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Driving Technical Changeby Terrence Ryan
Synopses & Reviews
How do we know if a hot new technology will succeed or fail? Most of us, even experts, get it wrong all the time. We depend more than we realize on wishful thinking and romanticized ideas of history. In the new paperback edition of this fascinating book, a book that has appeared on MSNBC, CNBC, Slashdot.org, Lifehacker.com and in The New York Times, bestselling author Scott Berkun pulls the best lessons from the history of innovation, including the recent software and web age, to reveal powerful and suprising truths about how ideas become successful innovations — truths people can easily apply to the challenges of today. Through his entertaining and insightful explanations of the inherent patterns in how Einsteins discovered E=mc2 or Tim Berner Lees developed the idea of the world wide web, you will see how to develop existing knowledge into new innovations.
Each entertaining chapter centers on breaking apart a powerful myth, popular in the business world despite it's lack of substance. Through Berkun's extensive research into the truth about innovations in technology, business and science, youll learn lessons from the expensive failures and dramatic successes of innovations past, and understand how innovators achieved what they did — and what you need to do to be an innovator yourself. You'll discover:
The paperback edition includes four new chapters, focused on appling the lessons from the original book, and helping you develop your skills in creative thinking, pitching ideas, and staying motivated.
"For centuries before Google, MIT, and IDEO, modern hotbeds of innovation, we struggled to explain any kind of creation, from the universe itself to the multitudes of ideas around us. While we can make atomic bombs, and dry-clean silk ties, we still dont have satisfying answers for simple questions like: Where do songs come from? Are there an infinite variety of possible kinds of cheese? How did Shakespeare and Stephen King invent so much, while were satisfied watching sitcom reruns? Our popular answers have been unconvincing, enabling misleading, fantasy-laden myths to grow strong."
— Scott Berkun, from the text
"Berkun sets us free to change the world."
— Guy Kawasaki, author of Art of the Start
Scott was a manager at Microsoft from 1994-2003, on projects including v1-5 (not 6) of Internet Explorer. He is the author of three bestselling books, Making Things Happen, The Myths of Innovation and Confessions of a Public Speaker. He works full time as a writer and speaker, and his work has appeared in The New York Times, Forbes magazine, The Economist, The Washington Post, Wired magazine, National Public Radio and other media. He regularly contributes to Harvard Business Review and Bloomberg Businessweek, has taught creative thinking at the University of Washington, and has appeared as an innovation and management expert on MSNBC and on CNBC. He writes frequently on innovation and creative thinking at his blog: scottberkun.com and tweets at @berkun.
Book News Annotation:
A member of Adobe's evangelism team examines the reasons co-workers resist new software development tools and techniques, and supplies specific tips for learning and demonstrating the tool, pitching the idea, proposing compromise, establishing trust, and imagining compelling solutions to company problems. Brief stories illustrate gentle strategies for winning over fellow web application developers and managers alike. Distributed by O'Reilly Media. Annotation ©2011 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Former Microsoft manager and bestselling author Berkun takes a careful look at the history of innovation, including the recent years of the software and Internet age, to reveal that what the public knows about innovation is wrong.
Your co-workers' resistance to new technologies can be baffling. Logical arguments can fail. If you don't do politics, you will fail. With Driving Technical Change, by Terrence Ryan, you'll learn to read users' "patterns of resistance"-and then dismantle their objections. Every developer must master the art of evangelizing. With these techniques and strategies, you'll help your organization adopt your solutions-without selling your soul to organizational politics.
Finding cool languages, tools, or development techniques is easy-new ones are popping up every day. Convincing co-workers to adopt them is the hard part. The problem is political, and in political fights, logic doesn't win for logic's sake. Hard evidence of a superior solution is not enough. But that reality can be tough for programmers to overcome.
In Driving Technical Change: Why People On Your Team Don't Act on Good Ideas, and How to Convince Them They Should, Adobe software evangelist Terrence Ryan breaks down the patterns and types of resistance technologists face in many organizations.
You'll get a rich understanding of what blocks users from accepting your solutions. From that, you'll get techniques for dismantling their objections-without becoming some kind of technocratic Machiavelli.
In Part I, Ryan clearly defines the problem. Then in Part II, he presents "resistance patterns"-there's a pattern for each type of person resisting your technology, from The Uninformed to The Herd, The Cynic, The Burned, The Time Crunched, The Boss, and The Irrational. In Part III, Ryan shares his battle-tested techniques for overcoming users' objections. These build on expertise, communication, compromise, trust, publicity, and similar factors. In Part IV, Ryan reveals strategies that put it all together-the patterns of resistance and the techniques for winning buy-in. This is the art of organizational politics.
In the end, change is a two-way street: In order to get your co-workers to stretch their technical skills, you'll have to stretch your soft skills. This book will help you make that stretch without compromising your resistance to playing politics. You can overcome resistance-however illogical-in a logical way.
How do you determine whether a hot new technology will succeed or fail? Or where the next big idea will come from? If you subscribe to the popular myths of innovation, it's impossible to answer these questions. Our beliefs about how new ideas come about are based on wishful thinking and romanticized ideas of history — like the story of how Newton discovered gravity when an apple hit him on the head.
In the new paperback edition of The Myths of Innovation, bestselling author Scott Berkun takes a careful look at the history of innovation, including the recent software and Internet age, to reveal powerful truths about how ideas become successful innovations — truths that people can apply to the challenges of the present day. By understanding how Einstein's discovery of E=mc2 or Tim Berner Lee's creation of the Web were based on the re-use of work done by others, you will see new ways to develop existing knowledge into new innovations.
Each entertaining chapter centers on breaking apart a powerful myth. Through Berkun's extensive research into the truth about past innovations in technology, business and science, you'll learn lessons from the expensive failures and dramatic successes of innovations past, and understand how innovators achieved what they did — and what you need to do to be an innovator yourself. You'll discover:
About the Author
Terrence Ryan currently works as an Evangelist for Adobe Systems. He focuses on the promotion of ColdFusion, Flash, Flex and AIR. As an evangelist his job is to encourage people to try new tools and techniques. Before that, he spent ten years in higher education overseeing the work of a team of developers, running code reviews, pushing standards, and trying to convince co-workers to come around to new tools and techniques.
Table of Contents
Photo creditsPrefaceChapter 1: The myth of epiphanyChapter 2: We understand the history of innovationChapter 3: There is a method for innovationChapter 4: People love new ideasChapter 5: The lone inventorChapter 6: Good ideas are hard to findChapter 7: Your boss knows more about innovation than youChapter 8: The best ideas winChapter 9: Problems and solutionsChapter 10: Innovation is always goodAppendix A: Research and recommendationsColophon
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