The Wide Lens: A New Strategy for Innovation

The Wide Lens: A New Strategy for Innovation

by Ron Adner
     
 

How can great companies do everything right - identify real customer needs, deliver excellent innovations, beat their competitors to market - and still fail?

The sad truth is that many companies fail because they focus too intensely on their own innovations, and then neglect the innovation ecosystems on which their success depends. In our increasingly

Overview

How can great companies do everything right - identify real customer needs, deliver excellent innovations, beat their competitors to market - and still fail?

The sad truth is that many companies fail because they focus too intensely on their own innovations, and then neglect the innovation ecosystems on which their success depends. In our increasingly interdependent world, winning requires more than just delivering on your own promises. It means ensuring that a host of partners -some visible, some hidden- deliver on their promises, too.

In The Wide Lens, innovation expert Ron Adner draws on over a decade of research and field testing to take you on far ranging journeys from Kenya to California, from transport to telecommunications, to reveal the hidden structure of success in a world of interdependence.

A riveting study that offers a new perspective on triumphs like Amazon's e-book strategy and Apple's path to market dominance; monumental failures like Michelin with run-flat tires and Pfizer with inhalable insulin; and still unresolved issues like electric cars and electronic health records, The Wide Lens offers a powerful new set of frameworks and tools that will multiply your odds of innovation success.

The Wide Lens will change the way you see, the way you think - and the way you win.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Innovation, from conception to product to consumer acceptance, is key for business success, but many great ideas have failed to have their anticipated impact on the consumer and the bottom line. Starting with an analysis of some great failures, Adner, a strategy professor at Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business, finds that the weakness was neither innovative nor corporate; rather, it was in the ecosystem. Knowledge of the ecosystem—interrelationships between the parts of the chain from innovation to consumer—is often overlooked. Adner shows how to map out the terrain of this ecosystem before suggesting practical steps that can be implemented to resolve problems and create a functional, proper ecosystem. A plethora of case studies allows for a clear analysis of numerous scenarios, both failures and success, with a depth rarely found in pragmatically-tinged books. Adner’s evaluation of the early-mover advantage as compared to the ecosystem, and his discussion of Adoption Chains (highlighting the fact that the onus is usually not on the positives, but rather on reducing the negatives) are but two of the book’s many gems. Anyone involved in moving a product from conception to adoption will not want to let this book pass them by. Agent: Edmond Harmsworth, Zachary Shuster Harmsworth Literary Agency. (Mar.)
From the Publisher
"Essential reading for innovators."
—Kirkus Reviews

"A clear analysis of numerous scenarios, both failures and successes, with a depth rarely found in pragmatically-tinged books. Anyone involved in moving a product from conception to adoption will not want to let this book pass them by."
—Publishers Weekly

"The Wide Lens opens the readers' eyes to the bigger picture and expands the mind to the possible pitfalls that have come to stand in the way of the success of many innovative products and services....Don't miss out on your opportunity to see your innovation go from conception to success by engaging a wider lens."
—Jack Covert Selects, 800ceoread

"Ron Adner is a breakthrough thinker. He zooms out to see more clearly how — and why — some innovations take hold, and others do not. Adner's core insight is profound, that an innovation's success depends on its place in an entire ecosystem, and his concepts can help people turn inspired creativity into practical impact and market success. A significant contribution."
—Jim Collins, author of Good to Great and co-author of Great by Choice

"This is a path-breaking perspective on innovation. Adner's tools guide you to ask the right questions to protect you from making mistakes that condemn so many innovations to failure."
—Clayton Christensen, Kim B. Clark Professor, Harvard Business School, author of The Innovator's Dilemma

"The Wide Lens will change the way you think about innovation. Adner shows why and how you must adapt your approach to innovation in today's interdependent world. This is highly useful reading for anyone whose success depends on collaboration."
—John Donahoe, President and CEO, eBay, former CEO, Bain & Company

"The Wide Lens is an important new book on innovation. Ron correctly identifies the important challenge of recognizing market ecosystem and competitive strategies. His framework for innovation is contemporary, teachable and practical. Growth is today's big challenge. The Wide Lens will help big and small companies grow faster."
Jeffrey R. Immelt, Chairman and CEO, General Electric Corporation

"Engaging, insightful, and immensely practical. Success in today's economy requires mastery of your innovation ecosystems, and The Wide Lens is the definitive guidebook to this new landscape. Adner's innovative tools and insights will make your strategy more robust and your organization more effective."
—Kevin Sharer, Chairman and CEO, Amgen

"What is the big picture?' This is a question that haunts every business strategist —- reflecting the fear that our analysis of the landscape has missed the larger threats or opportunities in front of us. Based on years of research and teaching, The Wide Lens gives a brilliant answer. Ron Adner describes the landscape of innovation in the most complete terms ever achieved. The arrival of this book is a major event for leaders everywhere."
—Adam Brandenburger, J.P. Valles Professor, NYU Stern School of Business,  co-author of Co-opetition

"As Ron Adner makes crystal clear, when it comes to proliferating a successful innovation, "it takes a village!" And if you do not think about the needs of your co-innovators, or the chain of adopters that helps it get all the way into the hands of your end users, you are likely to find yourself stranded on the wrong side of a chasm, looking longingly at the customers that could have been yours."
—Geoffrey Moore, author of Crossing the Chasm and Escape Velocity

Kirkus Reviews
Adner (Strategy/Dartmouth Coll.) debuts with a valuable perspective on how to innovate successfully in an interdependent world. Even the finest new product fails when consumers don't have a chance to choose it, a situation that occurs when a company's partners--the distributors, retailers and salespeople who make up a company's business ecosystem--do not adopt the innovation. The path to market, writes the author, is just as important as the new product itself. Examples abound: In the late 1990s, Michelin's launch of an innovative run-flat tire failed when the company could not convince enough service stations to adopt its repair system. In the 1980s, Philips Electronics developed a great high-definition television with superior picture quality, but HDTV cameras and transmission standards had not yet arrived, leaving Philips with a $2.5 billion write-down. In each instance, the company's focus on execution created a "blind spot" hiding key dependencies critical to success. By taking a broader view of their business ecosystem, companies can identify challenges that might undermine success and act to reconfigure the ecosystem in ways that eliminate problematic bottlenecks. In richly detailed stories, Adner shows how this was executed by Hollywood studios in introducing digital cinema and by Amazon in developing the market for e-readers. He also describes ongoing efforts by a fascinating new company named Better Place, which has been considering holistically the ecosystem of obstacles preventing the introduction of electric vehicles into the mainstream consumer market. The author pays close attention to Apple's successes of the past decade, during which it reconfigured ecosystems to achieve success in three markets: music players, smartphones and digital tablets. Apple's "hidden point of differentiation has not been in its elegant products but rather in its approach to leverage its advantage from one ecosystem into the next." Essential reading for innovators.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781591844600
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
03/01/2012
Pages:
288
Product dimensions:
6.32(w) x 9.96(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Meet the Author

Ron Adner has spent the last decade studying the root cause of innovation success and failure. An award winning professor of strategy at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College, and previously at INSEAD, he is a speaker and consultant to companies around the world. His writing has appeared in The Wall Street Journal, the Financial Times, Forbes, and the Harvard Business Review.

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