Wednesday, November 14, 2007

The Myths of Innovation


I finally got hold of Scott Berkun's The Myths of Innovation last week and read it in a day. It's thoughtful, eye-opening and funny to boot (even a few hidden gems, like way down at the very bottom of the ranked bibliography we find: 0, The Art of Project Management, Scott Berkun!).

In ten compelling chapters, the realisation is that conventional wisdom concerning innovation has it all backwards. These are the myths exploded:
  • The myth of epiphany
  • We understand the history of innovation
  • There is a method for innovation
  • People love new ideas
  • The lone inventor
  • Good ideas are hard to find
  • Your boss knows more about innovation than you
  • The best ideas win
  • Problems and solutions
  • Innovation is always good

The wierd thing is that you can probably read the list above (without referring to the book), recognise the "common belief", but with a moments thought understand why it is a myth. The strange things our brains do to us! (more on this when I post my review of Jeff Hawkins excellent book On Intelligence)

I'd highly recommend this to anyone with an interest in how we innovate, or a job role that is somehow related. That should mean pretty much everyone! No wonder this book hit #4 on Amazon's Best of 2007.

If I had 20 days to solve a problem, I would take 19 to define it - Albert Einstein

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