A Global Perspective on Making Innovation Meaningful, Profitable, and Sustainable
Ask almost any small business owner or big business leader. In today’s ferociously competitive global business world, staying in business often depends on conjuring up the cleverest idea and seizing a slight edge in an already flooded market. Based on prevailing estimates from economists, up to 80 percent of business growth comes from innovation—a word that dominates company mission statements. Yet, when companies keep on churning out pointless novelties, like purple ketchup or tiny cellphone tweaks, does innovation really add value? Or is it just another tool of consumer manipulation?
In THE INNOVATION RACE: How to Change a Culture to Change the Game, bestselling Australian authors and international business consultants Andrew Grant and Gaia Grant underscore the customer-alienating risks and business-crushing costs of innovating for innovation’s sake. “Innovation should not be an isolated, random event limited to the creation of new ideas and products,” the Grants stress. “But as a part of a greater purpose and process, it can be transformational.” Drawing on extensive research and their work with outstanding innovators such as Dyson, Salesforce, Fuji Xerox, Visa, and Disney, the Grants offer a horizon-expanding guide to innovating for the sake of making life better for diverse customers, making work more rewarding for employees, and enjoying long-term business success.
Why do some companies and countries stand out as consistent winners at innovation while others struggle and fail? For answers, THE INNOVATION RACE takes readers on a sweeping global adventure and deep inside organizational cultures. With fascinating cross-cultural stories and practical, actionable strategies to enlighten and equip them, business leaders will gain the insights and confidence to:
- Reconcile the tension between exploration (the need for open discovery of new ideas for breakthrough innovation) and exploitation (establishing and maintaining systems for incremental innovation) for sustainable solutions.
- Cultivate and encourage creative thinking by considering multiple perspectives and alternative viewpoints.
- Really walk in another person’s shoes—as a traveler, not just a tourist—and develop authentic empathy to forge valuable value-based connections.
- Navigate the four key paradoxical challenges that can either frustrate or fuel innovation, starting by implementing and embracing guided freedom.
- Initiate and implement practical innovation strategies through targeted openness, create convivial workforce communities, ensuring coordinated diversity in teams, and developing “ambidextrous” leaders.
In-depth, engaging, and immediately useful, THE INNOVATION RACE charts a welcome course to transforming innovation from a haphazard rush for customers into a sustainable, purpose-driven commitment to serving diverse customers with ongoing payoffs to employees, the bottom line, and the planet.