. Abraham, president and CEO, United Educators
About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
Koulopoulos illustrates the concepts of innovation through well-documented case studies of those organizations, such as Amazon, NASA, and Sony, who have been successful innovators. Based on the experiences of these organizations, he provides a meta-process for implementing an innovation zone. This meta-process is derived from seven lessons of innovation: (1) Build for the unknown. (2) Fail fast. (3) Abandon the success of the past. (4) Separate the seeds from the weeds. (5) Focus on process over product. (6) Create an innovation experience. (7) Challenge conventional wisdom.
It is so easy in business, especially when things are going well, to become complacent. We resist innovation because it ALWAYS threatens the status quo. Therefore, as with all enterprise initiatives that have come before it (e.g., business process re-engineering, knowledge management, etc.), there MUST be support at the CEO level to ensure success.Read more ›
All too often innovation is considered something ethereal or hard to get your hands around, but Tom has shown that a deliberate and well laid out strategy can turn laggards into leaders.
The well-researched examples show Tom's approach to innovation. He has listened, absorbed and dissected the successful strategies of many and created a super blueprint for any company suffering from complacency.
The more I read this book, the more jazzed I was about Tom's call to action. He is obviously passionate about the topic and the Innovation Workshops he now delivers to "walk the walk" are just dynamite.
The ability to reinvent, survive tough times and scale a business all have innovation at the core. However, a good idea on its own will not become successful you have to act on it. The Innovation Zone is the cure for businesses with the blues.
Koulopoulos's book covers the principles, behaviors and actions required to create innovation in the enterprise. A real strength of the book is the diversity of case studies from both manufacturing as well as service industries. Koulopoulos looks beyond the product examples to get at the process, organizational and cultural factors that drive new ideas.
He is able to do this because he has a very pragmatic definition of innovation: "A process of change with measurable value." He separates this from invention with is about creating new things. This will have the innovation zealots up in arms as its not a pure definition--they are right - but it's a practical definition and one that opens the doors for us all to be innovative.
How can we be innovative, well Koulopoulos provides seven lessons that can help drive innovation across the company. Notice that these are lessons based on experience rather than principles that we aspire to.
Build for the unknown - recognize that you are breaking new ground and that learning requires spending. Example: the Space Suit
Fail Fast - innovation requires tolerance for the right kind of failure.Read more ›
This book clearly shows how innovation as process can be accomplished and measured. His five laws of innovation are right on the mark. My own experience in helping to drive innovation within a large corporate IT group has driven home rule number one: Innovation is Dangerous.
Companies that have been successful in the past are reluctant to change. However, the economic realities of the present day are going to come home hard if you're not willing to innovate. In Tom's list of innovation killers, the one that jumps out at me is the laying success on the technologists. A small group of innovators can do great things. The "but" comes from the resistance of everyone else to adopt new ideas, processes, or simply ways of thinking.
There are too many good things about this book to list them all It is one book that all "C suite" executives should read and reread to ensure that they are prepared to capitalize on the future through innovation.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Excelent book, easy to read and understand, with interest excamplesPublished 6 months ago by Ismael
The Innovation Zone "rocked my worldview" when I read the pre-release version of it. I encourage you to get it and read it through and through. Read morePublished on March 28, 2013 by John Mariotti, author of The Chinese Conspiracy
This is not another one of those innovation theory books that try to convince you of some new innovation process or scheme. Read morePublished on April 14, 2009 by John Gabrick
Finally a book that puts innovation within reach for just about anyone.
Written in a way that inspires the reader with memorable anecdotes and practical advice, The... Read more
Innovation Zone provides a definitive process for innovation development - distinguishing between innovation and invention. Read morePublished on March 17, 2009 by K. Frederick
Thomas Koulopoulos builds a case that innovation can be fostered and developed in the corporation. He differentiates between invention and innovation, providing a new way to look... Read morePublished on March 16, 2009 by M. Savage
Tom Koulopoulos takes the reader through a detailed look at designing and leading effective innovation process. Read morePublished on March 16, 2009 by Mr. James S. Birrell