The Innovator's DNA: Mastering the Five Skills of Disruptive Innovators

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Overview


A new classic, cited by leaders and media around the globe as a highly recommended read for anyone interested in innovation.

In The Innovator’s DNA, authors Jeffrey Dyer, Hal Gregersen, and bestselling author Clayton Christensen (The Innovator’s Dilemma, The Innovator’s Solution, How Will You Measure Your Life?) build on what we know about disruptive innovation to show how individuals can develop the skills necessary to move progressively from idea to impact.

By identifying behaviors of the world’s best innovators—from leaders at Amazon and Apple to those at Google, Skype, and Virgin Group—the authors outline five discovery skills that distinguish innovative entrepreneurs and executives from ordinary managers: Associating, Questioning, Observing, Networking, and Experimenting.

Once you master these competencies (the authors provide a self-assessment for rating your own innovator’s DNA), the authors explain how to generate ideas, collaborate to implement them, and build innovation skills throughout the organization to result in a competitive edge. This innovation advantage will translate into a premium in your company’s stock price—an innovation premium—which is possible only by building the code for innovation right into your organization’s people, processes, and guiding philosophies.

Practical and provocative, The Innovator’s DNA is an essential resource for individuals and teams who want to strengthen their innovative prowess.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“The process of Low End Disruption is beautifully described in Clayton Christensen’s series of books: The Innovator’s Dilemma, The Innovator’s Solution and The Innovator’s DNA. If you haven’t read them, you should. What’s amazing about these books is not only how important their conclusions are but how well researched they are.” — TechCrunch

“This final entry in coauthor Christensen’s innovation trilogy complements his influential The Innovator’s Dilemma (1997) and coauthored The Innovator’s Solution (2003) with a notably accessible style.” — The Journal of Product Innovation Management

“pocket-sized map…to your innovation journey” — Strategy+Business

The Innovator’s DNA is a fascinating book, filled with stellar examples, and of course tips, to enhance creativity in your life. I highly recommend this book to chemical engineers for both personal and organizational development.” — American Institute of Chemical Engineers

“Through numerous examples of innovative people and companies, the authors inspire readers to make a positive impact through innovation. Summing Up: Highly recommended.” — CHOICE

“The book will challenge readers to think differently and act differently to generate creative ideas for new products, services, processes and businesses.” — Malcolm Rittman, CMI (Reviewed as Chartered Management Institute’s Innovation and Entrepreneurship Book of the Year 2011)

“A terrific and inspiring read, very accessible and deceptively easy to absorb. It provides an accurate reflection of what is known about innovation today and I really believe that it will have an impact on actual practice and on raising people’s aspirations in regard to innovation.” — Professor James Fleck, Professor of Innovation Dynamics at The Open University

The Innovator’s DNA is a book that should interest a broad audience, including inventors, researchers, and professors seeking greater creativity in their teaching and research. Read it to find inspiration – and ways to put down your knitting.” – PRISM Magazine

“one of the most interesting books on innovation to come along in a while.” - Ottawa Business Journal

“The book adds a great deal to our understanding of the mindset of path breaking innovators.” – San Jose Mercury News

“the book is easy to read, jammed with examples and, at a time when innovation is a beacon, offers an interesting model to consider.” – Globe & Mail

Marc Benioff, Chairman and CEO, salesforce.com; author, Behind the Cloud
“Businesses worldwide have been guided and influenced by The Innovator’s Dilemma and The Innovator’s Solution. Now The Innovator’s DNA shows where it all starts. This book gives you the fundamental building blocks for becoming more innovative and changing the world. One of the most important books to come out this year, and one that will remain pivotal reading for years to come.”

Scott D. Cook, Chairman of the Executive Committee, Intuit Inc.—
The Innovator’s DNA is the ‘how to’ manual to innovation, and to the fresh thinking that is the root of innovation. It has dozens of simple tricks that any person and any team can use today to discover the new ideas to solve the important problems. Buy it now and read it tonight. Tomorrow you will learn more, create more, inspire more.”

