…way too much going on right now, so I haven’t had time to post much. This stopped me dead in my tracks, so I thought I’d share.
Thursday, August 30, 2007
Monday, August 6, 2007
A brief review of a short book. I haven’t been writing much due to a deluge of work, but I promised myself I’d try and review each book I read as soon as I finished reading it, not weeks later.
Scott Berkun’s The Myths of Innovation is a brief guide to the history of innovation. It is a well researched look at how innovations really happen and the environments and contexts surrounding people praised as innovators. I suspect some of this is not news to people who worked in the dot-com boom or spent time in an R&D lab, but even those people would benefit from the structural interpretation Berkun gives to those environments.
Where this book falls short, in my opinion, is a lack of practical advice for people who need help fostering innovation in their departments or companies. It’s easy to say, “here’s how innovative organizations operate”, the challenge is in learning how to change your organization and convince management that there will be a benefit to the change. I can tell my boss about innovative companies until I’m blue in the face, but unless I can describe a plan with practical changes, my boss probably isn’t going to support me. If Berkun has experience helping companies change and become more innovative, I wish he’d revise this book with some real-world examples of what works and what doesn’t.
It’s a quick read at ~150 pages and there is a useful bibliography and guide to other books on the subject of innovation and creativity and certainly worth reading the next time you have a short flight or a layover.