“Permanent Innovation” the Perfect Primer
In a recent post entitled “Innovation 101” Jeffrey Phillips said he was meeting many people at innovation conferences that “could really use an introductory program just to introduce the various concepts and approaches for innovation“
Those folks could do themselves a favor by reading “Permanent Innovation” by Langdon Morris (which you can buy or download for free from the Permanent Innovation website). The book's subtitle “The Definitive Guide to the Principles, Strategies and Methods of Successful Innovators” is not hot air. In my view it’s probably the best book out there covering (in engaging style) the core concepts of innovation. There are many excellent books on innovation (and their number seems to increase almost daily) but the vast majority focus on some specific form of innovation - such as disruptive innovation, open innovation or innovation culture. Permanent Innovation provides a foundation that you can work with today while providing a context for some of those other works.
Some highlights from the book from my perspective were:
* “The Innovation Table” (p.38) illustrating the four different forms of innovation (incremental, product/service, business model and new venture) across a variety of industries
* “38 +2 Ideas To Get Started” (Chapter 12) including ideas such as:
* “If your firm is large enough you may want to consider designating a Chief Innovation Officer” (had to agree with that one!)
* “Create an Innovation Advisory Board and invite five outsiders who know your industry to give you their candid feedback about your firm and it’s innovation initiatives.”
* Identify a company that you admire that’s outside of your industry. Study that company in detail to learn why it’s so good, and figure out how to emulate its strengths in your own organization.
* And my favorite “Innovation Principle #5 - Innovation without methodology is just luck.”
Book: Permanent Innovation by Langdon Morris. This book is a highly readable primer on the purpose and process of innovation. (It’s also downloadable for free!) If you’re new to innovation this is the book you should start with.
Noted innovation expert Langdon Morris has a new book, Permanent Innovation, that takes up the idea that innovation should be a continuous process, woven throughout an organization's culture, rather than set apart as a specialized program or function.
While its premise seems self-evident, the book has apparently picked up some good reviews from those in the know. Fortune magazine's innovation blog enthusiastically recommends the book, and recaps the 10 principles of innovation that Morris covers.
Thursday, August 03, 2006
InnovationLabs, an innovation consultancy, has published a new book called Permanent Innovation. Authored by partner Langdon Morris, this new book promises to teach executives how to develop an organizational culture that enables firms to produce innovation consistently over time.
This ability is the "holy grail" of innovation, which seems to elude most organizations. It's not too hard to be innovative for a few years. But given rapidly changing marketplace conditions, economic cycles, turnover at the top, relentless pressure from shareholders for improved quarterly results and other factors, it's devilishly hard to be consistently innovative for more than a few years. This book aims to change all that.
A Guide to the Strategies and Practices of Successful Innovators - Available for Free!
Not quite sure how this one managed to slip by me – but it sure looks like a winner! Released last month, Permanent Innovation: The Essential Guide to the Strategies, Principles and Practices of Successful Innovators, is a new book that explores the innovation strategies employed by the likes of Toyota, Starbucks, and Wal-Mart. It also includes “dozens of specific ideas that can help people to make their own organizations more innovative,” according to the publisher. But perhaps its biggest selling point is that the author has elected to distribute the book for free. Yes, you heard right – for free.
Author Langdon Morris is apparently a true believer in this purest form of open innovation. Not only is he interested in inviting input from outsiders, he is willing to provide – at no cost – his knowledge of the subject matter – his “intellectual property,” if you will. What’s in it for him? Actually, a lot – indeed, much more than the price of a book.
As his promoters describe it, Morris has opted for a "Creative Commons" copyright, which will enable others to use his work as part of their own creative process. This is an interesting strategy – one that not only makes it possible for others to benefit from Morris’ knowledge of the subject, but for Morris to benefit from the input of others, as well – in a number of ways.
In essence, just as Wikipedia benefits from an open source approach to building its content, Morris and others like him are turning the publishing world upside down by making their books and other content available for free. This approach accomplishes several things – it provides a valuable testbed for new offerings, allows readers to contribute content for upcoming editions, and uncovers a potential market for both current and future offerings. While consumers may, at first, go for the freebie, in the end they are likely to pay for the product if they find it useful, and will also be on the lookout for other products and services from the provider– once they’ve had a chance to sample the goods.
Conventional wisdom suggests that such a business model simply won’t work. After all, how can one give something away and make it pay? But, perhaps this innovator knows better. Ultimately, the game is all about “delighting the customer” – in this case, managers responsible for implementing innovation strategies. To this end, here’s what one such individual had to say about Morris’ new book:
“Permanent Innovation presents an important and comprehensive approach to understanding how the elusive phenomenon of innovation actually works. Langdon has written for a wide audience of practitioners, not just academicians debating the niceties of theoretical models. He provides a near encyclopedic overview of the field, practical every day tips, and some truly new insights regarding innovation’s unique relation to product, category and strategy development. A must read for anybody who takes innovation seriously.”
– Michael Barry, Principal, Point Forward and Adjunct Professor, Stanford University School of Mechanical Engineering
Not bad for a freebie! But don’t take Barry’s word for it. Check it out yourself. Permanent Innovation is available as a free download.
October 18, 2006
Permanent Innovation, the new book from innovation guru Langdon Morris, documents in comprehensive detail how to set up a permanent innovation program within any organization. As Morris explains, permanent innovation is the process of creating new ideas and turning them into new business value on a continuous basis. This is only possible, though, by making innovation a matter of strategy, method and habit. Along the way, the book offers a detailed look at 10 key innovation principles:
(1) Innovation is essential to survival, and all innovation is strategic;
“Permanent Innovation” Book
“Permanent Innovation: The Essential Guide to the Strategies, Principles and Practices of Successful Innovators”, is a new book that explores the essential strategies, principles, and practices of permanent innovation to help your company to become a permanent innovator, and perhaps even a leader.
“It’s only fitting that a book on innovation should be distributed in an innovative way,” Morris commented, “so I decided to make it available to everyone for free. Everyone knows that innovation is one of the most important factors in the success of any organization, and people from dozens of countries all over the world have already downloaded it.”
According to the publisher while most innovation books focus on only one topic, Permanent Innovation looks at the entire scope of innovation. It covers the strategies, principles, and methods that have made companies like Toyota, Starbucks, and Wal-Mart so successful. It also includes dozens of specific ideas that can help people to make their own organizations more innovative.
The Author defines Innovation as the process of creating new ideas and turning them into new business value. Permanent Innovation is the process of doing it continuously, as a matter of strategy, method, and habit. It happens in organizations that embrace innovation as a core value, practice innovation as a core methodology, and produce innovation as a consistent output. Permanent Innovation is thus a strategic and human process much more than a technological one, and we achieve excellence at it through thoughtful repetition of the right methods.