The Innovator's Way
Innovation is the ruling buzzword in business today. Technology companies invest billions in developing new gadgets; business leaders see innovation as the key to a competitive edge; policymakers craft regulations to foster a climate of innovation. And yet businesses report a success rate of only four percent for innovation initiatives. Can we significantly increase our odds of success? In The Innovator’s Way, innovation experts Peter Denning and Robert Dunham reply with an emphatic yes. Innovation, they write, is not simply an invention, a policy, or a process to be managed. It is a personal skill that can be learned, developed through practice, and extended into organizations.
Denning and Dunham identify and describe eight personal practices that all successful innovators perform: sensing, envisioning, offering, adopting, sustaining, executing, leading, and embodying. Together, these practices can boost a fledgling innovator to success. Weakness in any of these practices, they show, blocks innovation. Denning and Dunham chart the path to innovation mastery, from individual practices to teams and social networks.
About the Authors
Peter J. Denning is Distinguished Professor of Computer Science at the Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, California.
Robert Dunham founded the Institute for Generative Leadership and the consulting company Enterprise Performance.
Table of Contents
- The Innovator’s Way
- The Innovator’s Way
- Essential Practices for Successful Innovation
- Peter J. Denning and Robert Dunham
- The MIT Press
- Cambridge, Massachusetts
- London, England
- © 2010
- Massachusetts Institute of Technology
- All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form by any electronic or mechanical means (including photocopying, recording, or information storage and retrieval) without permission in writing from the publisher.
- For information about special quantity discounts, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
- This book was set in Sabon by Toppan Best-set Premedia Limited. Printed and bound in the United States of America.
- Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
- Denning, Peter J., 1942–
- The innovator’s way : essential practices for successful innovation / Peter J. Denning and Robert Dunham.
- p. cm.
- Includes bibliographical references and index.
- ISBN 978-0-262-01454-0 (hardcover : alk. paper) 1. Technological innovations. I. Dunham, Robert. II. Title.
- HD45.D36 2010
- 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2
- To Dorothy
- To Josephina
- Foreword by John Seely Brown ix
- Preface xiii
- Acknowledgments xxi
- Prologue: Pasteur and the Dying Cows xxiii
- I Foundations of Innovation 1
- 1 Invention Is Not Enough 3
- 2 Generative Innovators in Action 31
- 3 Frames of Mind 49
- 4 Observing 77
- II The Eight Practices 109
- 5 Practice One:
- Sensing 111
- 6 Practice Two:
- Envisioning 141
- 7 Practice Three:
- Offering 173
- 8 Practice Four:
- Adopting 187
- 9 Practice Five:
- Sustaining 203
- 10 Practice Six:
- Executing 219
- 11 Practice Seven:
- Leading 241
- 12 Practice Eight:
- Embodying 257
- III Journey to Mastery 289
- 13 Building a Culture of Innovation 291
- 14 Mastering the Mess 313
- 15 Social Networking and Innovation 343
- 16 Dispositions of the Masters 365
- Epilogue: Stradivarius Street 379
- Appendix 1 Eight Practices Summary Chart 381
- Appendix 2 Eight Practices Assessment Tool 385
- Appendix 3 Levels of Performance at Innovation 389
- Appendix 4 Somatic Exercises 395
- About the Authors 401
- Index 403
—Richard Strozzi-Heckler, author of The Leadership Dojo
—Julio Olalla, President and Founder, The Newfield Network
—Bob Metcalfe, Ethernet inventor, 3Com founder, National Technology and Innovation Medalist
—Vint Cerf, Chief Internet Evangelist, Google
—Michael Schrage, Research Fellow, MIT Sloan School Center for Digital Business
CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title, 2011