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The Innovation Killer

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The Innovation Killer

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


15 mins. de lectura
10 ideas fundamentales
Audio y Texto

¿De qué se trata?

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

Editorial Rating



  • Applicable


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.


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 are done, that knowledge replaces the wild imagination that you once had about other possibilities. People who believe they know it all, don't ask questions. That's why so many real innovators lack extensive formal training in the areas where they work. Today's powerful emphasis on speed and error-free efficiency exacerbates this paradox. If you're trying to work correctly and fast, you are by definition not experimenting with anything new; instead, you're doing what works. Think of this anti-innovation pressure as “gravity.” To fight it, you need to be a "Zero-Gravity Thinker" who can slip free of the crushing load of expertise weighing your company down and help your team see things anew.

Seeing things a fresh way is at the heart of innovation, which doesn't necessarily mean coming up with new technology or principles. Innovation occurs when you apply an idea in a way that produces...

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.

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