Wednesday, November 3, 2010

BOOK REVIEW: 'INNOVATION'S MISSING LINK', by Al Judge

'Innovation's Missing Link: The Secret to Effortlessly Overcoming Organizational Stagnation'
by Al Judge

This is one of the easiest & simplest - & yet still packed with pragmatic battle-proven ideas - books to read about effective 'innovation practices'.

It's also straight-shooting from the author, a 23-year veteran from Black & Decker's New Product Concepts Group, prior to his retirement in 2001, plus subsequent management experience with the PDMA outfit.

If I were to sum up the book, it's all about changing one's mindset, especially from the CEO's perspective, about organisational innovation, failing which, organisational stagnation will fall in place.

In fact, the author had done a superb service to readers [who have no time to read] by consolidating all his entire thoughts outlined in the book on page 15 to 18, under '40 Thoughts on Innovation'.

However, I would recommend reading the book in order to savour the author's action ideas from each chapter, & to learn from other companies' experiences as outlined in their case studies.

Other than the clear treatment on human nature, which is a critical component in the overall innovation process, what I generally like about the book is its exposition of the harsh reality of the innovation landscape, which the author has summed up as follows, especially the first one:

- the nature of organisations is to resist & oppose change;

- innovation cannot thrive with active support from senior management as well as [my words] from everyone in the organisation;

- for optimum results, innovation teams need a special breed of manager [my recommendation: read 'Innovation Leaders: How Senior Executives Stimulate, Steer & Sustain Innovation', by Jean-Philippe Deschamps];

I fully concur with the author:

"It takes a lot of guts & a great deal of patience to foster a creative environment."

I also have one interesting thought from the author:

"Few people can efficiently create something from nothing, but almost anyone can critique & improve an existing concept."

On the whole, the author's writing is clear, succinct & concise, which makes reading a breeze!

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