Stoking Your Innovation Bonfire: A Roadmap to a Sustainable Culture of Ingenuity and Purpose 1st Edition
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Every successful organization began as a nimble, innovative start-up with the ability to course-correct and quickly adapt to the needs of its customers. But along the way, success and growth may have caused changes in the structure, the culture, and sometimes even the vision of the business.
Stoking Your Innovation Bonfire equips your organization to identify and remove those barriers to innovation that have prevented it from achieving sustainable growth and change. Braden Kelley shares the profound insight, simplicity, and uncommon sense that have helped countless organizations get back their innovative spirit and leverage the collective wisdom and passion of their employees.
Filled with case studies and proven guidance, this book evolves leading innovation theories into coherent, practical applications that you can implement in reinvigorating your own organizationwithout expensive consultants. You'll find world-class guidance on overcoming your business's blockages in the areas of:
- Idea generation and evaluation
- Idea commercialization
- Organizational psychology
- Information and structure
In today's fast-paced marketplace, those unwilling to change are often left behind.??With an interactive Web site including health checks and an innovation audit, as well as video and text interviews, Stoking Your Innovation Bonfire provides you with the tools you need to reframe your business's innovation strategy and goals and successfully supply the marketplace with revolutionary solutions to your customers' issues. Knock down your barriers to innovation. Create a healthy cooperation with the need for operational excellence. Let your corporate brilliance shine. Get the fire started with Stoking Your Innovation Bonfire.
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I must admit I was left a little cold with the generic high level examples and would have appreciated a more in-depth first-hand experience from the author, perhaps even a day in the life of, or ways to make innovation more exciting, alluding to the bonfire analogy. I often found myself thinking that this was a rehash of articles and a strategy framework that is often used in strategic consulting (vision, strategy, goals) with a spin on innovation.
This book seems complimentary to other lenses that can be applied to the world of innovation as it focuses on it from the point of view of Organisational Strategy and Change Management and as such is a useful tool for your Innovation toolkit. The price tag too offers a good ROI if you intend to initiate a sustainable innovation practice within your organization as it provides the framework to implement it.
As food for future thought, one obstacle I keep coming up against related to the world of innovation is that, perhaps by its very nature, it is presented as something that is in a kind of tug-of-war with the business' day to day (managers and employees have to focus on innovation activities on top of their daily activities without an obvious return, for extended periods of time, in exchange for a gift during a competition to show for). I agree that the book presents a few options to address this, so I guess there is still space to streamline innovation activities.
To illustrate the concept, one can approach the world of sales using the paradigm that sales is a numbers game. In doing so, then the approach that follows is to cold call and generate leads and accept that the close rate will be 10% or less. But renewed paradigms can be applied with funnels and scripts that help automate the marketing and filtering process, and thus reduce costs and make them more efficient, so that close rates increase or at least the efforts are more focused. Thinking with renewed paradigms and applying these to the innovation funnel could perhaps reveal new approaches that can increase the success rates of innovation results while making them more targeted. Again, food for thought.
Perhaps one of my favorite sections is titled "Saying No in the Right Way." So many times I have seen the passion of innovators in organizations run aground on the negativity attendant with the strategic (and sometimes, not-so-strategic) decision-making surrounding which opportunities to pursue and which to abandon. Braden addresses the ego inherent in people sharing and evaluating their ideas in a public domain. He also notes that sometimes the smartest people in the room have the least capability to explain or develop their ideas in order to make their invention an innovation reality. The approach he recommends is to foster trust by understanding the skills that people bring to the table before you go down the innovation road as well as set clear expectations for the process of selection. All of which requires preparation...
This readily accessible offering is focused on getting the fundamentals of innovation right. It directly addressed key obstacles that cripple innovation in organizations, regardless of their initial innovation successes.
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Kelley's book is amazing in that it's a relatively short read (for busy professionals and executives) but is also extremely comprehensive. Effectively capturing innovation theory, Kelley also provides numerous case studies, lists, charts, and references to a website, with ancillary material. On a separate note, Kelley's blog, BloggingInnovation.com, is unparalleled! Its format is easily readable and contains many articles by prominent authors and thought leaders in the field of innovation including Tom Peters, Rowan Gibson, Matthew E May, Stephen Shapiro, and more.
On a final note, it appears that the current myopic focus on speed and breakthrough innovation as an exclusive success strategy, is moderated by Kelley's emphasis on the importance of linking innovation strategies to the type of innovation that's required, as opposed to what may be in vogue at the moment. As a consultant who grounds much of her work in the organizational life cycle, I was really pleased to see how Kelley ties innovation strategy to "innovation maturity levels." In some organizations, "slow" or incremental innovation is clearly the most appropriate strategy, and Kelley validates this.
I must say that I don't think there's a base that Kelley hasn't covered in this book, which is why I will enthusiastically read any additional books that he might publish in the future!
Great book must read for those who are visionary...