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The 10 Faces Of Innovation Ideo

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2/c non-Fiction Book for IDEO

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The 10 Faces Of Innovation Ideo

  1. 1. TEN FACES THE INNOVATION OF Strategies from IDEO for Beating the Devil’s Advocate and Driving Creativity Throughout Your Organization TOM KELLEY with Jonathan Littman CURRENCY D O U B L E DAY
  2. 2. CONTENTS INTRODUCTION Beyond the Devil’s Advocate 1 CHAPTER 1 The Anthropologist 13 CHAPTER 2 The Experimenter 34 CHAPTER 3 The Cross-Pollinator 56 CHAPTER 4 The Hurdler 75 CHAPTER 5 The Collaborator 92 CHAPTER 6 The Director 116 CHAPTER 7 The Experience Architect 138 CHAPTER 8 The Set Designer 163 CHAPTER 9 The Caregiver 182 CHAPTER 10 The Storyteller 204 CHAPTER 11 The Face of Innovation 221 Index 00 V
  3. 3. INTRODUCTION Beyond the Devil’s Advocate W e’ve all been there. The pivotal meeting where you push forward a new idea or proposal you’re passionate about. A fast-paced discussion leads to an upwelling of support that seems about to reach critical mass. And then, in one disastrous moment, your hopes are dashed when someone weighs in with those fateful words: “Let me just play Devil’s Advocate for a minute…” Having invoked the awesome protective power of that seemingly innocuous phrase, the speaker now feels entirely free to take pot shots at your idea, and does so with complete impunity. Because they’re not really your harshest critic. They are essentially saying, “The Devil made me do it.” They’re removing themselves from the equation and sidestepping individual responsibility for the verbal attack. But before they’re done, they’ve torched your fledgling concept. The Devil’s Advocate gambit is extraordinary, but certainly not uncommon since it strikes so regularly in the project rooms and boardrooms of corporate America. What’s truly astonishing is how much punch is packed into that simple nine-word phrase. In fact, the Devil’s Advocate may be the biggest innovation killer in America today. What makes this negative persona so dangerous is that it is such a subtle threat. Every day, thousands of great new ideas, con- cepts and plans are nipped in the bud by Devil’s Advocates. 1
  4. 4. THE TEN FACES OF INNOVATION B E Y O N D T H E D E V I L’ S A D V O C A T E 3 Why is this persona so damning? Because the Devil’s Advocate tion, we have more recently come around to seeing innovation as a encourages idea-wreckers to assume the most negative possible per- tool for transforming the entire culture of organizations. Sure, a great spective, one that only sees the downside, the problems, the disasters- product can be one important element in the formula for business suc- in-waitdangerous is that it is such a subtle threat. Every day, thou- cess, but companies that want to succeed in today’s competitive envi- sands of great new ideas, concepts and plans are nipped in the bud by ronment need much more. They need innovation at every point of the Devil’s Advocates. compass, in all aspects of the business and among every team member. Why is this persona so damning? Because the Devil’s Advocate Building an environment fully engaged in positive change, and a cul- encourages idea-wreckers to assume the most negative possible per- ture rich in creativity and renewal, means creating a company with spective, one that only sees the downside, the problems, the disasters- 360 degrees of innovation. There is a growing recognition that foster- in-wait ing. Once those floodgates open, they can drown a new initia- ing a culture of innovation is critical to success, as important as map- tive in negativity. ping out competitive strategies or maintaining good margins. A recent Why should you care? And why do we at IDEO believe this prob- Boston Consulting Group survey in nearly fifty countries and all sorts lem is so important? Because innovation is the lifeblood of all organi- of businesses reported that nine out of ten senior executives believe zations, and the Devil’s Advocate is generating growth through innovation is essential for success in their Every day, thousands toxic to your cause. This is no trivial industry. Where business magazines once ranked companies primari- of great new ideas, matter. There is no longer any serious ly by sales, growth, and profit, publications are now ranking corpo- concepts and plans are debate about the primacy of innova- rations on their innovation track record. And while acquisitions can nipped in the bud by tion to the health and future strength yield synergy, and reengineering can streamline operations, a culture Devil’s Advocates of a corporation. Even the staid of innovation may be the ultimate fuel for long term growth and British publication The Economist brand development. Whether you sell consumer electronics or finan- recently said, “Innovation is now recognized as the single most impor- cial services, the frequency with which you must innovate and replen- tant ingredient in any modern economy.” And what The Economist ish your offerings is rapidly increasing. said about nations is equally true about organizations. In the four years since The Art of Innovation, my first book about our practices at IDEO, I have worked with clients from Singapore to San Francisco Serial Innovation Success to São Paulo. At the same time, the scope of our work has expanded to include industries as far flung as healthcare services, retailing, As I was completing this book, Google, already the world’s leading transportation, financial services, consumer packaged goods and food search engine, was innovating at a breakneck pace, rolling out a new & beverage. service capability or acquisition practically every month—everything My colleagues at IDEO and I have witnessed first-hand how inno- from searching rare books in the world’s greatest libraries to viewing vation has become recognized as a pivotal management tool across vir- aerial photographs of any location, to skimming through transcripts tually all industries and market segments. And while IDEO used to of last night’s TV shows. Until it introduced Desktop Search, I, like spend the majority of our time in the world of product-based innova- most people, had only thought of Google as a firm to help me search

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