BOOKCASE: The Game-changer: How every leader can drive everyday innovation

• AG Lafley & Ram Charan
• Profile Business
• $39.99

Innovation has become the catch-cry of business world beset by recessionary economies and fiscal failure. Cash is, as always, king. But the customer is more than ever the king maker. And catering for the ever-changing demands of the customer is all about being innovative.
Our changing world economic, technological and sustainable environment has enterprise everywhere looking for new business models but the lessons already learned by smart market players like Procter and Gamble, Nokia, Lego and GE provide rich pickings for the thoughtful student of organisational success.
So turn to the 320-something pages of The Game Changer written by former P&G chairman and chief executive AG Lafley and his best-selling business consultant co-author Ram Charan, for their lessons on how to embrace innovation as total corporate strategy and as an organisational culture.
Their base argument, with supporting evidence from their compelling case study stories, is that the adoption and whole-hearted implementation of innovation is the only winning strategy in town. Innovation is not, they point out, separate activity, but the job of everyone in leadership position and should become an “integral driving force for any business that wants to grow and succeed”.
The book is divided into three sections, focusing first on the big picture which explains why the customer, not the CEO, is boss, how goals and strategies achieve game-changing innovation and how to leverage what you do best – in other words, revitalising core strengths with innovation.
Part two explains how to make innovation happen by organising for it, integrating it into the business routine, from ideas generation to market delivery, and managing the risks around innovation.
Part three is all about developing and implanting total innovation culture in the organisation.
As with any examples that come from the big business worlds of the United States and Europe, readers in our neck of the woods must make allowances. The principles and experiences, however, hold true irrespective of the difference in scale and environment. In today’s increasingly competitive global environment there are valuable lessons to be learned between the covers of this book. • Reg Birchfield

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