The Wide Lens: A New Strategy for Innovation Hardcover – Apr 3 2012
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"Essential reading for innovators."
"A clear analysis of numerous scenarios, both failures and successes, with a depth rarely found in pragmatically-tinged books. Anyone involved in moving a product from conception to adoption will not want to let this book pass them by."
"The Wide Lens opens the readers' eyes to the bigger picture and expands the mind to the possible pitfalls that have come to stand in
the way of the success of many innovative products and services....Don't miss out on your opportunity to see your innovation go from conception to success by engaging a wider lens."
"What is the big picture?' This is a question that haunts every business strategist --- reflecting the fear that our analysis of the landscape has missed the larger threats or opportunities in front of us. Based on years of research and teaching, The Wide Lens gives a brilliant answer. Ron Adner describes the landscape of innovation in the most complete terms ever achieved. The arrival of this book is a major event for leaders everywhere."
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The first section introduces the inherent challenge of innovating within innovation ecosystems (which exist in every industry once you learn how to spot them) and makes explicitly clear the hazard that co-innovation and adoption chain risks pose to even the most well-funded and highly skilled organizations (the Michelin run-flat debacle and Nokia's epic 3G failure are especially illuminating). He proves the point that in today's business environment, listening to customers and flawless execution are not enough - these are necessary but in no way sufficient. In the second section, Adner presents a bold assessment of how, when, and where to compete in order to maximize one's likelihood of success - including a brilliant discussion of how to spot when first-mover advantage is a benefit and when it's a curse via the First-Mover Matrix. In the final section, a clear blueprint is presented to teach managers how to think about ecosystem reconfiguration and steps for shaping ecosystems in order to eliminate a firm's innovation blind spots and prevent avoidable failures.
The singing reviews from other A-list business minds like Jim Collins and Clay Christensen are spot on. This book has changed the way I think - I use at least one of Adner's case examples or frameworks on a daily basis. Buy this book, read it, and then keep it on your desk - it will change the way you think about managing innovation and your business.
Adner's The Wide Lens is the opposite - it is a joy to read. Filled with useful concepts and real world lessons, and written in a clear, compelling manner, Adner makes each chapter interesting by telling the real story of companies that succeeded or failed - and why.
Interesting - it's a FUN read. How often can you say that about a business book?
Clear and concise - Adner excels at transferring knowledge efficiently - little wonder that he is a successful teacher
Useful - Adner's description of the interconnected nature of many of today's innovative products and services, and how to avoid the trap of a narrow focus, are great lessons
Great Stories - From digital movies, to inhalable insulin, to run-flat tires and many more, you will find yourself very knowledgable about business successes and failures covering a wide range of products and services
This is Adner's first book, I wish there were more!
In short: read this book.
The language of the book is exceptionally well written in a conversational style but contains brillant strategic analysis about the missing pieces in poorly executed innovations which cost some companies hundreds of millions if not billions of dollars of wealth. These decisions are strategy at the highest level of most corporations. Professor Adner's exceptional analysis of the innovation failure strategy is of great value to anyone leading a product development effort for a any mid to large sized company.
It also demonstrates the remarkable network effects of the value chain companies like Google, Apple, Amazon, Nike and many others who leverage one capability on top of another to deliver superlative services and products at high margins. Who else but Steve Jobs could have assembled the iTune distribution service with digital rights management and the creative content needed to drive adoption of the MP3 iPod universe, then leverage those sames skills and capabilities to expand into the Smartphone mobile arena ?
I absolutely hope that Prof Adner writes a follow on sequel on tactical approaches for his strategy guidance. The tactics being worth their weight in gold in implementing a successful strategy and expanding the view of the wide lens playing field.
A "classic" to be : Porter on Strategy, Adner on Innovation, Drucker on Management, Ogilvy on Advertising, Kotler on Marketing Management
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