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Red Thread Thinking

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Red Thread Thinking

Weaving Together Connections for Brilliant Ideas and Profitable Innovation


15 min read
10 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

You can innovate at will…if you make the right connections.

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As their subtitle indicates, innovation expert Debra Kaye and her collaborator, writer Karen Kelly, provide practical, profitable ways to connect familiar ideas with newer ones. Their “Red Thread Thinking” model consists of five “red threads” that you can follow and entwine to bring your innovative concepts to life. Though most of the early chapters will be old news to readers who are familiar with the literature of innovation, keep reading. Once they hit their stride, the authors emphasize connecting with market reality. Their guidance is more fully articulated than the counsel in many innovation books that only offer tips on how to create. getAbstract recommends this manual to would-be innovators, to innovation managers and to anyone looking for a primer on workable, applied creativity.


“Red Thread Thinking”

Millions of people fiddle with things to make them better. But few people innovate successfully for the marketplace by applying their modifications, variations and new ideas to make money. Creativity alone is never enough. Innovation means taking an idea to the testing ground of consumer demand. The five strands of Red Thread Thinking can determine the difference between commercially “viable” innovations and “creative ideas” that don’t go anywhere.

Creativity, a necessary component of innovation, gets people’s attention. Practical innovation goes further, connecting an item’s multiple qualities to serve consumers. Useful inventions make work easier, cheaper or more effective. Innovation gets people to buy a new product and is essential for success in today’s market. The good news is that everyone can innovate, improve existing designs and transform ideas into attractive products. Red Thread Thinking offers five simple techniques that help you “weave” distinct ideas together easily, methodically and regularly to achieve successful innovation.

Red Thread 1: Understand Innovation

Today’s aspiring innovators have an advantage over their...

About the Authors

Debra Kaye is an innovation expert and a partner at Lucule, an innovation consultancy. Karen Kelly is an experienced writer and collaborator. She formerly worked as senior editor at Warner Books.

Comment on this summary

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    J. S. 7 years ago
    Just because you love an idea and think it’s great does not mean that your intended market will respond accordingly.” For me this is a key thing to remember, in life at work or at home.
    “The key to failing well is to take note of what you learned that could be useful on your next attempts and then keep working past the disappointment.” this is true not only as adults but something to share with our youth.
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    s. m. 1 decade ago
    Well articulated. I liked the reminder of understanding culture and making connections between concepts in different areas.
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    R. M. 1 decade ago
    Can you please identify which titles are available in an audio version?
    • Avatar
      1 decade ago

      If you go to getAbstract's library, you will see a checkbox toward the top of the page that says Audio Only. If you tick this box, our system will filter the library and display only the titles that have audio summaries available.

      Many thanks and kind regards,
      Deirdre Cody

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