“If innovation is so important, why aren’t more organizations better at it? Why are innovation failure rates so high?”
Vijay Kumar, Professor at the IIT Institute of Design, is not the first to ask this question and certainly not the last. But he’s one of the few authors who capably answer the question “What to do about it?”
Design has become a very popular concept in management over the past several years. Unfortunately, design has been like quantum physics in its application. It was hard to explain and the concepts often seemed to be both contradictory and useful at the same time.
In 101 Design Methods: A Structured Approach for Driving Innovation in Your Organization, Professor Kumar leverages his wealth of experience in practical design to provide a very approachable, consistent, and understandable methodology for design. The chapters are laid out in a logical sequence, and the author is ruthlessly consistent in applying the methodology. The entire book is structured, and the subsections are numbered in a way that constantly brings you back to the underlying process.
He articulates a vision of a reliable, repeatable, and structured approach for driving innovation in organizations, shaped by five basic insights about innovation:
- Innovation is a discipline, not a mystery.
- Innovation process needs clear modes, mindsets, and methods.
- Four primary forces shape innovations.
- The same generic process benefits many diverse projects.
In each chapter (framework step), Vijay provides a set of “mindsets” to adopt when looking at executing the step. Each step includes “What it is”, “How it Works” and an example case study of where it was successful. This makes the book very tangible and gives the reader pretty much everything one needs to know to use that particular tool/step. Kumar delivers on what is promised in the subtitle of his book: “A structured approach for driving innovation in your organization” and, better yet, he provides the information and insights, and counsel he provides in abundance are relevant to any credit union.
“Continuously keeping up with latest events and trens hels us develop hunches about where the world might be headed and gut feeling on the kind of innovation that can be build based on those trends. It’s ok to lead with a hunch but it is as important to qualify it with supporeting evidence so it is reasonable and logical as the idea become even stronger if it can reference historical precedents.”
This book is of value to anyone involved in driving innovation. Instructions are clear, the writing is straightforward, the examples are informative, and the graphics are colorful. This is a book innovators will reference often.