Making Innovation Work

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Making innovation work: How to manage it, Measure it, and Profit from it By Davila Epstein and Shelton

Summary
In this book the authors provide clearly defined methods and guidelines for creating and sustaining innovation strategies that best fit a specific company. The book covers a lot of topics about innovation from the management’s prospective. It starts from evaluation the innovation state of one company to how to design an innovation strategy while integrating /balancing innovations between technology and business model; it talks about how to manage innovation by fighting organizational antibodies (from bureaucracy to not-invented-here syndrome) and leverage technology to design innovation process; and finally it touches on how to measure and reward innovation using incentives, designing measures.

Overall opinion
My overall impression about this book is it is insightful as well as practical. I like the way how the authors explained innovation using matrices, tables, figures, cases instead of plain theories so that readers could use the tools to troubleshoot their company’s situation and relate real company cases to innovation and identify what needs to be improved to maximize value and profits. I also like the fact that this book looks beyond product, process innovation to address the business model innovation and the balance one company should find between innovating business model and technology. Something I do not quite like about the book it’s the cases selected. Some of the cases have already been used repeatedly for hundreds of times by other business books. Some points I find interesting from the book include:

There is a natural tension between creativity and value capture. Creativity without the ability to translate into profit can be fun but is unsustainable; profits without creativity is rewarding but only works in the short-term. The case used here is Xerox who focused too much on innovation and lost the goal. In an era of...
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