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Book Review: The Innovation Answer Book
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The Innovation Answer Book

The Innovation Answer Book

Written by: Teresa Jurgens-Kowal, PhD, NPDP, PMP; Publisher: GNPS Press; 1st edition (2019) ISBN 978-1-70-044995-5; 186 pages
Reviewed by: Martijn Antonisse, PhD, NPDP

The Innovation Answer Book

When writing a book about innovation, why not do it in an innovative way? The Innovation Answer Book did that by covering the basic knowledge on innovation in 182 questions and of course the answers, that are supported by theory and experience of the author!

The questions are grouped in chapters following the maturity level of a product development organization in the innovation framework: What are the fundamentals of innovation for a learning, adopting and transforming organization, respectively? And what do sustaining organizations do to maintain innovation success?

In this way the book covers in compact answer sections the complete body of knowledge an innovation practitioner needs, with ample references to literature for more in depth information.

For example, there are Q&As around Identifying innovation strategies (e.g. What is a common innovation strategy for new technology? What is a sustainability strategy for innovation?), Customer insights (e.g. What is primary market research? What is ethnographic research?), Innovation models (e.g. What does “job to be done” mean? What is Design Thinking?), and Innovation performance metrics (e.g. How are metrics used? How are input and output metrics different?).

Other sections discuss product development project and portfolio management aspects with questions like: When should the Stage-GateTM model be applied to innovation? What is the agile philosophy? What is timeboxing? How is value maximized in portfolio management? And what is the Delphi method for decision-making?

The book also addresses softer element like Required knowledge Building effective cross-functional teams (How do teams build trust?), Leadership, and Motivation (What is Theory X and Theory Y?)

The last chapter is maybe the most important for the Innovation Practitioner as it describes the Innovation code of conduct with the ethical principles: Honesty and Fairness, Respect, and Responsibility.

The nice thing of this book is that you can either read it from front to back, or randomly pick a question and learn about the topic and be inspired.

In summary this is a nice gift book to welcome people moving into the product development and innovation space. Or for yourself if you want to quickly refresh some of the established traditional and developing contemporary themes in innovation.

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