By Harvard Business Review

 

Review by Robert Morris

 

In this volume, one in a series of anthologies of articles previously published in the Harbard Business Review, the reader is provided with eight brilliant analyses of how to establish and then nourish innovative thinking entreprise-wide. No brief commentary such as this can do full justice to the rigor and substance of these articles. It remains for each reader to examine the list to identify those subjects which are of greatest interest to her or him. My own opinion is that all of the articles are first-rate. One of this volume's greatest benefits is derived from sharing a variety of perspectives provided by a number of different authorities on the same general subject. In this instance, "the innovative enterprise."

Readers will especially appreciate the provision of an executive summary which precedes each of the articles. Also of interest is the "About the Contributors" section which includes suggestions of other sources to consult.

These are some of the key questions to which the contributors respond:

  • Which "time pressure" situations yield creativity? Why? (Amabile, Hadley, and Kramer)

  • What are the most effective "tough-minded ways" to "get innovative"? (Pearson)

  • How to break out of - and stay out of -- the "innovation box"? (Wolpert)

  • What causes an R&D "machine" to "sputter" and how to repair it? (Peebles)

  • What does the "discipline of innovation" require of both individuals and organizations? (Drucker)

  • How can research help to "reinvent" an organization? (Brown)

  • If "creativity is not enough," what else is needed? (Levitt)

Those who share my high regard for this volume are urged to check out other "Harvard Business Review on..." volumes such as those on Culture and Change, Effective Communication, Value Innovation, Knowledge Management, Organizational Learning. Also Thomas Kelley and Jonathan Littman's The Art of Innovation and The Ten Faces of Innovation, Teresa Amabile's Creativity in Context, Evan Schwartz' Juice, Jane Fulton Suri' Thoughtless Acts?, Michael Michalko's Cracking Creativity, and Making Innovation Work co-authored by Tony Davila, Marc J. Epstein, and Robert Shelton.

 

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