The Other Side of Innovation: Solving the Execution Challenge

Overview

Companies can’t survive without innovating. But most put far more emphasis on generating Big Ideas than on executing them—turning ideas into actual breakthrough products, services, and process improvements.

That’s because “ideating” is energizing and glamorous. By contrast, execution seems like humdrum, behind-the-scenes dirty work. But without execution, Big Ideas go nowhere.

In The Other Side of Innovation, Vijay Govindarajan and Chris ...

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Overview

Companies can’t survive without innovating. But most put far more emphasis on generating Big Ideas than on executing them—turning ideas into actual breakthrough products, services, and process improvements.

That’s because “ideating” is energizing and glamorous. By contrast, execution seems like humdrum, behind-the-scenes dirty work. But without execution, Big Ideas go nowhere.

In The Other Side of Innovation, Vijay Govindarajan and Chris Trimble reveal how to execute an innovation initiative—whether a simple project or a grand, gutsy gamble.. Drawing on examples from innovators as diverse as Allstate, BMW, Timberland, and Nucor, the authors explain how to:

• Build the Right Team: Determine who’ll be on the team, where they’ll come from, how they’ll be organized, how much time they’ll devote to the project, and how they’ll navigate the delicate and conflict-rich partnership between innovation and ongoing operations.

• Manage a Disciplined Experiment: Decide how team members can quickly test their assumptions , translate results into new knowledge, and measure progress. Give innovation leaders a tough but fair performance evaluation.

Practical and provocative, this new book takes you step-by-step through the innovation execution process—so your Big Ideas deliver their full promise.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

The Other Side of Innovation is packed with clear recommendations about how to put its findings into practice…” - Research Technology Management

“How do companies generate new ideas? And how do they turn those ideas into products? Hardly a week passes without someone publishing a book on the subject. Most are rubbish. But The Other Side of Innovation: Solving the Execution Challenge is rather good … In their new book [the authors] address two subjects that are usually given short shrift: established companies rather than start-ups and the implementation of new ideas rather than their generation.” – The Economist

“…a veritable how-to guide for CEOs and entrepreneurs.” – Inc. Magazine

“Excellent in-depth case studies…” “well-written book” “Summing Up: Recommended” - CHOICE Magazine

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781422166963
  • Publisher: Harvard Business Review Press
  • Publication date: 9/2/2010
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 334,738
  • Product dimensions: 9.74 (w) x 11.06 (h) x 0.87 (d)

Meet the Author

Vijay Govindarajan is the Earl C. Daum 1924 Professor of International Business and the Founding Director of the Center for Global Leadership at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College, and the 2008 Professor-in-Residence and Chief Innovation Consultant for General Electric. Chris Trimble, a well-known innovation speaker and consultant, is also on the faculty at Tuck.

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Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 18, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Pragmatic go-to guide for executing innovation

    This book blazes a new trail for innovators who want to do more than come up with creative ideas; they want to make new things happen. Vijay Govindarajan and Chris Trimble, faculty members at Dartmouth's Tuck School of Business, offer a "ready reference" filled with down-to-earth approaches for moving innovation initiatives forward within established companies. The book is based on 10 years of scholarly research but it is written in practical terms. It unhooks innovation from anything that would undermine it, including some cherished myths about big ideas and rebellious leaders. The book offers a professional process for putting innovation in action, which requires discipline, a "Dedicated Team" and an unbiased approach to learning from experimentation. Govindarajan and Trimble provide real-life examples and detailed advice directed to "innovation leaders," in particular. getAbstract recommends this solid text also to executives, HR professionals, financial managers and anyone with a stake in innovation. (Whether you are in academia or not, note the fine "Scholarly Foundations" appendix, where the authors explain the genesis of their concepts.)

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  • Posted December 25, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    This is a fast read and essential if you are implementing innovation in your organization!

    "Through innovation, business organizations can change the world. There is just one little problem. Business organizations are not built for innovation; they are built for efficiency." - Vijay Govindarajan In The Other Side of Innovation the authors demonstrate their absolute knowledge of an area that many organizations need more of, innovation! They have been studying over the past decade innovation within established organizations. In the process they have compiled perhaps the most extensive library of innovation case studies in the world. They clearly outline for the reader a path to innovation within any organization and point out ways organizations derail themselves in the process. This is such a straight forward book well thought out and well executed. The Authors are both credible and far from academic sounding. If you are struggling with innovation in your organization this is a must read. This is not a book about thinking outside of the box - it is about once you have that idea how are you going to execute to make it happen. The authors first take you through the challenge of innovation in an organization. The fact that a business is being built to produce and be predictable. Much of their work reminds me of my reading of Ichak Adizes The Corporate Lifecycle but put more practical (Although I learned a lot from that book too). They discuss three different ways organizations experience innovation. Firstly there is the innovation of just modifying by using best practices, Secondly there is the type of innovation in which you are running a production based on innovation like building a new model car each year. And thirdly, there is the type of innovation that is a absolute game changer. Based on these types of innovations require very different type of efforts. Once you are familiarized with this tension between change and status quo you begin to learn the process based on years of experience to successfully implement change in your organization. I received an advance copy of this book and I could not recommend it to certain clients fast enough. In the first part of the book they take you through the steps to create a project team: 1) Divide the labor. 2) Assemble the Dedicated Team 3) Manage the partnership In the second part of the book they examine the steps for planning an innovation initiative and checking the progress: 1) Formalize the experiment 2) Break down the hypothesis 3) Seek the truth Are you prepared for the innovation that needs to take place in your organization? Do you know how to organize it? And who should be on the team to insure it's success? You will be able to answer yes after reading The Other Side of Innovation!

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