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CATS: The Nine Lives of Innovation

CATS: The Nine Lives of Innovation

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CATS: The Nine Lives of Innovation

176 página
2 horas
Lançado em:
Jan 14, 2009


It's time to let the CATS out of the bag . . .

Curiosity might have killed the proverbial cat, but without it very real achievements would never occur. With this book as your guide, you’ll learn how to spark your innate curiosity, pounce on problems in ways you never imagined, and enjoy greater success and satisfaction at work—and in your personal life.

Playful, profound, and positively upbeat, CATS provides what you need to tap into your power of innovation—and then unleash it in every member of your organization. While most business thinkers view this challenge from the top down, Stephen Lundin sees the subject from a CAT's-eye view, explaining how to get every employee--no matter what level--to think and act in innovative ways. Inside, he examines the four challenges to innovation and offers practical measures aimed at conquering them. You'll learn how to:

  • Be brave ('fraidy cats never innovate)
  • Stop being “normal” (make your own rules!)
  • Embrace failure (it's the only way to learn)
  • Foster creativity (don't be a control freak)

    Lundin then describes the Nine Lives of Innovation, each of which is a step toward realizing your inner CAT and becoming a fully contributing member of an innovative organization.

    Prowling inside every employee is a questioner, a creator, an innovator--claws out and ready to pounce. Become a CAT and you may fi nd yourself springing on ideas in a way that surprises you—and everyone around you.

  • Lançado em:
    Jan 14, 2009

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    CATS - Stephen C. Lundin



    Innovation Turned Upside Down

    It is really quite simple: Innovative organizations are places with innovative people. The strategy question has to be, How do we develop the capacity to innovate residing in our employees?

    Much of what is written about innovation describes the view from 30,000 feet. My point of view is at sea level. Most of what is written about innovation is geared to the top of the organization. It makes more sense to me to turn the organization upside down. It is my view that employees are the primary source of innovation in an organization.

    I believe that all innovation is personal, and to focus exclusively on abstractions such as the organization, strategy, and culture takes our attention away from the true source of all innovation, you and me.

    High-altitude articles, books, and white papers often identify a technique or practice found inside a company and suggest that the success of the company is a direct result of that technique or practice. Company X is innovative because it promotes self-managed teams. Company Y is innovative because it hires a diverse workforce. Company Q is not innovative because it has implemented Six Sigma. Company Z is innovative because specific individuals are assigned the role of sponsor. Company J is innovative because the CEO understands discontinuities. Company HR is innovative because it rewards innovation.

    Don’t misunderstand; the body of high-altitude work is useful and important. As a student of innovation, I read these articles and books with relish. I simply want to make one thing perfectly clear: I believe that we have devoted far too much attention to top executives and an organization’s strategy and far too little attention to the primary source of innovation. We have let the CAT out of the bag!

    CATS: The Nine Lives of Innovation has a personal focus. I assume that any organization is better off if it has innovative people to populate the strategies, structures, and systems. This is a book about developing the capacity to innovate at all levels of the organization. It is time to turn things upside down.

    One recent book, Innovation to the Core, comes close to echoing this same view. The authors draw a parallel between the quality movement and the approach to innovation they prescribe. In the quality movement, the early efforts focused on developing specialists in quality. Soon, a massive quality industry emerged that provided quality consulting, quality gurus, quality mouse pads, and quality training. Eventually, it became that an effective quality effort had to involve each member of the organization as a primary source for quality. It became standard practice to view each employee as someone who had a role in quality. In other words, quality was driven to the core of the organization, the individual. Quality was turned upside down.

    The case made in Innovation to the Core is that innovation, like quality, must be driven to the core and become a responsibility of every employee. For this reason, organizations need to train employees to innovate. I agree.

    However, the authors of Innovation to the Core stop short of describing what innovation looks like at the personal level and how we should develop the capacity to innovate in individual employees. And that is precisely why I wrote CATS: The Nine Lives of Innovation. I wrote it to describe what innovation looks like at the personal level and to provide a curriculum for training individuals in the tools, concepts, and practices of personal innovation. This is a book for any person who wants to develop her* ability to innovate.


    All Innovation Is Personal

    Fundamentally, We Are the Source of All Innovation

    This is a book about innovation. I’ll pause while you cover that yawn. Don’t be embarrassed, I understand. Okay? Let me start again. This is a book about innovation, but the perspective of the book is personal, and the potential results are both personal and organizational. Is there a little more energy in that?

    This is about you, a you that has the potential to be more productive than the present you. This is about a you that can have more vitality at work and greater satisfaction with life. Do I have your full attention now? You see, personal innovation produces the natural energy of life. And natural energy is what gives life its juice. It makes you want to howl.

    If you wish to create a vital life, one that is meaningful and deeply satisfying, innovation can help you to get there. Just think about the parts of your life that give you the greatest sense of satisfaction right now. It is often the everyday tasks that provide opportunities for us to innovate. Think about the parts of your life that have energy for you. Aren’t they the places where you are engaged in the act of creation? Use the list below to stimulate your memory.

    Organizing a successful fund-raiser for charity

    Mentoring another person and finding ways to help him or her grow

    Finding a faster way to wash the dishes

    Responding to the uniqueness in another

    Doing something routine in a new way

    Trying a new route to work and discovering a new favorite restaurant

    Establishing a family night in a way that engages all ages

    Writing a book, article, or important e-mail in a way that is authentic and original

    Creating a poem, song, or dynamite ditty in the car

    Building a sand castle with your grandchildren

    Building a sand castle without your grandchildren

    Finding a novel way to say I love you

    Starting a business

    Starting another business

    Securing a big order

    Having an idea in the shower that solves a problem

    Rearranging the furniture in the family room

    Reinventing your work life

    Building a second revenue

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