Review of The Innovator’s DNA

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  • Analytical
  • Applicable
  • Concrete Examples


To innovate more successfully, turn to Jeff Dyer, Hal Gregersen and Clayton M. Christensen. The authors, innovation gurus all, studied today’s innovators and synthesized their findings in this handbook. They examine how some of the world’s great, disruptive innovators, like Apple’s Steve Jobs and Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, came up with their groundbreaking ideas. They don’t promise that innovation automatically leads to success, but the practices they recommend consistently align with commercial achievement. Dyer, Gregersen and Christensen observe closely, write clearly and offer pragmatic insights. You may wonder if innovation and creativity really are learnable skills – or just traits worth emulating and encouraging. These experts say you can boost your ability to innovate, and they tell you how. getAbstract recommends their analysis and guidance to those who want to become more innovative; to business leaders who want to revitalize their companies; and to trainers, mentors, coaches and teachers who want to help learners think more creatively.

About the Authors

Jeff Dyer, PhD, teaches strategy at Brigham Young University. Hal Gregersen, PhD, is executive director of the MIT Leadership Center. Clayton M. Christensen teaches at Harvard Business School and writes widely on innovation. His books include The Innovator’s Dilemma, The Innovator’s Solution, Competing Against Luck and How Will You Measure Your Life?


Studying innovators reveals a pivotal lesson: While innovation comes more easily to some people than to others, innovation and creativity aren’t birthrights. They are learned skills. Since you generate innovation through your actions, you can learn to be more creative by focusing your time and efforts in that direction. Entrepreneurial CEOs who are innovative spend 50% more time engaged in “discovery activities” – such as experimentation – than entrepreneurs who don’t innovate. The authors caution that a start-up may need innovative thinking more than a mature firm. As firms grow, leaders may prefer the reliable delivery of known goods to the discovery of new ones, but innovation remains relevant to growth at any stage.

The authors offer these lessons:

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The Innovator’s Dilemma
Applying New Lenses to Look at the Challenges of Our Time
Competing Against Luck
Be the Disruptor
The Innovative University
How Will You Measure Your Life?
The Innovator's Prescription
Disrupting Class

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    Julia Rodriguez 1 year ago
    This is excellent! This simple breakdown can help anyone understand how to actively become more innovative on demand.
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    Endrick Dann Axel Diaz Ortega . 4 years ago
    Excellent summary, it is very useful 
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    Doug Tanner 4 years ago
    CAn't tell anything without a full summary. Waste of time
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      Renee DeChirico 4 years ago
      Hello Doug,
      Thank you for your comment on the above summary. While looking into your inquiry and our database, I do see that you signed up for our 2 free preselected summaries. The 2 free preselected summaries are: "Find Out Anything From Anyone, Anytime." and "Make Waves". To read the full summary of "The Innovator's DNA" we suggest subscribing to one of our subscriptions, as the summary above is not part of our preselected summaries. I will email you directly on how to read the 2 free preselected summaries that were sent.
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    Mohammad Ali 6 years ago
    This was inspiring to say the least. It definitely provides motivation to be more observant of our surroundings, find interconnections between seemingly disparate fields and come up with novel ideas which make life easier for all of us.
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    Julie Smith 6 years ago
    The takeaways provide a compelling and simple 5 step approach - organisational and personal committment needs to be a way of life rather than a process. Great to know creativity can be 'nurtured', the pre requisite of curiosity and tenacity are surely needed and I would argue these owe much to the element of 'nature'
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    Supriya Chaudhury 6 years ago
    Demystifying innovation and making it reachable in a logical and achievable way is what this book lays out. In a world where innovation needs to be part of everything we do and think about, the constructs here are very helpful.
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    Terence Stanislaus 6 years ago
    Innovation has become a part of any Job profile and more so in MNCs. Reading this summary inspires to go deep in to the innovator skills and become a innovator.
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    Tim Peacocke 7 years ago
    Good summary outlining the steps and processes that innovators use in order to innovate.