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The Other Side of Innovation: Solving the Execution Challenge (Harvard Business Review)by Vijay Govindarajan
Synopses & Reviews
Companies cant survive without innovating. But most put far more emphasis on generating Big Ideas than on executing them—turning ideas into actual breakthrough products, services, and process improvements.
Thats because ideating” is energizing and glamorous. By contrast, execution seems like humdrum, behind-the-scenes dirty work. But without execution, Big Ideas go nowhere.
In The Other Side of Innovation, Vijay Govindarajan and Chris Trimble reveal how to execute an innovation initiative—whether a simple project or a grand, gutsy gamble.. Drawing on examples from innovators as diverse as Allstate, BMW, Timberland, and Nucor, the authors explain how to:
Build the Right Team: Determine wholl be on the team, where theyll come from, how theyll be organized, how much time theyll devote to the project, and how theyll navigate the delicate and conflict-rich partnership between innovation and ongoing operations.
Manage a Disciplined Experiment: Decide how team members can quickly test their assumptions , translate results into new knowledge, and measure progress. Give innovation leaders a tough but fair performance evaluation.
Practical and provocative, this new book takes you step-by-step through the innovation execution process—so your Big Ideas deliver their full promise.
In their first book, Ten Rules for Strategic Innovators, the authors provided a better model for executing disruptive innovation. They laid out a three-part plan for launching high-risk/high-reward innovation efforts: (1) borrow assets from the existing firms, (2) unlearn and unload certain processes and systems that do not serve the new entity, and (3) learn and build all new capabilities and skills.
In their study of the Ten Rules in action, Govindarajan and Trimble observed many other kinds of innovation that were less risky but still critical to the company's ongoing success. In case after case, senior executives expected leaders of innovation initiatives to grapple with forces of resistence, namely incentives to keep doing what the company has always done--rather than develop new competence and knowledge. But where to begin?
In this book, the authors argue that the most successful everyday innovators break down the process into six manageable steps:
1. Divide the labor
2. Assemble the dedicated team
3. Manage the partnership
4. Formalize the experiment
5. Break down the hypothesis
6. Seek the truth.
The Other Side of Innovation codifies this staged approach in a variety of contexts. It delivers a proven step-by-step guide to executing (launching, managing, and measuring) more modest but necessary innovations within large firms without disrupting their bread-and-butter business.
About the Author
Vijay "VG" Govindarajan (www.vg-tuck.com) is the Earl C. Daum 1924 Professor of International Business and the Founding Director of the Center for Global Leadership at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College. He is the 2008 Professor-in-Residence and Chief Innovation Consultant for General Electric and a leading expert on strategy and innovation. He lives in New Hampshire.
Chris Trimble is a frequent speaker and a Senior Fellow at Katzenbach Partners LLC (New York), a consulting firm that helps companies reach their strategic intent by offering a combination of analytic problem solving and insight into people and organization. He holds an MBA degree with distinction from the Tuck School, and a bachelor of science degree with highest distinction from the University of Virginia. He lives in Vermont.
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