Ten Rules for Strategic Innovators: From Idea to Execution [NOOK Book]


Even world-class companies, with powerful and proven business models, eventually discover limits to growth. That's what makes emerging high-growth industries so attractive. Although they lack a proven formula for making a profit, these industries represent huge opportunities for the companies that are fast enough and smart enough. But constructing tomorrow's businesses while simultaneously sustaining excellence in today's, demands a delicate balance. It is a quest fraught with contradiction and paradox. Until ...
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Ten Rules for Strategic Innovators: From Idea to Execution

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Even world-class companies, with powerful and proven business models, eventually discover limits to growth. That's what makes emerging high-growth industries so attractive. Although they lack a proven formula for making a profit, these industries represent huge opportunities for the companies that are fast enough and smart enough. But constructing tomorrow's businesses while simultaneously sustaining excellence in today's, demands a delicate balance. It is a quest fraught with contradiction and paradox. Until now, there has been little practical guidance. Based on an in-depth, multiyear research study of innovative initiatives at ten large corporations, Vijay Govindarajan and Chris Trimble identify three central challenges: forgetting yesterday's successful processes and practices; borrowing selected resources from the core business; and learning how the new business can succeed. The authors make recommendations regarding staffing, leadership roles, reporting relationships, process design, planning, performance assessment, incentives, cultural norms, and much more. Breakthrough growth opportunities can make or break companies and careers. Ten Rules for Strategic Innovators is every leader's guide to execution in unexplored territory.
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Editorial Reviews

Strategy & Business
Ten Rules for Strategic Innovators: From Idea to Execution is the best book we've seen on the '"how-tos" of creating an innovative new business, and thus the single best strategic book of the year.
Publishers Weekly
By burying their titular 10 rules in a small final chapter, Govindarajan and Trimble commit the first deadly sin of business writing: ambiguity. Before that, readers can be forgiven for believing there are only three fundamental principles for stewarding innovative projects within established companies: forgetting, borrowing and learning. The Fast Company columnists, who cofounded a leadership institute at Dartmouth's business school, argue that most companies do not understand how to foster a genuinely experimental environment. Judging the new company ("NewCo") by the performance standards of the core company ("CoreCo") won't inspire change, hence the need to forget. But NewCo does have to borrow selectively from CoreCo's best resources in order to gain the foothold necessary for success, and it must learn from its experiences rather than stick blindly to its earliest plans. Govindarajan and Trimble use case studies from four industries, including manufacturing and online media. The examples, supplemented by numerous figures that reduce ideas to clear bullet points, get their points across effectively, but some readers may grow impatient waiting for the promised rules to turn up. (Dec. 1) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Soundview Executive Book Summaries
In 10 Rules for Strategic Innovators, business professors Vijay Govindarajan and Chris Trimble describe how companies make mistakes between innovation and execution, and outline what it takes to build a successful new business while maintaining excellence in an existing one. Based on an in-depth study, their book identifies what organizations must know to set aside key assumptions; borrow assets from an established business; and learn how to succeed in an emerging, uncertain market. Copyright © 2006 Soundview Executive Book Summaries
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781422148082
  • Publisher: Harvard Business Review Press
  • Publication date: 12/1/2005
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 930,026
  • File size: 3 MB

Meet the Author

Vijay Govindarajan (known as VG) is the Earl C. Daum 1924 Professor of International Business and the Founding Director of the William F. Achtmeyer Center for Global Leadership at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College. He is also the Faculty Director for the Tuck Global Leadership 2020 Program.In October 2003, Forbes rated him among the Top Five Executive Coaches on Strategy based on inputs from corporations.

