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The Ten Faces of Innovation: IDEO's Strategies for Beating the Devil's Advocate and Driving Creativity Throughout Your Organization Hardcover – October 18, 2005
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From Publishers Weekly
Kelley's latest builds on The Art of Innovation, which celebrated the work culture that distinguishes his high-profile, award-winning industrial design firm, IDEO. This book covers much of the same territory, but focuses on the type of worker and team-building rather than the work environment. The authors define 10 personas, including Anthropologists, who contribute insights by observing human behavior; Experimenters, who try new things; Hurdlers, who surmount obstacles; Collaborators, who bring people together and get things done; and Caregivers, who anticipate and meet customer needs. Like its predecessor, the book is breezy and well written, with plenty of self-promotion. Kelley and Littman weave classic and recent stories of business innovation, such as 3M's Scotch tape, Volvo's three-point seatbelts and Netflix's mail-in DVDs, with IDEO's own success stories with clients ranging from the Boston Beer Company, for whom IDEO designed a new Sam Adams tap handle, to Organ Recovery Systems, for whom IDEO helped develop ways to expedite kidney transport. Aspiring business innovators and fans of The Art of Innovation may find further inspiration in this handbook. (Oct. 18)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Advance Praise for The Ten Faces of Innovation
"Essential reading for every single person in your organization--even the CEO should read it! Each page contains a nugget that's worth the price of the entire book. Wow."
—Seth Godin, author of Purple Cow
“A concensus is emerging that Innovation must become most every firm's ‘Job One.’ ‘Hurdle One,’ however, is a doozer: establishing a Culture of Innovation. IDEO thought leader Tom Kelley offers a thoroughly original and thoroughly tested approach to creating that ‘culture of innovation.’ Rigorously applying his ‘Ten Faces’ will get the innovation ball rolling ... fast. Bravo!”
— Tom Peters
Critical Acclaim for Tom Kelley’s Previous National Bestseller The Art of Innovation
“Tom Kelley has unlocked the magic box of innovation for corporate America.”
—Bruce Nussbaum, BusinessWeek
“In light of all the books on the market about creativity, it takes a certain amount of chutzpah to call your book The Art of Innovation. Yet Kelley makes a good case.... Practical, clearly written, and highly detailed.”
“On nearly every page, the story of some upstart invention is recounted in patter that's as good as a skilled magician's…. Almost like visiting an IDEO workshop in person.”
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Top Customer Reviews
In an earlier work, The Art of Innovation: Lessons in Creativity from IDEO, America's Leading Design Firm, Kelley shares IDEO's five-step methodology: Understand the market, the client, the technology, and the perceived constraints on the given problem; observe real people in real-life situations; literally visualize new-to-the-world concepts AND the customers who will use them; evaluate and refine the prototypes in a series of quick iterations; and finally, implement the new concept for commercialization. With regard to the last "step", as Bennis explains in Organizing Genius, Apple executives immediately recognized the commercial opportunities for PARC's technology. Larry Tesler (who later left PARC for Apple) noted that Jobs and colleagues (especially Wozniak) "wanted to get it out to the world." But first, obviously, the challenge was to create that "it" which they then did.
In this volume, as Kelley explains, his book is "about innovation with a human face. [Actually, at least ten...hence its title.] It's about the individuals and teams that fuel innovation inside great organizations. Because all great movements are human-powered." He goes on to suggest that all good working definitions of innovation pair ideas with action, "the spark with fire. Innovators don't just have their heads in the clouds. They also have their feet on the ground." Kelley cites and then examines several exemplary ("great") organizations which include Google, W.L. Gore & Associates, the Gillette Company, and German retailer Tchibo. I especially appreciate the fact that Kelley focuses on the almost unlimited potential for creativity of individuals and the roles which they can play, "the hats they can put on, the personas they can adopt...[albeit] unsung heroes who work on the front lines of entrepreneurship in action, the countless people and teams who make innovation happen day in and day out."
Because organizations need individuals who are savvy about the counterintuitive process of how to move ideas forward, Kelley recommends three "Organizing Personas": The Hurdler, The Collaborator, and The Director.
Because organizations also need individuals and teams who apply insights from the learning roles and channel the empowerment from the organizing roles to make innovation happen, Kelley recommends four "Building personas": The Experience Architect, The Set Designer, The Caregiver, and The Storyteller. Note both the sequence, interrelatedness and, indeed, the interdependence of these ten "personas."
I am reminded of comparable material in A Kick in the Seat of the Pants. Specifically, Roger von Oech's discussion of what he calls "The Four Roles of the Creative Process" (i.e. Explorer, Artist, Judge, and Warrior). Also Six Thinking Hats in which Edward de Bono explains the need for a creativity "wardrobe" comprised of several hats. Specifically, white (rational, logical, and objective), red (emotional), black (negative), yellow (positive, hopeful, optimistic), green (creative and innovative), and blue (ordered, controlled, structured).
What Kelley achieves in this volume is to develop in much greater depth than do von Oech and de Bono what are essentially ten different perspectives. He does so, brilliantly, by focussing the bulk of his attention of those who, for example, seek and explore new opportunities to reveal breakthrough insights...and while doing so wear (at least metaphorically) one of de Bono's hats (probably the green one). Kelley devotes a separate chapter to each of the ten "personas," including real-world examples of various "unsung heroes who work on the front lines of entrepreneurship in action, the countless people and teams who make innovation happen day in and day out."
Two final points. First, most of those who read this book can more easily identify with "unsung heroes" such as those whom Kelley discusses than with luminaries of innovation such as Thomas Edison or with celebrity CEOs such as Andrew Grove, Jeffrey Immelt, Steve Jobs, and Jack Welch, all of whom were staunch advocates of constant innovation in their respective organizations. Also, presumably Kelley agrees with me that those who read and then (hopefully) re-read his book should do so guided by a process which begins with the curiosity of an anthropologist and concludes with the empathy of a caregiver. This is emphatically not an anthology of innovation recipes. Rather, it offers a rigorous intellectual journey whose ultimate value will be determined, entirely, by the nature and extent of innovative thinking which each reader achieves...and who then uses the breakthrough insights to drive creativity throughout her or his own organization.
However, I wouldn't recommend the book to anyone attempting to build more capacity for innovation into their organization. It doesn't really cover how to hire, use, or retain people in these roles or even how to develop the roles in the people you already have.
Much of the text is also a rolling story - you come away from each of the roles feeling like they must be a critically important part of the team and that the people who have played them are clearly smart people, but unsure of whether it was the role, the person, or both that made the team successful. Or even that the person was more than just a ringside activity on an already creative team.
Beyond this however I have a hard time figuring out how to use this book to make myself or my team better at creative work. It felt this was mainly because the author stayed on the surface of describing 'what' the roles were and 'how' they did their job, rather then talking about things like 'if you are having this problem in your work, you need to find someone to champion the anthropologist role'.