Leadership & Management

Leadership: Books to enhance creativity and innovation quotient

By Lionel Alva

Innovation isn’t some magic pixie dust that some leaders have and others lack.  Innovation doesn’t manifest itself but needs strategy, structure, and work. It is a mindset that helps organizations and leaders stand out from the abyss of mediocrity. There are some things about things about innovation that you may already be well-versed. Then again, the ‘je ne sais quoi’ of innovation is still an enigma perhaps

Innovation is what makes even a start-up make a big market impact in the year of its inception. However, there is also a lot of white noise and misinformation about innovation; understanding what works and doesn’t can be a challenge.  Which is why, we have done the hard work for you and have listed below are some of the must-read books on innovation. So that you cannot not only ‘innovate’ but do it consistently enough to give your organization a veritable edge.

The Innovator’s Dilemma

Penned by Clayton Christensen, a Harvard professor, this book become quite a sensation after its release in 1997. It was among the first books that a clear and lucid understanding of why breakthrough innovations were such a challenge for big organizations. It shed light on why the sound, rational, and methodical management approach of big organizations circumvented innovation. If offered tremendous insight into the relationship between large organizations and disruptive innovations. It’s an actionable book that offers clarity about the theory of disruptive innovation and is especially relevant for the times that we have come to live in.

The Innovator’s Solution

This is the much sought after sequel to ‘The Innovator’s Dilemma’ by Christensen that he co-authored with Michael Raynor.

A perfect foil to the first book that shed light on why big organizations find disruptive innovations be a challenge. The second book acts as a practical guide on how organizations can become market disruptors. This book offers profound and actionable insights on disruptive innovation that can be a game-changer for your business leadership. It is recommended whether your work in an organization or are an established entrepreneur.

Blue Ocean Strategy

INSEAD professors W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgn have penned this book and it is based on their work about value innovation.  The book highlights how a company builds innovation by identifying various market value drivers from the existing competition and then delivering this value at a lower cost. This lets the company achieve a competitive advantage, market differentiation, and long-term sustainability vis-à-vis the competition.

Such an approach creates a self-sustained competitive moat for the company: Not the competitive ocean that contains the remains of struggling competitors but a placid and serene ‘blue ocean’, which is self-contained.

Playing to Win

Getting the innovation strategy right is critical towards building a competitive edge. This strategy, to be effective, must be in perfect sync with the organization’s strategy.

This book offers no-holds-barred insight on what it takes to make difficult decisions under tremendous uncertainty. Something that many organizations today fail to get right. The authors assert that while a strategy for innovation isn’t complex but a hard one to implement.

The book is illustrative and offers many examples that can help an organization determine its innovation strategy. It offers a framework to create a strong foundation for innovation fundamentals.

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