Chris Trimble is on the faculty at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College, with expertise in strategic innovation. He is also the Executive Director of the William F. Achtmeyer Center for Global Leadership at Tuck.
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Table of Contents

Ch. 1 Why strategic innovators need a different approach to execution 1
Ch. 2 Why organizations, like elephants, never forget 21
Case : Corning microarray technologies
Ch. 3 Taming the elephant 41
Ch. 4 Why tensions rise when NewCo borrows from CoreCo 55
Case : New York Times digital
Ch. 5 Turning tension into a productive force 67
Ch. 6 Why learning from experience is an unnatural act 89
Ch. 7 How being bold, competitive, or demanding can inhibit learning 113
Case : Hasbro interactive
Ch. 8 How being reasonable, inspiring, or diligent can inhibit learning 129
Case : Capston-White
Ch. 9 Finding gold with theory-focused planning 149
Ch. 10 The ten rules explained 183
Case : analog devices
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Sort by: Showing all of 15 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 2, 2012



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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 19, 2007

    Inside look at managing an innovative offshoot

    As opposed to offering a simple guide to innovation, Vijay Govindarajan and Chris Trimble do something less common, and they do it well: They analyze the institutional structures which allow, nurture and support innovation. They explain how to open new innovation-focused divisions in your organization, how to think about learning and how to evaluate such new projects (and, perhaps more importantly, how not to evaluate them). They share case studies of established companies' successful and failed attempts to sprout innovative offshoots. The results are very level-headed. The authors are quite clear about the obstacles to institutional innovation, planning and learning in uncharted waters. We expect that this book could help you sail through.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 2, 2006

    Great Ideas, Great Reference

    As a manager building a new business within an existing company, I am running into many challenges. VG and Chris utilize real world situations to highlight these challenges, and offer practical ideas and frameworks to address them. I first read the book to get a perspective on other, similar situations, and then re-read it to find ideas to apply, and now turn back to it as a continual reference. From Forget, Borrow, Learn to the Theory Focused Planning to the 10 Lessons themselves, there is a wealth of knowledge and experience they share. Many books talk about finding the innovative idea. 10 Rules for Strategic Innovators actually helps outline how to turn the idea into a new, viable commercial business. This book is unique and a truly great read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 11, 2006

    VRR'S comments on 'Ten Rules for Strategic Innovators'

    Recently we have gone through the book titled 'Ten Rules for Strategic Innovators - from Idea to Execution ' by Prof. Vijay Govindarajan and Chris Trimple published by Harvard Business School Press, Boston Massachusetts. The book touches upon the very basic issue of success with a new idea amidst the undercurrents of existing businesses . Almost in every context, people are innovating while currently running their businesses. Sometimes, the new ideas do not click, probably because of the lack of conceptual framework of forgetting, borrowing and learning as presented in this book by the authors. Sometimes, the ideas do succeed probably because of the idea is so powerful and creates a new direction for business that despite the organization giving less importance to this idea ,still the ideas could germinate into great business preposition. The book presents the conceptual framework of forgetting, borrowing and learning in a simplistic way with adequate western case studies. The message conveyed in this book is most definitely actionable. In the context of the developed nations like India, the book will have more relevance since there are lot of innovative ideas and processes that are being implemented almost on daily basis. Effective execution of such ideas may speed up success for the new innovations which would certainly drive the economic progress. We wish that an update of this book is published in the near future with case studies from the Asian Region. Lastly, a comment on the cover design of this book - It is subtle and non-flashy but conveys the theme of the book more directly. Full compliments to the authors for bringing out a timely book on the execution aspects of innovation. This book will be a worthwhile addition to the Management libraries of many Indian corporates.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 5, 2005

    Provacative ideas for new business development

    Govindarajan and Trimble use a nice blend of frameworks, research, and real life examples to provide a new perspective on innovation within existing organizations. Much conventional wisdom is proven to be myth - and the authors provide practical insight and advice that can be used to generate ideas and get them successfully implemented. A must read for managers looking for breakthrough ideas without sacrificing their current business.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 4, 2005

    Outstanding Book

    The book is true to its title. It describes what strategic innovation is, how it is different from other forms of innovation, and why established firms must take strategic innovation seriously. Years of research has been condensed into ten rules revolving around three key ideas - forgetting, borrowing and learning. Ideas are richly illustrated with extensive case studies. Like the title says, they take you from Idea to Execution systematically. The Ten rules build on each other, and help you both diagnose problem areas and formulate solutions to those problem areas. Very readable, useful and relevant to these changing times that are full of inflection points that need to be understood, managed and leveraged for competitive advantage.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 5, 2005

    Want to Super-Charge your business for Phenomenal Growth?

