The Other Side of Innovation: Solving the Execution Challenge. Vijay Govindarajan, Chris Trimble. Harvard Business Review Press.

The Other Side of Innovation: Solving the Execution Challenge Book Cover The Other Side of Innovation: Solving the Execution Challenge
Vijay Govindarajan, Chris Trimble
Harvard Business Review Press
September 2, 2010

“Genius is 1 percent inspiration, 99 percent perspiration.” Thomas Edison said it over a century ago. No one listened.

When companies launch innovation initiatives, they typically allot most of their time and energy to that initial 1 percent – the thrilling hunt for the breakthrough idea. They draw guidance from countless books and articles that treat innovation as though it were synonymous with creativity.

It’s not. That much-ballyhooed burst of inspiration is merely a starting point. The real innovation challenge lies beyond the idea. It lies in a long, hard journey – from imagination to impact.

In The Other Side of Innovation, Vijay Govindarajan and Chris Trimble reveal how to execute an innovation initiative. Regardless of the type of initiative, the crux of the challenge is that business organizations are not designed for innovation; they are designed for ongoing operations. And there are deep and fundamental conflicts between the two.

Drawing on ten years of research and examples from innovators as diverse as Allstate, BMW, Harley-Davidson, IBM, Nucor, and Timberland, the authors show you how to:

  • Build the right team for your innovation initiative: Determine who will be on the team, how it will be structured, and how it can partner with ongoing operations. Anticipate and prevent conflicts.
  • Run a disciplined experiment: Test assumptions, translate results into new knowledge, and measure progress. Identify and combat sources of bias that can jeopardize learning.

Practical, provocative, and packed with hands-on tools, this book will take you step-by-step through the innovation execution process and bring you much closer to ensuring that your Big Idea achieves its full potential.

Vijay Govindarajan  is the Earl C. Daum 1924  Professor of International Business at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College, and was the first professor-in-residence and Chief Innovation Consultant for General Electric. He has been cited by Businessweek, Forbes, the Economist, and the London Times as a top thought leader in strategy. Chris Trimble, a well-known innovation speaker and consultant, is also on the faculty at Tuck.