Reviewers are saying...

Hal Whiting, PhD, Program Manager, Executive Coaching and Assessment, Hewlett Packard Enterprise

The Innovator’s Advantage takes an ambitious path to link innovation with the talents and passions of employees. I highly recommend this book to any leader looking to maximize the right skill sets for the different phases of the innovation process.

Dr. Ronald J. Bonnstetter, Senior VP of Research and Development, Target Training International Success Insights

The Innovator’s Advantage guides you through the three ‘Ps’— Purpose, Pathway, and People—using a detailed, step-by-step description of the framework and methodology for innovation that incorporates a key element frequently missing in planning: an understanding of people. If your bottom line is still driven by original products or services, this book just might save your business.

Prof. Lucy W. Irungu, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research, Production, and Extension), University of Nairobi, Nairobi, Kenya

Few inventions reach the market, and this book clearly lays out how to navigate this gap. The authors bring out the importance of generating many ideas to solve the problem and explain how to do it. Most innovators are not business people, and this book gives them the resources to successfully innovate.

M. Raghib Hussain, Chief Operating Officer, Cavium

The Innovator’s Advantage describes innovation from the perspective of both art and science. The authors blend the art of enabling human talent and skill sets for out-of-the-box thinking with the methodology and tools to convert innovative ideas into value.

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About the Book

Evans Baiya and Ron Price, two of today’s most respected thought leaders in areas of innovation and business strategy, have the answer. After years of working on successful innovations and witnessing many failed ones, they have come to one key conclusion: innovation is not just about the technical and systematic processes that we are taught. In The Innovator’s Advantage they reveal that the way people work and interact throughout innovation holds the key to success. People are at the center of innovation. Processes, tools, and systems are secondary. The results? Better ideas, better products, and a better way to innovate in a quickly moving world economy.

The authors have created a set of strategic choices around an innovation framework and continuum that, when addressed in an integrated way, will improve innovation, reinvigorate team members and move you beyond your competitors. In this book, you will learn:

  • How to identify and deeply understand your problems and opportunities
  • How to effectively generate enough ideas to solve the problem-opportunities
  • How to drive the ideas through each stage of innovation to ensure you have the results or impact you are looking for
  • How to identify the unique talent, skills and passion you need at each stage of innovation
  • How to identify and organize individuals at each stage to ensure maximum fulfillment and output

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Chapters Takeaways

A Note to the Reader

The goal of this book is to share insights and provide practical tools on how to innovate and how to ensure that you increase your chances of successfully innovating. Each chapter is written as a building block towards the ultimate message of the book that to produce successful innovation results, people must be organized by their talent, skills, and passion at each stage of the innovation continuum and for the specific tasks. This leads to superior innovation outcomes. The alignment between talent, skills, and passion with the innovation stages and tasks can be measured using the Innovation Fitness Score. The fitness score is an indicator of how well the individual’s profile matches the tasks, deliverables, and outcomes of the specific innovation stage.

Chapter 1 Takeaways

Chapter 1 Takeaways

  1. The innovator’s advantage is a distinct and superior set of capabilities for identifying and understanding problem- opportunities and generating impactful solutions at the various stages of the innovation continuum.
  2. There are two strategic categories of innovations
  3. There are four broad types of innovations
  4. Organizational culture can enable innovation, hinder it, or kill it.

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Chapter 2 Takeaways

Chapter 2 Takeaways

  1. A large gap exists between the invention and achieving successful impact
  2. The execution plan is extensively generated by using the five-part Pentagon Innovation Framework™, which breaks down all the key strategic and execution areas that each innovation needs in order to have impact. The Pentagon Innovation Framework is composed of five ingredients/models
  3. If there is no impact (value), there is no innovation

Chapter 3 Takeaways

Chapter 3 Takeaways

  1. There are six stages in the innovation continuum
  2. Each stage has clear objective(s): key activities, outcomes, processes, and tools.
  3. Innovation stages are interactive: By making each of the stages interactive with each other, it becomes possible to learn continually, resulting in a self-feeding product ecosystem.

Chapter 4 Takeaways

Chapter 4 Takeaways

  1. Job descriptions have often been written around the work to be done based on how it was done in the past.
  2. Task benchmarking is better than job benchmarking, since it is more granular and simplifies identification of the right people at each innovation stage.
  3. For each stage of innovation, it is the innovation stage leader’s responsibility to drive for superior outcomes.

Chapter 5 Takeaways

Chapter 5 Takeaways

  1. Deciding how to organize people to complete specific tasks in the innovation continuum is critical. It starts by identifying the talent around you.
  2. Talent is composed of three key recurring tendencies.
  3. Behavioral styles are measured in four dimensions
  4. Leaders need to guard against bias when making people decisions. You can overcome bias by using objective, scientifically validated, and globally accepted assessments to identify and evaluate talent.

Chapter 6 Takeaways

Chapter 6 Takeaways

  1. Skills are learned competencies or capabilities for creating specific outcomes.
  2. Building skills in alignment with talent will produce a greater payoff than acquiring skills without supporting talent and will optimize your potential to excel.
  3. There are four categories of skills
  4. More use of the various skills in innovation contexts will produce superior thought processes and ideas as well as better and more sustainable innovation outcomes.

Chapter 7 Takeaways

Chapter 7 Takeaways

  1. Passion is an intrinsic, emotional motivation—for any activity that someone likes and finds important—that transcends pay or status.
  2. There are two kinds of passions
  3. Leaders should consider nurturing each team member’s harmonious passion for their tasks—empowering each individual and creating an atmosphere where each person feels a stronger sense of ownership and interest in their work.
  4. When recruiting, evaluate the candidate’s passion for the work

Chapter 8 Takeaways

Chapter 8 Takeaways

  1. Innovation fitness is a measure of how well the talent and skills required to produce deliverables for each stage in the innovation continuum, as described in the blueprints, match those of your people.
  2. The innovation fitness algorithm produces a value (Innovation Fitness Score) comparing the behavioral traits, driving motivations, valuing patterns, and skills required to achieve the tasks and expected outcomes for each innovation stage with those of the individual.
  3. The four levels of Innovation Fitness
  4. You can obtain a collective team fitness score based on fitness levels of individual team members

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People are at the center of innovation.

This book reveal that the way we intertwine people throughout the innovation holds the key for successful innovation, then use these insights to improve innovation track record, create great products and services that people want to pay and to consume, and create great organizations that people want to work in.

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About the Authors

Introducing Ron Price & Evans Baiya, Ph.D.

 
 

Ron Price

Ron Price is an internationally recognized business advisor, executive coach, speaker, and author. Known for his creative and systematic thinking, business versatility, and practical optimism, Ron has served in almost every level of executive management over the past 45 years. As the former president of a multimillion-dollar multi-national company, Ron understands the challenges and risks of running a business and building a dynamic team. He works shoulder-to-shoulder with executive leadership teams to bring strategic clarity and transformational results to organizations—especially those dealing with turmoil and transition.

Evans Baiya, PhD

Evans Baiya is a scientist, consultant, author, and a speaker. He works with a number of startups, large global companies, academia, and governments on business strategy, product development, R&D/innovation programs, technology transfer and commercialization. He holds a PhD in engineering and technology development, an MBA, and postgraduate certification in business strategy and intellectual property from Harvard Business School.

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