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Relentless Innovation: What Works, What Doesn't--And What That Means For Your Business Hardcover – November 30, 2011

4.9 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Jeffrey Phillips leads the innovation consulting team at OVO Innovation, a consulting and training firm working primarily with Fortune 500 firms. OVO Innovation partners with its clients to create a sustainable, repeatable innovation capability by training and building innovation teams, defining innovation processes, and developing open innovation partnerships. He is a well-known thought leader in the innovation space and regularly blogs about innovation.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill Education; 1 edition (November 30, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0071786805
  • ISBN-13: 978-0071786805
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 0.8 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #614,872 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
As the global marketplace becomes increasingly competitive and customer demand for new and frequently updated products and services continues to grow, the need for innovation has never been clearer. Companies must become what author Jeffrey Phillips calls, "relentless innovators," making innovation not only a priority, but an integral part of their business models, or risk being overtaken and surpassed by their competitors. The challenge, of course, is to overcome the misconceptions surrounding innovation with a goal of making innovation "...a cultural phenomenon which can be enhanced or inhibited by leaders, culture, and strategy."

Phillips, who has spent the past 10 years leading OVO Innovation's work with Fortune 500 and midsized firms in North America, Europe, and Asia, has written a book that is at once persuasive and practical. While the need for innovation and its benefits is clear, says Phillips, the road to articulating and implementing a successful innovation strategy is not. The confusion is due, in part, to what he calls the "Mythology of Innovation." In Chapters 1 and 2 he systematically debunks those myths and identifies the real barriers to innovation - the perception that innovation is a threat to the status quo, to the existing business models and strategies that typically focus on scaling up, getting a sizeable market share, and generating profits. As a result, "says Phillips, "innovation capabilities remain a part of the lore of many firms, but those references and stories seem misplaced in an era of high efficiency, cost-cutting, and outsourcing."

The solution Phillips proposes is simple - make innovation part of a company's fundamental approach to doing business. However, there are many reasons firms can't sustain innovation.
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Format: Hardcover
The reason to read this book is it will help a reader to understand their organization's current reasons for lack of innovation success, and defines a set of steps that will help deal with many of the issues facing organizational leaders who want their firms to be more creative and bring more relevant new things to the market. It provides an excellent overview of what is needed to develop a company's internal innovation competence and capabilities. It helps the reader understand and address specific obstacles facing middle managers and how to lead them toward executing innovation activities.

There are two major themes in the book as to what stifles innovation: Business as usual and middle managers. The culture and current operating practices of a company are the major barriers to creating new value for a customer or market. The focus of the book is how to shift from business as usual to Innovation As Usual.

Business as usual stymies innovation by overly focusing the organization on efficient business processes and meeting short term demands, and by commanding the attention of the middle management cohort to the exclusion of creating new things. The author presents a number of attributes that can introduce far more innovation focus into a business as usual culture. The goal of an Innovation As Usual approach is to bring the operating model back into balance and focus on both efficiency and innovation. The primary driver of innovation success is a combination of culture, attitudes, frameworks, and processes that form a new "operating model" for the business.

From this book, a reader will gain a deeper understanding that defining and communicating strategic intent is critical.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Longtime blogger Jeffrey Phillips of OVO Innovation has just published "Relentless Innovation", an excellent addition to the growing library of books on innovation. The chapter "The Mythology of Innovation" alone makes "Relentless Innovation" a worthwhile read, as Phillips takes on such enduring innovation myths as the success of the fast-follower strategy and the idea that sustained innovation is impossible for any firm.

But the mythology chapter is just the warm-up for the book's very sharp point: The real barriers to innovation are "business as usual" and middle management, and in order to become more innovative, firms need to transform these from innovation barriers into innovation drivers. And Phillips puts his money where his mouth is by spending the rest of the book showing exactly how that can be done.

I sent Phillips five questions about his new book and he kindly provided email answers:

Q: If you had to sum up the main point of your book in a sentence, what would it be?

A: For businesses to succeed in the future, their "operating models" must be rebalanced between efficiency and innovation.

Q: You talk a bit about how middle managers charged with innovation can succeed in the absence of a clear innovation strategy or creation of innovation competency within the company. Understanding that that is the ideal circumstance, what would you say is the best course of action for a middle manager who wants to try to innovate, or start the ball rolling to make his or her company more innovative?

A: I doubt that a middle manager, in isolation, can create an innovation discipline or competence. He or she simply won't have the attention and the authority to create the processes and rewards necessary to shift the culture.
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