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The Power of Strategy Innovation: A New Way of Linking Creativity and Strategic Planning to Discover Great Business Opportunities Paperback – March 29, 2013
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"Credit[the authors]for their bias for action-the book is organized to foster implementation, with helpful process tips sprinkled liberally throughout... -- PDMA's Visions
"This book is a vital resource for every company determined to survive in today's volatile marketplace--and thrive beyond tomorrow." -- BIZLIFE March 2004 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
"PDMA's Visions: ""Credit Johnston and Bate for their bias for action -- the book is organized to foster implementation, with helpful process tips sprinkled liberally throughout, helpful chapter summaries and endnotes by chapter for convenient diving into referenced materials. The immediacy and clarity of the presentation should help you get right into the process.""
Academy of Management Executive: ""The Power of Strategy Innovation is very worthwhile for senior managers and those responsible for innovative processes in their organizations."""
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They carefully organize their material within three Parts. In Chapters 1-4, they outline what strategy innovation is, what it is not, and suggest how to integrate it effectively. In Chapters 5-10, they offer specific guidance for implementing a strategy innovation initiative which they call the "Discovery Process." It has five phases: Staging, Aligning, Exploring, Creating, and Mapping. I hasten to add that, with appropriate modifications, this process can be use by any organization, regardless of size or nature. Then in Chapters 11 and 12, they offer a rigorous and probing analysis of the Discovery Process within a real-world setting. Of special interest to me is their use of FAQ in Chapter 11 and their outline of "key considerations" in the final chapter. In the Epilogue, Johnston and Bate share their thoughts about the future of strategy innovation. I also appreciate their clever use of a series of "Process Tips" (accompanied by brief comments) which should be highlighted (or otherwise noted) to facilitate a periodic review of the book's key points. Here are three examples:
"Strategy Innovation is best achieved by leaping ahead and working backward." (page 34)
"A strategic frontier is that unexplored area of potential growth that lies between today's business and tomorrow's opportunities." (page 113)
"It is easier to build feasibility into an innovative idea than to build innovation into a feasible idea." (page 203)
The material is sound, well-organized, and skillfully presented. I think those who read this book will my high regard for it while realizing, as Johnston and Bate correctly point out, "Strategy innovation is not a typical, quantitative goal, so it should not be communicated to employees in a rational, quantitative way. Strategy innovation is a bold leap into a new future. It is a rallying cry for growth, a clarion call to lead others into the future, to achieve new levels of performance and success." Quite true.
But if strategy innovation initiatives lack passion, if they fail to excite the heart and stimulate the mind, and if they are incremental and cautious, they are certain to fail.
Johnston and Bate have succeeded in achieving this nearly impossible task. These authors take a different perspective (from other innovation authors) and offer a framework for Strategy Innovation - which not to be confused with Strategic Planning. Strategic Planning focuses on building value in current markets through an analytical analysis of the current business conditions and models. Strategy Innovation, by contrast, is defined as creating new value through a creative - insights-driven - iterative approach, where companies leap ahead to define where they want to be and then "work backwards" in order to achieve the future goal.
The strengths of this book are three-fold.
1. The book is more than a retrospective case study - it is about developing the process of how to go about incorporating innovation.
2. The Strategy Innovation process described by the authors can be implemented without first requiring radical disruption of the organization or its processes - thus reducing the initial cost and organizational resistance to implementation. For example, Strategic Planning remains - but it should be guided by the Strategic Innovation process.
3. The book is well-written and well-edited.