Summary of The Innovation Killer

How What We Know Limits What We Can Imagine – and What Smart Companies Are Doing About It

AMACOM, more...

Buy the book

The Innovation Killer book summary
What if the problem isn't what you don't know, but what you do know? That's the clash between expertise and innovation.


7 Overall

9 Applicability

6 Innovation

8 Style


This is a lively book. As befits its central image, the "Zero-Gravity Thinker," it moves lightly, traveling without friction through the challenging thicket of innovation. Cynthia Barton Rabe defines innovation simply and focuses on its human side. While her book does not provide specific guidance about what processes to use, or tell you how to innovate in your industry, it is an immediately applicable, solid introduction you can use to promote innovation. Rabe's creative successes (she was part of the team that introduced the Energizer Bunny) illustrate her points well. Her stories about skilled leaders who failed to innovate though they had the right training and personnel go a long way toward proving her central claim: Organizational attitudes blocking innovation are the main reason people don't innovate more often. getAbstract recommends this book to all those who are eager to innovate, and ready and willing to shake up their organizational structures to do so.

In this summary, you will learn

  • How "GroupThink" and "ExpertThink" stifle innovation;
  • How to escape this threat; and
  • Why innovation requires "Zero-Gravity Thinkers."


What Is Innovation and Why Is It Difficult?
Innovation happens at the site of a paradox. You need expertise in a specific area to generate genuinely new ideas, yet that very expertise may smother the original ideas you're working to generate. Once you learn the accepted way that things...
Get the key points from this book in less than 10 minutes. Learn more about our products or log in

About the Author

Cynthia Barton Rabe was an "innovation strategist" for a major technology corporation before she founded a consulting firm focusing on strategy and innovation.

Comment on this summary

More on this topic

Customers who read this summary also read

More by category