The Ten Faces of Innovation: IDEO's Strategies for Defeating the Devil's Advocate and Driving Creativity Throughout Your Organization Hardcover – Oct 18 2005
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From Publishers Weekly
Kelley's latest builds on The Art of Innovation, which celebrated the work culture that distinguishes his high-profile, award-winning industrial design firm, IDEO. This book covers much of the same territory, but focuses on the type of worker and team-building rather than the work environment. The authors define 10 personas, including Anthropologists, who contribute insights by observing human behavior; Experimenters, who try new things; Hurdlers, who surmount obstacles; Collaborators, who bring people together and get things done; and Caregivers, who anticipate and meet customer needs. Like its predecessor, the book is breezy and well written, with plenty of self-promotion. Kelley and Littman weave classic and recent stories of business innovation, such as 3M's Scotch tape, Volvo's three-point seatbelts and Netflix's mail-in DVDs, with IDEO's own success stories with clients ranging from the Boston Beer Company, for whom IDEO designed a new Sam Adams tap handle, to Organ Recovery Systems, for whom IDEO helped develop ways to expedite kidney transport. Aspiring business innovators and fans of The Art of Innovation may find further inspiration in this handbook. (Oct. 18)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Advance Praise for The Ten Faces of Innovation
"Essential reading for every single person in your organization--even the CEO should read it! Each page contains a nugget that's worth the price of the entire book. Wow."
—Seth Godin, author of Purple Cow
“A concensus is emerging that Innovation must become most every firm's ‘Job One.’ ‘Hurdle One,’ however, is a doozer: establishing a Culture of Innovation. IDEO thought leader Tom Kelley offers a thoroughly original and thoroughly tested approach to creating that ‘culture of innovation.’ Rigorously applying his ‘Ten Faces’ will get the innovation ball rolling ... fast. Bravo!”
— Tom Peters
Critical Acclaim for Tom Kelley’s Previous National Bestseller The Art of Innovation
“Tom Kelley has unlocked the magic box of innovation for corporate America.”
—Bruce Nussbaum, BusinessWeek
“In light of all the books on the market about creativity, it takes a certain amount of chutzpah to call your book The Art of Innovation. Yet Kelley makes a good case.... Practical, clearly written, and highly detailed.”
“On nearly every page, the story of some upstart invention is recounted in patter that's as good as a skilled magician's…. Almost like visiting an IDEO workshop in person.”
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Top Customer Reviews
Tom Kelley's book encourgages us all to look for a variety of people in our organizations. People who will look at things from all different perspectives, and who attack challenges using different tactics.
The book is filled with interesting stories and compelling examples that inspire and teach. I would highly recommend this book to anyone in a leadership position.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
In an earlier work, The Art of Innovation: Lessons in Creativity from IDEO, America's Leading Design Firm, Kelley shares IDEO's five-step methodology: Understand the market, the client, the technology, and the perceived constraints on the given problem; observe real people in real-life situations; literally visualize new-to-the-world concepts AND the customers who will use them; evaluate and refine the prototypes in a series of quick iterations; and finally, implement the new concept for commercialization. With regard to the last "step", as Bennis explains in Organizing Genius, Apple executives immediately recognized the commercial opportunities for PARC's technology. Larry Tesler (who later left PARC for Apple) noted that Jobs and colleagues (especially Wozniak) "wanted to get it out to the world." But first, obviously, the challenge was to create that "it" which they then did.
In this volume, as Kelley explains, his book is "about innovation with a human face. [Actually, at least ten...hence its title.] It's about the individuals and teams that fuel innovation inside great organizations. Because all great movements are human-powered." He goes on to suggest that all good working definitions of innovation pair ideas with action, "the spark with fire. Innovators don't just have their heads in the clouds. They also have their feet on the ground." Kelley cites and then examines several exemplary ("great") organizations which include Google, W.L. Gore & Associates, the Gillette Company, and German retailer Tchibo. I especially appreciate the fact that Kelley focuses on the almost unlimited potential for creativity of individuals and the roles which they can play, "the hats they can put on, the personas they can adopt...[albeit] unsung heroes who work on the front lines of entrepreneurship in action, the countless people and teams who make innovation happen day in and day out."
Because organizations need individuals who are savvy about the counterintuitive process of how to move ideas forward, Kelley recommends three "Organizing Personas": The Hurdler, The Collaborator, and The Director.
Because organizations also need individuals and teams who apply insights from the learning roles and channel the empowerment from the organizing roles to make innovation happen, Kelley recommends four "Building personas": The Experience Architect, The Set Designer, The Caregiver, and The Storyteller. Note both the sequence, interrelatedness and, indeed, the interdependence of these ten "personas."
I am reminded of comparable material in A Kick in the Seat of the Pants. Specifically, Roger von Oech's discussion of what he calls "The Four Roles of the Creative Process" (i.e. Explorer, Artist, Judge, and Warrior). Also Six Thinking Hats in which Edward de Bono explains the need for a creativity "wardrobe" comprised of several hats. Specifically, white (rational, logical, and objective), red (emotional), black (negative), yellow (positive, hopeful, optimistic), green (creative and innovative), and blue (ordered, controlled, structured).
What Kelley achieves in this volume is to develop in much greater depth than do von Oech and de Bono what are essentially ten different perspectives. He does so, brilliantly, by focussing the bulk of his attention of those who, for example, seek and explore new opportunities to reveal breakthrough insights...and while doing so wear (at least metaphorically) one of de Bono's hats (probably the green one). Kelley devotes a separate chapter to each of the ten "personas," including real-world examples of various "unsung heroes who work on the front lines of entrepreneurship in action, the countless people and teams who make innovation happen day in and day out."
