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Relentless Innovation: What Works, What Doesn’t--And What That Means For Your Business [Hardcover]

Jeffrey Phillips

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Book Description

Nov. 9 2011

You can’t ask for more than efficient, effective operations.
Or can you?

Given today’s business landscape—increasing customer demand, global competition, lower trade barriers—being good isn’t enough. This groundbreaking guide provides the knowledge and tools you need to transform your organization from a well-run company to a relentlessly innovative company.

Innovation expert Jeffrey Phillips has helped businesses around the world achieve the dream—the implementation of innovation as a consistent business discipline. In Relentless Innovation, he reveals his secrets for the first time.

Phillips argues that today’s typical business models actually impede innovation because they place so much focus on efficiency, cost cutting, and short-term gain. Does this describe your business model? If it does, you need to revisit your approach and redefine your idea of what success actually is. You may find that your “business as usual” processes actively reject innovation efforts.

Relentless Innovation has everything you need to strike the right balance between efficiency and innovation. Striking that balance will help your firm:

  • Become proactive instead of reactive
  • Create a more engaged workforce
  • Establish deeper capabilities to define and achieve strategic goals
  • Increase revenues and profits while retaining efficient cost management
  • Sustain market differentiation
  • Improve your public reputation
  • Increase your ability to leverage internal knowledge and external partnerships

Offering the broadest view to date of the relationship between innovation and business strategy, Relentless Innovation provides you with the information and tools you need to transform innovation from an infrequent activity to a core capability in your organization.

PRAISE FOR RELENTLESS INNOVATION

“A thoughtful, intelligent, and practical manifesto by a highly experienced innovation professional. Phillips demonstrates with clarity and insight how organizations can assess their current innovation potential, identify vulnerabilities, and most important, create a systemic innovation-as-usual culture that can make the difference between also-ran and yes-we-can.”
—Tim Hurson, author of Think Better

Relentless Innovation is a must read for innovation junkies and executives who want practical ideas on creating an innovation business-as-usual culture. Phillips has worked in the innovation trenches and shares big-win ideas on how to unleash trapped middle management potential.”
—Saul Kaplan, Founder and Chief Catalyst, Business Innovation Factory

“Phillips has long been in the top tier of professionals who have a clear understanding of what makes innovation work in business. This book will provide you (and your team) with proven creative strategies and practical ideas that you can use to gain greater success in your market. Relentless Innovation is highly recommended.”
—Roger von Oech , author of A Whack on the Side of the Head and The Creative Whack Pack

Relentless Innovation not only outlines the barriers to innovation in a way most readers will quickly understand, it provides a prescription that, when followed, can remedy the situation before efforts stall out.”
—Dominic Venturo, Chief Innovation Officer, U.S. Bank Payment Services


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill; 1 edition (Nov. 9 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0071786805
  • ISBN-13: 978-0071786805
  • Product Dimensions: 2.3 x 15.8 x 23.1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 340 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #367,346 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Jeffrey Phillips leads the innovation consulting team at OVO Innovation, a consulting and training firm working primarily with Fortune 500 firms. OVO Innovation partners with its clients to create a sustainable, repeatable innovation capability by training and building innovation teams, defining innovation processes, and developing open innovation partnerships. He is a well-known thought leader in the innovation space and regularly blogs about innovation.


Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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Amazon.com: 4.9 out of 5 stars  20 reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Innovation Demystified Nov. 20 2011
By Jena Ball - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
As the global marketplace becomes increasingly competitive and customer demand for new and frequently updated products and services continues to grow, the need for innovation has never been clearer. Companies must become what author Jeffrey Phillips calls, "relentless innovators," making innovation not only a priority, but an integral part of their business models, or risk being overtaken and surpassed by their competitors. The challenge, of course, is to overcome the misconceptions surrounding innovation with a goal of making innovation "...a cultural phenomenon which can be enhanced or inhibited by leaders, culture, and strategy."

Phillips, who has spent the past 10 years leading OVO Innovation's work with Fortune 500 and midsized firms in North America, Europe, and Asia, has written a book that is at once persuasive and practical. While the need for innovation and its benefits is clear, says Phillips, the road to articulating and implementing a successful innovation strategy is not. The confusion is due, in part, to what he calls the "Mythology of Innovation." In Chapters 1 and 2 he systematically debunks those myths and identifies the real barriers to innovation - the perception that innovation is a threat to the status quo, to the existing business models and strategies that typically focus on scaling up, getting a sizeable market share, and generating profits. As a result, "says Phillips, "innovation capabilities remain a part of the lore of many firms, but those references and stories seem misplaced in an era of high efficiency, cost-cutting, and outsourcing."

The solution Phillips proposes is simple - make innovation part of a company's fundamental approach to doing business. However, there are many reasons firms can't sustain innovation. These include everything from a "project" rather than "capability" mindset to fear of failure, lack of resources, and uncertain support from executives. Each of these barriers and concerns is dissected and discussed with a clear and practical solution outlined by Phillips.

