Nov 30, 2010

Book Review: The Myths of Innovation by Scott Berkun

So far this is the most ‘dog-eared’ and marked up eBook I have read!  The author has really done his homework on this one.  There are plenty of facts to refute many of the myths that are commonly shared and believed regarding innovation.  The old saying about genius being 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration is brought to life by the many examples he gives.

In the not too distant past most jobs or tasks had a production focus while today there are more and more that have a knowledge focus (or pick the term you like).  This has brought a change from trying to do the same thing better over time to a point where it often seems that we never do quite the same thing twice.  To be more successful in this new world it would be very nice to have a recipe for success, unfortunately there isn’t one.

What you will get out of this book is a reality check to counteract many of the myths that exist around the magic of innovation and progress.  While it is not be a recipe you can follow it will teach you some patterns that you can follow to better prepare yourself for the enlightening moments that may lead to great breakthroughs for you.

In what is maybe the closest thing to a map you will be able to follow chapter 11 includes a section titled “The simple plan”.  The author says “If you picked up this book because you want to not only find ideas but bring them to reality, this is for you.”  Three of the points that he identifies here are: 1) get started doing something; 2) don’t get too focused on innovation solve a problem; and 3) be happy when you make a mistake, you are learning and growing.

I have already bought extra copies of this book to give to friends, clients and co-workers.  I know several of them will really appreciate it and I’ll be looking forward to discussing it with them and working with them after they have read it!

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