Two final points. First, most of those who read this book can more easily identify with "unsung heroes" such as those whom Kelley discusses than with luminaries of innovation such as Thomas Edison or with celebrity CEOs such as Andrew Grove, Jeffrey Immelt, Steve Jobs, and Jack Welch, all of whom were staunch advocates of constant innovation in their respective organizations. Also, presumably Kelley agrees with me that those who read and then (hopefully) re-read his book should do so guided by a process which begins with the curiosity of an anthropologist and concludes with the empathy of a caregiver. This is emphatically not an anthology of innovation recipes. Rather, it offers a rigorous intellectual journey whose ultimate value will be determined, entirely, by the nature and extent of innovative thinking which each reader achieves...and who then uses the breakthrough insights to drive creativity throughout her or his own organization.
However, I wouldn't recommend the book to anyone attempting to build more capacity for innovation into their organization. It doesn't really cover how to hire, use, or retain people in these roles or even how to develop the roles in the people you already have.
Much of the text is also a rolling story - you come away from each of the roles feeling like they must be a critically important part of the team and that the people who have played them are clearly smart people, but unsure of whether it was the role, the person, or both that made the team successful. Or even that the person was more than just a ringside activity on an already creative team.
The personas he describes are applicable to any environment, not just IDEO. They are personas, and not job roles. He makes this very clear. Someone can be a software engineer and also manifest a number of the personas described.
The Ten Faces are:
<strong>The Anthropologist</strong> observes the way people behave with a "beginner's mind" to observe nuances that provide a deep understanding of how people interact with their environment.
<strong>The Experimenter</strong> prototypes, and prototypes again. Often in real time drawing on diverse resources to build and test out ideas. This desire to prototype goes as much for objects as it does for services and experiences.
<strong>The Cross-Pollinator</strong> explores other industries and cultures and then translates what they find into the fields they are responsible for. Cross pollinators are also called "t-shaped" people because they have depth in at least one area and breadth of knowledge in many fields.
<strong>The Hurdler</strong> works to overcome obstacles and roadblocks by outsmarting them. Budgets, adversity, bureaucracies and failures are all challenges that The Hurdler may come up with ingenious ways to overcome.
<strong>The Collaborator</strong> "often leads from the middle of the pack" to bring people together and build new solutions. Collaborators work with teammates, colleauges and even competitors. This is similar to Gladwell's Tipping Point notion of a 'connector'
<strong>The Director</strong> brings together talented people and provides an environment and direction fo them to spark their creative talents. They give the spotlight to others and rise to tough challenges, using brainstorming as a way to let talented people shine.
<strong>The Experience Architect</strong> looks to appeal to people's deep needs by developing compelling experiences. The focus on key elements of an experience that are crucial to its succes.These trigger points can be as simple as the alarm clock and bed in a hotel room.
<strong>The Set Designer</strong> creates environments that allow team members to do their best work. The realize that the work environment is an important element of what makes people productive. They make things like brainstorming lounges and dynamic work environments possible.
<strong>The Caregiver</strong> looks to serve customers in a way that is beyond standard service. They anticipate what customers will need and plan for it in advance.
<strong>The Storyteller</strong> carries on the tradition of sharing narratives that communicate fundemental emotions or values. They eschew the 'fast path' where a story would be more appropriate, avoiding 'cutting to the chase' when they can instead engange people in a dialog that moves them. This crowd is not a big fan of Powerpoint :-)
The book's attention aestetic to detail is refreshing - from the glossy paper and color photos, to the cleaver use of color and pull quotes. The content does not fall short either. Not only is the book a great endorsement for IDEO, but for general innovation techniques that really appear to work. The personas described in the book are bolstered by a number of examples that bring them to life.
A definite recommendation.
Not that there's anything wrong with playing Devil's Advocate, but why limit yourself to a single role? You could become typecast as an idea-killer -- a singularly difficult rut to get out of.
Kelley outlines ten other roles -- "Faces" -- that you can adopt when going through the creative process. Anthropologist, Experimenter, Cross-Pollinator, Hurdler, Collaborator, Director, Experience Architect, Set Designer, Storyteller, and Caregiver. Each Face falls into a persona category of Learning, Organizing, or Building.
While no single Face is going to make your ideas any more successful than another, being able to play each role (or assemble a team with a complementary strength in each role) will only increase your chances for success, and make your ideas stronger than ever.
Then Ten Faces also give you an excellent response to that guy (that guy who is no longer me!) who says "Let me play Devil's Advocate a moment..." and proceeeds to rip into your idea and rain on your parade. Simply respond with "Well, let me play Hurdler a moment and tell you how we can get around that problem." or "Let me play Anthropologist a moment and tell you what I've found when observering our customers."
The Ten Faces of Innovation basically gives you the ability to tell the Devil's Advocate to "Go to... Heck."
-The comprehensive listing of 10 factors or "faces" since innovation is about "People creating value through the implementation of new ideas."
-Plenty of examples/cases
-Color pictures for illustration of cases
-Once chapter per "face"
-Case studies discussed are superficial in analysis
-Some case studies are "force fits"
-No concrete measure to keep the "devil's advocates" at bay- Only a passive approach of listing past successes.
Powerful topic - Weak presentation.
Scope for innovation !!
Could have been better. Perhaps my expectations are high since this book comes directly from an insider at IDEO. Had it been written by someone else, I would have rated it 5 stars.
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