Contrary to popular belief, innovation is not some mystical art that’s forbidden to mere mortals. The Four Lenses of Innovation thoroughly debunks this pervasive myth by delivering what we’ve long been hoping for: the news that innovation is systematic, it’s methodical, and we can all achieve it.
By asking how the world’s top innovators—Steve Jobs, Richard Branson, Jeff Bezos, and many others—came up with their game-changing ideas, bestselling author Rowan Gibson identifies four key business perspectives that will enable you to discover groundbreaking opportunities for innovation and growth:
- Challenging Orthodoxies—What if the dominant conventions in your field, market, or industry are outdated, unnecessary, or just plain wrong?
- Harnessing Trends—Where are the shifts and discontinuities that will, now and in the future, provide the energy you need for a major leap forward?
- Leveraging Resources—How can you arrange existing skills and assets into new combinations that add up to more than the sum of their parts?
- Understanding Needs—What are the unmet needs and frustrations that everyone else is simply ignoring?
Other books promise the keys to innovation—this one delivers them. With a unique full-color design, thought-provoking examples, and features like the 8-Step Model for Building a Breakthrough, The Four Lenses of Innovation will teach you how to reverse-engineer creative genius and make radical business innovation an everyday reality inside your organization.
“Rowan Gibson has done a superb job of ‘unpacking’ what it takes to innovate.”—Philip Kotler, S. C. Johnson Distinguished Professor of International Marketing at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University
“Can you develop an innovative mind? Yes, you can. And this book is the manual.”—John and Doris Naisbitt, authors of China’s Megatrends and The Global Game Change
“An excellent piece of work for practitioners and organizations who seek to have innovation as part of their DNA.”—Camille Mirshokrai, Managing Director of Leadership Development, and Partner at Accenture
“Rowan Gibson’s The Four Lenses of Innovation will inspire you to think big, look afresh at the challenges you face, and take bold action to change the world.”—Robert B. Tucker, author of Driving Growth Through Innovation
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About the Author
Table of Contentsviii Preface
1 Part One: The Mind of the Innovator
2 The Elusive Source of Creative Genius
12 Challenging Orthodoxies
15 Harnessing Trends
20 Leveraging Resources
30 Understanding Needs
40 The Four Lenses of Innovation
46 Time for an Innovation Renaissance
58 Lessons to Take Away
61 Part Two: The Power of Patterns
62 Seeing Things from a Fresh Perspective
66 What’s Wrong with Our Brains?
68 The Pattern-Recognition Principle
70 Why We Stop Noticing
72 The Pattern of the Crowd
74 Resistance to Change
78 Patterns and Innovation
80 Sharpening Our Perceptive Powers
84 A Power Tool for Creative Thinking
86 Lessons to Take Away
89 Part Three: Looking Through the Four Lenses
92 “Here’s to the Crazy Ones”
96 What Exactly Is an Orthodoxy?
102 Meet the Challengers
105 On a Path of Disruption
111 Innovation Means Shifting Assumptions
114 Ready to Rethink Everything?
117 Lessons to Take Away
118 Seeing the Future in the Present
120 A Global “Change Bomb”
122 The Race for Tomorrow
126 Learning to Ride the Waves
130 Meet the Trend Surfers
137 The Man from the Future
142 Fast-Forward Companies
144 It’s Happening Now!
147 The Next Big Thing for Your Business
151 Lessons to Take Away152 Repurpose, Redeploy, & Recombine
155 How Would You Define Google?
159 Leveraging Resources in New Ways
160 Extending the Boundaries of the Business
163 Stretching into New Spaces
166 Unlimited Potential for Growth
168 Exploiting Underutilized Assets
170 What Else Could We Do with This?
174 Leveraging Resources from Others
177 Lessons to Take Away
178 Innovating from the Customer Backward
182 Do Customers Really Know What They Want?
185 What’s Wrong with It?
189 Understanding Particular Customer Groups
191 Innovating for Local Needs and Tastes
194 Matching What Is Possible with What Is Needed
201 Lessons to Take Away
203 Part Four: How Big Ideas Are Built
204 The Archimedes Principle
208 Rethinking the Universe
214 8 Steps to Building a Breakthrough
216 Inventing the 20th Century
224 Unpacking the Creative Process
230 “Say Good Bye to the Bag”
232 Different Routes to Big Ideas
235 Lessons to Take Away
236 What Exactly Is an Insight?
242 Do Insights Come from Breakthrough Thinking? Or Does Breakthrough Thinking Come from Insights?
244 A Practical Definition of Insights
246 Understanding Ideation
248 Stepping Stones for Creative Thinking
250 Improving Your Capacity for Radical Innovation
252 How Powerful Are Your Insights?
254 Working with the Four Lenses
259 Lessons to Take Away
269 Image Credits
284 About the Author