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Book review: Business of Innovation

Book review: Business of Innovation

The book espouses the idea of innovation as an ongoing process and something more than just a “breakthrough moment”

Innovation is the new buzzword of big business. No surprise then that the position of chief innovation officer has become increasingly common, as firms rush to prove they are leaders and not followers.

But are companies successfully innovating or understanding the need for innovation in the first place? Masters of Innovation seeks to answer this question and show business heads how it is done.

The book – authoured by Kai Engel, Violetka Dirlea, Stephen Dyer and Jochen Graff from the management consultancy A.T Kearney – consists of company case studies from diverse sectors including rail, automotive and household appliances. These firms are the winners of the Best Innovator Competition, an annual contest launched by A.T. Kearney in 2003 to study best practice in the field.

While the book pushes forward the need for innovation in a fast changing market, it dismisses the traditional notion of Eureka moments. Instead, it espouses the idea of innovation as an ongoing process and something more than just a “breakthrough moment”.

The authors argue that innovation is a “repeatable process that can be studied and learned” to boost a firm’s growth prospects.

Painstakingly charting the course that a company should take in order to innovate and continue along the same path the book strips back the glamour from the process. The authors detail how innovation – if adopted at the right time and in the right way – can transform an organisation and set it on a growth curve.

The title is an interesting read for business heads looking to find tips to revitalise their company’s performance. But it might not be as easy as expected. The authors suggest that fostering the right environment is key. This could be the hardest task for many organisations. Although joining an abundance of titles championing innovation practices, the book makes for an interesting read due to its prudent use of excerpts from successful innovators across the world.

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