    Think about it - with the heightened global competition, you feel that you and your firm have to be constantly running fast and hard in order to stay in place! You have tried 'kaizen' or continuous process improvement (a la Toyota or GE), and/or implemented process revolution (not unlike Wal-Mart's supply-chain revolution) and/or revolutionized your product line (not unlike Intel or Gillette) - but, you still see only incremental revenue growth and global competitors are knocking on your door. You worry that you have reached a plateau. How do you super-charge your business for breakthrough growth? Strategic Innovation! Professor Govindarajan (VG) and Chris Trimble systematically dissect the anatomy of Strategic Innovation Process by asking three basic questions: Who is the customer that we are serving? What is the value that we bring to the table? How do we deliver this value? VG and Trimble deconstruct the Strategic Innovation Process into a set of ten rules which trace the process from idea to execution - hence, the book is named aptly, '10 Rules of Strategic Innovators - From Idea to Execution'. Since the idea or conception phase is new and exciting, most companies place extraordinary focus and attention on this phase. However, the vital execution phase is often shortchanged since it is usually protracted, difficult and painstaking. VG and Trimble place an enormous emphasis on the execution phase as they lay out a lucid road map for the Strategic Innovation Process that is insightfully punctuated by cases from a variety of industries ranging from consumer products to media to genomics. What is compelling about these cases is that they cover success stories as well as failures and the lessons to be learnt from both. This book is a 'Must Read' for any executive/manager who is interested not only in staying ahead of the inexorable changes dictated by globalization but also determined to catalyze the change - i.e. any executive who wants to define the rules of the game.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 6, 2006

    Dropping Apples on our heads.

    Simple. Clear. Demystifying. A really fresh look at 'Innovation'. 'How dare you forget ?'... 'better die than borrow' ...'Dont Forget', 'Dont borrow' ... how many times have we heard this and say this to others ?! Then come along 2 Professors passionately imploring Executives to 'Forget, borrow' in order to 'learn'. Starting with the author's categorisation of 'innovation' (helps reduce clutter), to clarifying different approaches, and then laying a simple framework. Knowledge and Learning doesnt always have to be complex. The authors take a walk-in-the-park, approach and pass on their conviction that 'Strategic innovation can be made to happen'. We dont all have to wait for the apple to fall on Newton's head !

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 30, 2005

    Innovation - The key to real growth in emerging businesses and well established companies.

    Innovation is an imperative for the long term health of businesses today. With the ongoing change in technology, consumer preferences and demographics, strategic innovation is key for companies to grow and win in the expanding global economy. Most established companies have well defined processes for reviewing business opportunities and driving the decision process. While these processes are established to optimize the decisions for current business models, they can often become barriers in assessing future strategic opportunities. In '10 Rules for Strategic Innovators From Idea to Execution' Vijay Govindarajan and Chris Trimble provide an innovative and insightful approach to stepping outside the traditional boundaries of businesses which can often constrain growth. Understanding what works well for the business today, while having strategic flexibility for assessing future business models will truly accelerate growth. Their process of 'Theory Focused Planning' takes the innovator outside these constraints to assess future opportunities to unveil their real value proposition.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 1, 2006

    A Roadmap for Innovation in Cprporate Settings

    The business press frequently features stories of entrepreneurs who have left large corporations to develop innovative ideas. Yet, large corporations have assets such as well-established brands, distribution channels, and customer bases that can accelerate the development of new ideas. 10 Rules for Strategic Innovators provides a roadmap for large corporations that want to foster the development of new business concepts in way that insulates them from standard corporate processes but allows them to draw on valuable corporate assets. This book is full of rich case examples and will be very helpful to any senior executive who wants to launch a new business venture within a corporate environment.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 17, 2005