Stephen R. Covey, author, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People and The Leader in Me
The Innovator’s DNA sheds new light on the once-mysterious art of innovation by showing that successful innovators exhibit common behavioral habits—habits that can boost anyone’s creative capacity.”

A.G. Lafley, retired Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer, The Procter & Gamble Company—
“Having worked with Clayton Christensen on innovation for over a decade, I can see that The Innovator’s DNA continues to stretch our thinking with insights that challenge convention and enable progress in the important cause of innovation . . . so critical to competitiveness and growth.”

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781422134818
  • Publisher: Harvard Business Review Press
  • Publication date: 7/19/2011
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 113,007
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Jeffrey Dyer is the Horace Beesley Professor of Strategy at the Marriott School, Brigham Young University. He is widely published in strategy and business journals and was the fourth most cited management scholar in 1996-2006. Hal Gregersen is a professor of leadership at INSEAD. He consults to organizations around the world on innovation, globalization, and transformation and has published extensively in leading academic and business journals.

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Table of Contents

Introduction 1

Part 1 Disruptive Innovation Starts with You

1 The DNA of Disruptive Innovators 17

2 Discovery Skill #1: Associating 41

3 Discovery Skill #2: Questioning 65

4 Discovery Skill #3: Observing 89

5 Discovery Skill #4: Networking 113

6 Discovery Skill #5: Experimenting 133

Part 2 The DNA of Disruptive Organizations and Teams

7 The DNA of the World's Most Innovative Companies 157

8 Putting the Innovator's DNA into Practice: People 175

9 Putting the Innovator's DNA into Practice: Processes 193

10 Putting the Innovator's DNA into Practice: Philosophies 215

Conclusion: Act Different, Think Different, Make a Difference 235

Appendix A Sample of Innovators Interviewed 241

Appendix B The Innovator's DNA Research Methods 245

Appendix C Developing Discovery Skills 249

Notes 261

Index 269

Acknowledgments 283

About the Authors 295

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
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Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 21, 2014

    Great book about innovation. 

    Great book about innovation. 

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 29, 2013

    Few qualities separate inordinately successful entrepreneurs fro

    Few qualities separate inordinately successful entrepreneurs from the rest of the pack than the ability to innovate. Many have debated whether individuals are born with this quality or whether it can be nurtured. In The Innovator’s DNA, Jeff Dyer, Hal Gregersen, and Clayton Christensen, explain that while genetics play a role, innovation is most certainly a skill that can be learned. In particular, the authors introduce and expound upon five “discovery skills” found in the leaders of some of the most innovative companies in the world: (1) associating, (2) questioning, (3) observing, (4) networking, and (5) experimenting. Each discovery skill is accompanied by real-world examples and pragmatic exercises that make the book unusually valuable in an age where copious books on change, leadership, and innovation overwhelm the already-overwhelmed executive.

    I give The Innovator’s DNA an exceptional five stars out of five. The authors present a very readable book and provide concrete exercises for developing innovative skills. Using the principles provided in the book, I created a folder on my computer that I call my “Innovation Room.” I use this to track progress as I work through various exercises and as I take time to ponder about how to apply innovative solutions to extant problems in Utah. This book was and will continue to be useful to me, and is recommended as a must-read for those interested in adding rare innovative attributes to their arsenal of problem-solving and decision-making skills.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 3, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    The Innovator's DNA

    Innovation gurus Jeff Dyer, Hal Gregersen and Clayton M. Christensen studied today’s innovators and synthesized their findings into this immediately applicable handbook. They never oversimplify or suggest that innovation always succeeds, but they do indicate that the practices they identified in their research correlate with commercial achievement. getAbstract recommends their expert compilation to those who want to become more innovative, to business leaders seeking to revitalize their firms and to trainers who want to help learners think more creatively.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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    Posted December 1, 2011

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    Posted December 29, 2011

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