BOOKCASE : The Ten Faces of Innovation: Strategies for Heightening Creativity

• Tom Kelley & Jonathan Littman • Profile Books • $35

“If I’d asked my customers what they wanted, they’d have asked for faster horse.” This Henry Ford quote is typical of the readable and enjoyable style of this motivational and thought-provoking insight into the workings of an innovative organisation. In The Ten Faces of Innovation, Tom Kelley, with the help of Jonathan Littman, unveils the strategies that helped product-design company IDEO become primary case study for innovation and creativity.
Fortunately the book is more than just personal memoir of the IDEO general manager, as it sets out template for structuring company based on the contribution different personality types can make towards an overall vision of innovation.
Simply put, Kelley shows how to replace the naysayers and devil’s advocates with 10 personality types that together may use their individual strengths to create new possibilities. Some may see this approach as merely characterisation of the different types one has to deal with when trying to find new perspectives. But that would be missing the point of the opportunity each and every manager has to embrace those character traits in the quest for new ideas.
The book is aimed at business consultants, researchers and upper management but is ideal for any team member who may be called on to assist in the innovation process. From the anthropologist whose strength lies in observing the way people behave, to the storyteller who builds internal morale and external awareness through compelling narratives, there are 10 primary examples of the different faces of innovation that may combine to achieve unimaginable outcomes.
The authors demonstrate with case histories, fun examples and surprising insights, how the learning personas combine with those that organise and those that build to create and innovate.
It is hard not to think of the Nokias and Vodafones of the corporate world when reading the many case histories and examples that are scattered through the less than 300 pages.
This easy to read guide to getting the best out of the unique strengths of each individual, is must for team leaders trying to put together working groups tasked with making fundamental changes. And for those entrepreneurs who are ‘the team’ all on their own, The Ten Faces of Innovation gives more than peek into the characteristics required to succeed on the innovation journey.
– Graham Medcalf

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