Brands with Martin J. Kleinman
Innovation lies at the forefront of company credibility and competitive advantage. Companies that can transform concepts into new ideas quickly and bring them to market effectively will win customers and sustain profitability. Just look at Apple. The road to building brand and market position through innovation is no easy task. Fortunately, Robert’s Rules of Innovation provides an in depth plan that describes how companies can be more innovative both in design mindset, as well as organization structure and talent management.
The best part of this book is the arrangement. Each chapter provides a concept overview which spells out the simple pneumonic around innovation as:
No risk, o innovation
New product development process
Training and coaching
Observe and measure
result and reward
This mental checklist (Brands describes as the “Innovators Manifesto”) forms the foundation of how teams and individuals can approach both new product or service development as well as overhauling legacy processes. Accompanying each chapter are summary points, questions to think about, and a generous amount of graphs and images that tie each process together.
The hardest part of creating change in organizations is to align people to new thinking. That’s why I particularly enjoyed chapter 4 (Innovation Emancipation) and how Brands addresses Devil’s Advocates and Champions for Change. Accountability means not only should people follow-through on commitments, but it also means creating an environment that involves diversity of thought, trust, and collaboration so that the innovative mindset can take root. Brands offers tools to build the accountable culture so that change agents can promote their passion and bring others on board.
The latter chapters offer invaluable process checklists and talking points for each stage of getting innovation to stick for both immediate goals and as a sustainable part of organizational ways of working. The book is a concise reference manual. When I was originally given the book for review a few months ago I found I had to stop, absorb, then read on. So much is packaged inside you’ll find yourself re-reading chapters especially if you are trying to foster innovation in your work environment.
Brands has clearly experienced the ups and downs of how companies and cultures react to innovating innovative practices and I’m amazed he was able to break it down into such simple to follow parts. I feel this is required reading for both large and small companies. You will take away plenty of tips and techniques that will impact your business and work environment.