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The Innovator's DNA: Mastering the Five Skills of Disruptive Innovators [Hardcover] Unknown Binding – 2011

4.6 out of 5 stars 117 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Unknown Binding
  • Publisher: Harvard Business School Press, (2011)
  • Language: English
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (117 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #10,141,771 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Hardcover
Companies that are seen as innovators command an "innovation premium" in the market, and for good reason. These are the companies that not only adapt to changing conditions, but lead the way through them.

The five discovery skills--building blocks of innovation--that are identified in this book were arrived at through extensive research (8 years and over 100 interviews), which separates it from the bulk of the existing books on innovation that too often trumpet a methodology that worked in one case at one organization as being a universal solution.

The surprising revelation is that these five building blocks are behaviors, not traits that you are either born with or will never have. These are habits that can be learned and mastered through practice.

Although the ideas will be familiar to readers on creativity and innovation, they take on new meaning when presented in this context and prioritized based on the researcher's findings. For example, two of the five behaviors are universal and appear to be essential, while the other three showed up frequently, but not every one of those behaviors is practiced in every case.

The later part of this book gives practical ideas on how to integrate these habits into the 3P's (people, processes, and philosophies) of an organization.

I had high expectations for this book and it did not disappoint.
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Format: Hardcover
As is true of others who have written business books that also offer breakthrough insights, the authors of this one set out to answer an especially important question: "Where do disruptive business models come from?" What Jeff Dyer, Hal Gregersen, and Clayton Christensen concluded is shared in this book. It's too early to be certain, of course, but I think this book is destined to become a "business classic," as have so many of the other books that Christensen has authored or co-authored. It is worth noting that The Innovator's DNA emerged from an eight-year collaborative study, suggesting that its information, insights, and counsel are research-driven, anchored in the real world.

Some of the most valuable material was generated by interviews of dozens of "inventors of revolutionary products and services as well as founders and CEOs of game-changing companies build on innovative ideas." They also include what they learned from Steve Jobs, Richard Branson, and Howard Schultz (whom they did not interview) whose innovative thinking has transformed entire industries. "We wanted to understand as much about these people as possible, including the moment (when and how) they came up with the creative ideas that launched new products or businesses."

The title of this book refers to an aggregate of five primary discovery skills that enable various innovative entrepreneurs and executives to generate breakthrough ideas. "A critical insight from our research is that one's ability to generate innovative ideas is not merely the function of the mind, but also a function of behaviors. This is good news for us all because it means that if we change our behaviors, we can change our creative impact.
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Format: Hardcover
Christensen is one of the great thinkers of our time. Start by reading his book - Innovators Dilemma where he explains what disruptive innovation is. The Innovator's DNA builds on his many previous books by laying out the skills needed to innovate. He not only explains the skills but gives hope that anyone can learn them and explains how.

The 5 skills:

1 - Associate. Innovators associate previously unconnected things to come up with products or ideas. Innovators apply ideas from completely different areas to their field.

2 - Questioning. clearly nothing happens unless someone questions things.

"Question the Unquestionable" Ratan Tata - Tata Group

3 - Observing. "Observation is the biggest game changer" - Scott Cook - founder of Intuit (I have met Scott a few times and he is one of the nicest person you could want to meet. I say this and I do not even like accounting) Obviously learning is greatest when things are observed.

4 - Networking. Again, a key skill for any innovator.

5 - Experiment. This, for me, would be summed up by my Fail Often, Fail Fast, Fail Cheap.

One final quote from the book:

"Innovators like to work for other innovators"

Perhaps that is why whole companies seem to attract high innovation people.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A Politically Correct Status Quo

It is politically correct in management circles to say that you are "results oriented" or that you "drive for results" in your organization.

The status quo in business schools is to indoctrinate students in the delivery skills of analyzing, planning, detail-oriented implementing, and disciplined executing.

This book and the research upon which it is based disrupts that politically correct status quo.

Clayton Christensen has spent close to two decades creating the research, conceptual, and application foundation of the disruptive innovation body of knowledge. He has been working for more than 8 years with Jeff Dyer and Hal Gregersen, both gifted researchers, teachers, and consultants in their own right, on this project. These guys are a disruptive "dream team" of contributors.

This book articulates an extension of the disruptive innovation body of knowledge that clearly describes an individual profile of the disruptive innovator and an organizational profile of an organization that makes disruptive innovation happen.

So what makes this book disruptive?

The first thing is timing. It arrives on the scene at a time when innovation is one of the most critical components of a solution to our global financial and organizational mess. If we are to get out of our morass of debt and sluggish growth and respond to the continually emerging challenges of a burgeoning global society it will ride on the backs and wings of innovation. The status quo must be disrupted for us to survive and thrive!

Second is the audacity of the core models. The authors claim that innovation can be learned at both the individual and organizational level.
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