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Books

Little Black Book of Innovation

Spring 2011-12

 

Little Black Book of Innovation

Author: Scott D Anthony
Publisher: Harvard Business Review Press
Price: £15.99/$25


Acres of print have been devoted to defining innovation and how to achieve it. Anthony’s latest book – and he has written “about a quarter of a million” words on the subject already – is part memoir, part guidebook.

He defines innovation as “something different that has impact”, different from creativity and invention because it is about discovering an opportunity and implementing an idea to achieve results. So, Leonardo da Vinci’s ideas – which included sketches of devices like helicopters more than 400 years before they were developed – were not innovative according to Anthony’s definition, because they didn’t have an impact. Thomas Edison, however, was innovative because he acted on his ideas and they had impact.

The first part of the book is devoted to explaining the importance of innovation and the work of 12 “masters of innovation” – including entrepreneurs, former CEOs and management theorists.

But it is the second part of the book that feels different from typical innovation books. Anthony offers up a 28-day innovation programme, with themes for each of the four weeks, and daily action-orientated tips for getting better at innovation in many areas of life.

Pros:
Specific tips on how to be innovative
Cons: Personal footnotes on pages can be distracting


 




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