Brainsteering: The Better Approach to Breakthrough Ideasby Kevin P. Coyne, Shawn T. Coyne
From business strategists (and brothers) Shawn and Kevin Coyne/em>
“[The Coynes’] logical thinking exercises will help readers to maximize their ideation skills, both by systematically exploring every possible nook and cranny of an issue to find new ideas, and by systematically evaluating and honing the results.” —Publishers Weekly
From business strategists (and brothers) Shawn and Kevin Coyne comes a breakthrough approach to developing better ideas. Brainsteering is a comprehensive, research-based, tried-and-tested approach to the principal challenge in business and life: how to consistently and effectively create powerful new ideas. Brainsteering offers a way out of fruitless brainstorming sessions. In the tradition of the Heath Brothers’ Made to Stick and Gordon Mackenzie’s Orbiting Giant Hairball, the Coynes deliver the surest path to success for anyone looking to unlock the secrets of innovation.
Why think outside the box? Write business consultants Coyne and Coyne, "the key is to find just the right box in which to think."
Readers may not have known that a famed Broadway producer, responsible for such hits asThe Lion King andBeauty and the Beast, was also the father of the corn maze, an idea whose time, it seems, had come when he hit on it back in the '90s. Corn mazes are now a big draw in some parts of the country, though the authors must be using faulty stats to set the number of visitors at twice that of the Grand Canyon. Why couldn't we think of that contribution to American civilization? We can, write the authors—it's mostly a matter of learning how to ask lots of questions that might generate the desired answer, which presumably is to hit it rich, in the manner of the "Z-1-4" ("zero to $1 billion within 4 years") businesses they profile here. Enter "Brainsteering," a gimmicky but, at least on the face, effective method for "consistently generating breakthrough ideas." It would steal the authors' thunder to describe this method too closely, but let's take, for instance, their thoroughly useful series of questions meant to help pick out a welcome gift for the person who may have everything: "What was their favorite toy, hobby, or activity during the period of their life on which they look back most fondly?" "What event or accomplishment in their life are they most proud of"? The authors pepper their narrative with such idea-sparkers, with an appendix that is worth the cover price, and introduce acronym-tagged concepts that seem as if they ought to bear fruit, as with the notion of a "mutually exclusive and collectively exhaustive" system of investigation.
The occasional distractions of pop-business cheerleading notwithstanding, if the book evokes a few creative ideas, it will have done good service.
- HarperCollins Publishers
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Meet the Author
Kevin P. Coyne is a senior teaching professor at the Goizueta Business School at Emory University and a former senior partner and leader of the worldwide strategy practice at McKinsey & Company.
Shawn T. Coyne is a management consultant with twenty-five years of experience in strategy, marketing, and organizational leadership at Procter & Gamble, McKinsey & Company, and other leading firms.
Kevin and Shawn are the managing directors of The Coyne Partnership, a boutique consulting firm serving senior executives and boards of directors in both the private and public sectors. Their articles have appeared in the Harvard Business Review, McKinsey Quarterly, Sloan Management Review, and on BusinessWeek.com, and they have been featured throughout the media, including the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, BusinessWeek, CNBC, NPR, and Fox Business News.
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