The Four Lenses of Innovation: A Power Tool for Creative Thinking

The Four Lenses of Innovation: A Power Tool for Creative Thinking

by Rowan Gibson

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Ever wonder where big, breakthrough ideas come from? How do innovators manage to spot the opportunities for industry revolution that everyone else seems to miss?

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  • Challenging Orthodoxies—What if the dominant conventions in your field, market, or industry are outdated, unnecessary, or just plain wrong?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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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781118947319
Publisher: Wiley
Publication date: 03/12/2015
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 304
File size: 20 MB
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About the Author

ROWAN GIBSON is widely recognized around the globe as a thought leader on business innovation. Labeled by the media as "the Innovation Grandmaster," Gibson provides some of the world's most successful organizations with services and tools to help them deepen their innovation capabilities. He is also the cofounder of, which is now the most popular innovation website on the Internet.

Table of Contents

viii Preface

xi Acknowledgments

xii Introduction

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 Away

152 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

260 Notes

269 Image Credits

272 Index

284 About the Author

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