    A master class on 'Strategic Innovation '

    Vijay Govindarajan and Trimble are masters of story telling. The book makes a great read with a good mix of academic insight with the case studies. Many organizations in their quest for innovation miss the boat due to poor execution in the field, this book has some great lessons for all those that dare to innovate in the new world. Currently as I face similar issues I find this book a very helpful tool on our efforts at dealing with our innovation challenges. I strongly recommend and believe its an outstanding piece of work.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 16, 2005

    A must read for those interested in building an innovation-based strategy

    In markets that are becoming increasingly commoditized, business leaders face a painful choice ¿ quickly find meaningful ways to differentiate or let the business go into decline. In such an environment where competition is becoming global and customers are more discriminating, traditional market leaders have to scramble to uncover novel ideas that will give them some form of tangible differentiation through a mix of innovative products and services. Trying to accomplish these central strategic goals in a cost effective manner has become crucial to the survival of such firms. Many firms such as GE have embraced these ideas and elevated them to a rally cry like ¿imagination breakthroughs.¿ In this market for new ideas, there are very few new ideas on how market leaders should actually go about pursuing such new ideas. This new book is perhaps one of the first to provide a concrete road map for business leaders on not just what it means to be innovative but how to actually get it done. The authors provide a very practical roadmap that clearly delineates some of the key elements that firms must embrace to embark on this journey. Using concrete examples of firms that have walked this path, the authors provide a very accessible set of practical advice for those interesting in following it as well. A must read for those who would like to go beyond just knowing management ideas to how to actually practice them.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 19, 2005

    A Must Read

    'Ten Rules for Strategic Innovators' is a must read for any business leader seeking a how to road map for executing breakthrough profitable growth initiatives. Govindarajan and Trimble provide a practical guide to address the transformational changes required for successful execution of strategic innovation in mature companies.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 4, 2005

    Insightful and Though Provoking

    The book provides many insights regarding the traps that prevent managers and companies from bringing fresh new ideas to life. The 10 Rules is a terrific blend of frameworks and real life examples that helps the reader relate the concepts to their own situation. For example I found the three organizational challenges of forgetting the past, borrowing ideas and re-learning how to learn have helped leaders who want to break new ground but who seem stuck. Once we talk about these concepts the new ideas and strategies see to flow very easily. The book is a wonderful source of ideas and advice.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 1, 2005

    Great book on Innovation Execution

    Perhaps no other topic is as important as Innovation for managers in contemporary business organizations. By most accounts, innovation remains the sole source of sustainable growth and competitive advantage in many industries. Govindarajan and Trimble address a key issue in innovation in this book: the execution of an innovative idea. And, the authors focus specifically on 'strategic innovations' - innovations that are based on strategic experiments to understand and test unproven business models and that have the potential to deliver significantly high revenue growth. The book is really based on the idea that to successfully execute such strategic innovations, organizations will need to forget (prior business assumptions), borrow (from existing strong assets), and learn (on a continuous basis to manage uncertainties). VG and Trimble show that the challenges associated with the forget-borrow-learn can only be addressed by paying careful attention to the organization's inner logic of structure, staff, culture, and systems (which the authors refer to as `organizational DNA'). The authors use a number of detailed case studies to demonstrate their concepts and to derive some very insightful execution ideas. In particular, I liked the case study of NY Times Digital. The discussion in the various chapters leads to ten rules of execution of strategic innovation that the authors describe in the last chapter through the story of Analog Devices Inc. (ADI). Perhaps, the most important rule is rule 1 itself which underlines the importance of execution: 'In all great innovations, the great idea is only Chapter 1'. Overall, the book is well written and highly readable with lots of interesting real-world stories. And, what makes this book quite distinct from most of the other books on innovation is its focus on innovation execution - the detailed treatment of this topic provides a wealth of practical ideas to ensure successful execution of strategic innovations. Great book! Highly recommended!

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