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Mapping Innovation: A Playbook for Navigating a Disruptive Age Hardcover – May 23, 2017
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From the Inside Flap
On December 9th, 1968, a research project funded by the US Department of Defense launched a revolution. The focus was not a Cold War adversary or even a resource rich banana republic, but rather to "augment human intellect" and the man driving it was not a general, but a mild mannered engineer named Douglas Engelbart.
His presentation that day, which would be so consequential that it is now called "The Mother of All Demos," demonstrated a new vision that would transform computers from obscure calculating machines that few ever saw to an interactive device for everyday use. Two who were in attendance, Bob Taylor and Alan Kay would go on to work at Xerox's famed research center, PARC, and develop Engelbart's ideas into the Alto, the first truly personal computer. Later, Steve Jobs would take many elements of the Alto to create the Macintosh, which launched with great fanfare in 1984.
In the years that followed, different companies learned different lessons from that particular series of events and pursued widely divergent paths. Apple, quite famously, focused on the end user. IBM's research division, which boasts more Nobel Prize winners than most countries, helps it see 10 or 20 years in to the future. Google, more recently, created its "Google X" division to be its "Moonshot Factory." Others pursue different strategies, such as continually testing a number of small, innovative projects or developing novel business models that can create, deliver or capture value in new and different ways.
With so many paths to innovation--all of which have strong track records of success--which should you pursue? Mapping Innovation offers a simple, but powerful framework, backed by years of research and dozens of interviews, which will help your business develop a strategy to innovate in a competitive marketplace. It explains how, by asking the right questions, you can map the innovation space and define which approach is most likely to solve the specific problems and opportunities you face. In essence, this book enables executives to choose the right tools for the right jobs and build a solid strategy based on sound principles, rather than conjecture.
Mapping Innovation is a "playbook for navigating a disruptive age" that goes inside some of the world's most innovative organizations, such as major corporations like Google, IBM and Experian, major scientific institutions like MD Anderson Cancer Center, and Argonne National Laboratory and startups like Upwork, Tidemark and Bloomreach to identify how they make an impact on the world.
From the Back Cover
"Greg is a talented writer, which comes naturally given his wide-open thinking and overall fantastic strategic perspective that is refreshingly different."
- Suzy Deering Chief Marketing Officer, eBay
"Satell writes brilliant stuff about what it actually takes to design and implement an innovation strategy. It's the kind of stuff I find useful to discuss with my students in my class and the executives I coach."
-Robert Sutton Professor of Business and Engineering at Stanford University IDEO Fellow, Author of Scaling up Excellence, and Weird Ideas That Work
-Ron DePinho President, MD Anderson Cancer Center
"Many people write about innovation. Greg Satell is one of my favorites. He combines thorough research and innovative viewpoints with a practical style that makes his work relevant to practitioners. Greg's work has always been an insightful and enjoyable source for my own thinking."
Greg Satell has a deep instinct about how innovation and technology are changing business. His unique writing perspective makes us all smarter by his inquiry into the inner workings of the innovation experience. We all learn from his journey of discovery.
-Dr. James Canton Chairman and CEO of the Institute for Global Futures, Advisor to The White House and the National Science And Technology Council, Author of Future Perfect and Extreme Future
"I'm always delighted to read what Greg Satell has to say about business and technology. His insights--which draw from such diverse areas as history and science--are must-reads."
- Samuel Arbesman Research Fellow, The Long Now Foundation, Author of The Half Life of Facts and Overcomplicated
"I have long been a fan of Greg Satell's writings on innovation, and, for the past five years or so, we have used him as a source of innovation inspiration and good ideas in the joint executive program on Driving Strategic Innovation, that is a partnership between MIT's Sloan School of Management and IMD."
"What sets Greg apart from other observers of the innovation scene is his broad range of vision and references, his practical experience and the effectiveness of his writing. There are few people that I know who can weave these three attributes together as well as Greg has done. I think that he has made a mark on social media and through his Forbes and Harvard Business Review writing that has made him one of the more visible commentators on innovation related issues today, and I would look forward to any innovation-project that he is associated with."
- Bill Fischer Professor of Innovation Management, IMD, Author of Reinventing Giants and The Idea Hunter
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Top Customer Reviews
Then again, once in hand, I still thought the book wasn't really in my wheelhouse. But I figured I'd read the first few pages and go from there. Thankfully, it grabbed me early on with it's easily accessible style and once I started reading the book was a hard one to put down. To me, this is what makes good authors good: even when the material is a bit esoteric (and/or boring) they can make these complicated subjects understandable and relatable to non-technical or non-professional folks. And Satell does this well.
As I read I realized that while Part I (Chapters 1 & 2) was the most personally interesting, there was much that spoke to me even though I'm not in a "digital space." In fact, I realized that I could (with a bit of "idea massaging") apply this to the field of counseling. Really? Yes; "mapping innovation" is very similar - once you think about it - to the collaborative exercise of the client and counselor in establishing a treatment plan. Not saying the book is a guide to building a treatment plan, but the concepts discussed are worth contemplating when building one; we may not be mapping innovation, but we are building a road map to health. While the "space" various clients occupy might be similar each client is different and needs his/her own innovation map. I really liked the "six principles" Satell discusses in Chapter 7 ("Pursuing Innovation At Scale"). And I really liked (as a model for what the client and counselor seek to accomplish) the IBM Innovation Matrix (also found in Chapter 7).
Perhaps all this "applies to counseling" is a bit of a stretch for you, but it wasn't for me. In other words, while I initially thought I was going to "read and discard" I now think this will stay a part of my professional library.
I guess the moral of the story is to think broadly/strategically regarding this book; though written for the digital space I think the points it makes apply to a far wider audience.
I really liked it. Somewhere between 4-5 stars. So let's round up to 5.
We know many interesting stories of how things were invented by accident. Greg Satell in 'Mapping Innovation: A Playbook for Navigating a Disruptive Age' shows how innovation takes a village and more and dispels the myth of lone genius accomplishing it all. He traverses the path penicillin took to discovery from labs to the pharma industry. The author provides the reader, a foundation and conditions that were necessary for the famous inventions. From this he draws what can be used for current situation.
The provided framework is a Matrix of 'Problem Definition' Vs 'Domain Definition' which shows you clearly where your company fits and the kind of innovation it should be targeting. Depending on the kind of innovation you need disruptive, sustaining, breakthrough - there are various options of achieving them. Just this matrix should reveal if your approach to innovation is right for your company and the industry you belong to.
I loved the example of Experian and their Innovation Matrix which explains how Eric Haller made problem solving for customers, rocket into consulting business which feedsback into Experian's capabilities and growth.
With examples like Afisha, Experian and Children's Health, Gregg illuminates how companies can modify their business models to inject organic growth.
Its back to the basics with Business Model Canvas by Osterwalder and Michael Porter's Five Forces Analysis
Three Horizons of Innovation with 70/20/10 lets you have all kinds of innovation instead of having to chose one by allotting time and resources for each. if you are familiar with Googles 20% for your pet project, then you get the drift.
P&G innovation matrix is a surprise with 'open innovation'. IBM and Microsoft examples show the advantages of courting 'open'.
With this orientation, you are well on your way to figure what works for innovation at your company.
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Not only was I impressed, but I was very surprised by his...Read more