Summary of Innovation

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  • Innovative
  • Applicable
  • Well Structured


This manual by innovation experts Curtis R. Carlson and William W. Wilmot proves valuable for its focus and rigor. Many books on innovation discuss only idea generation. This one concentrates on the execution side of innovation. It supports idea creation and research funding, but it also pays attention to developing and executing ideas. The authors methodically walk readers through the practical steps involved in selecting among creative ideas, developing the best ones, gaining support in an organizational context, and so on. The result is an exact, pragmatic and systematic treatment. getAbstract recommends it to those who are looking to innovate or seeking guidance for changing an organization’s culture.

About the Authors

Curtis R. Carlson is president and CEO of SRI International. Director of the Collaboration Institute William W. Wilmot helped create the Discipline of Innovation workshop.



Methodical Innovation

Many people misunderstand innovation. They think of it as coming up with “some clever new gadget.” Instead, think of innovation as delivering new value to your customers.

Companies must “innovate or die” to keep up with the global exponential economy. To examine just one exponential force reshaping society, consider Moore’s Law, which predicts that computing speed will double every 18 months.

This progression fuels the shift to a knowledge-based society, and the more “knowledge-intensive” an economy becomes, the more developments build on one another. People sharing information at the speed of light make the world smaller.

As innovators take an innovation from the “new concept” to the actual “new product or service,” they should consider some core questions: What unmet needs does this idea address? How does it do that? What are its benefits and costs? How is the ratio between cost and benefit superior to the calculus of other innovations?

Companies can innovate systematically by focusing on crucial needs, generating lots of ideas, organizing so the ideas build on one another, and providing sufficient support...

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