Relentless innovation requires a balance between efficiency and innovation. In this model, innovation is seen as "business as usual," meaning it is built into the framework of how the company operates. Chapters 7, 8 and 9 give straightforward, detailed approaches to creating that framework so that "everyone - executives, staff and middle managers - arrive at work expecting to innovate and well versed in the tools, processes, and methods of innovation." Phillips also does a good job of anticipating and addressing the typical questions, objections and stumbling blocks most firms encounter as they begin to make innovation part of their culture.

Phillips concludes with a summary of what to expect when a company's operating model shifts to a balance between efficiency and innovation. In short, "everything changes," he says. The good news is that Phillips' comprehensive description of what is necessary for a firm to become a relentless innovator makes the process seem not only possible but a positive experience as well. Relentless Innovation is both a good read and an invaluable tool for helping organizations achieve innovation, remain viable and competitive, while optimizing financial success. A must read for any company, small or large that is seeking to make innovation a part of its core operating strategy.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Review of Relentless Innovation Nov. 16 2011
By Roy A. Luebke - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
The reason to read this book is it will help a reader to understand their organization's current reasons for lack of innovation success, and defines a set of steps that will help deal with many of the issues facing organizational leaders who want their firms to be more creative and bring more relevant new things to the market. It provides an excellent overview of what is needed to develop a company's internal innovation competence and capabilities. It helps the reader understand and address specific obstacles facing middle managers and how to lead them toward executing innovation activities.

There are two major themes in the book as to what stifles innovation: Business as usual and middle managers. The culture and current operating practices of a company are the major barriers to creating new value for a customer or market. The focus of the book is how to shift from business as usual to Innovation As Usual.

Business as usual stymies innovation by overly focusing the organization on efficient business processes and meeting short term demands, and by commanding the attention of the middle management cohort to the exclusion of creating new things. The author presents a number of attributes that can introduce far more innovation focus into a business as usual culture. The goal of an Innovation As Usual approach is to bring the operating model back into balance and focus on both efficiency and innovation. The primary driver of innovation success is a combination of culture, attitudes, frameworks, and processes that form a new "operating model" for the business.

From this book, a reader will gain a deeper understanding that defining and communicating strategic intent is critical. The key management issue is understood to be overly focusing on cost-cutting, efficiency, outsourcing and off-shoring jobs to foreign countries.

The real meat of the book is the chapter which details what a business as usual framework should consist of. This is the basic outline for any firm without getting bogged down in a discussion of tools or methods of discovery, ideation, etc.

Finally, you will read about ways to balance the middle manager's focus on efficiency with the organization's need to create something new. The book defines the key elements to finding the right balance between efficiency and innovation, and how middle managers can embrace this balance and not live in fear and avoidance of creative change.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Valuable Contribution Dec 10 2011
By Langdon Morris - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I really enjoyed reading Jeffrey Phillips' new book. I took a lot of notes, which is for me an important indication of its value.

Phillips' analysis is very clear, his diagnosis is accurate, and his prescription will be tremendously valuable for any executive who has an interest in innovation (which should be, by the way, every executive).

The framework that Phillips defines as "business as usual" is clearly articulated and is entirely correct. The very practical suggestions he shares for the design of innovation initiatives and the specific and detailed guidelines he provides to innovators, middle managers who run innovation initiatives, and senior managers whose careers will ultimately depend on their capacity to evoke successful innovations from their organizations, all make this book a valuable contribution to the innovation library.

There's a lot of good stuff here, and just as happily, there's no fluff. Thanks, Jeffrey!
5.0 out of 5 stars Breaking Down Key Innovation Barriers Jan. 7 2013
By Silvi Steigerwald - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Jeffrey Phillips clearly identifies two predominant innovation barriers in an enterprise: Business as Usual and Middle Management. He also lays out a path for overcoming those and turning an organization into one that is well-balanced between efficiency and innovation. Jeffrey's approach to describing each situation with relevant examples provides a strong, credible picture.

Having experienced the environments with those barriers first hand, I appreciate Jeffrey's assessment as well as his recommendations on how to shift an organization's operating model to establish relentless innovation. He is spot on and I highly recommend this book to everyone who is managing innovation in their company and anyone who desires to make innovation a natural expectation in their business.
5.0 out of 5 stars Innovation - The New Norm! May 21 2012
By LisaS - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Jeffrey Phillips's book is an outstanding example of what real corporate innovators experience - trying to balance the company's desire for something new vs. the inertia of Business As Usual (BAU). No matter how often corporate executives say that innovation is a top priority, the real challenge is whether their companies can execute. It is not enough to have a good idea or to find the best ideas lurking within a company - a company must be able to overcome BAU.

What is BAU? It's all the norms inside your company that govern how your company operates. Phillips points out that middle managers are the guardians of BAU. They've come to depend on its efficiency, so that they can deliver consistent quarterly results. Yet, innovation means tolerating, supporting, and sometimes even introducing new and inefficient ways of doing business. This is uncomfortable, and middle managers are not rewarded for it. They are rewarded for consistent quarterly results.

Phillips demonstrates that the cure is to make innovation the new BAU. His book will show you how to do it.

If you are a corporate innovator, executive, or just someone who likes to introduce new ideas, read this book - and share it with everyone in your company - if you want to effect real change.

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