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The Art of Innovation: Lessons in Creativity from IDEO, America's Leading…

by Tom Kelley

Other authors: Jonathan Littman, Tom Peters (Foreword)

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793724,431 (3.71)None
There isn't a business that doesn't want to be more creative in its thinking, products and processes. In The Art of Innovation, Tom Kelley, partner at the Silicon Valley-based firm IDEO, developer of hundreds of innovative products from the first commercial mouse to virtual reality headsets and the Palm hand-held, takes readers behind the scenes of this wildly imaginative company to reveal the strategies and secrets it uses to turn out hit after hit. Kelley shows how teams:-Research and immerse themselves in every possible aspect of a new product or service-Examine each product from the perspective of clients, consumers and other critical audiences-Brainstorm best when they are focussed, being physical and having funThe Art of Innovation will provide business leaders with the insights and tools they need to make their companies the leading-edge top-rated stars of their industries.… (more)
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English (6)  German (1)  All languages (7)
Showing 1-5 of 6 (next | show all)
Management, Kelley T
  LOM-Lausanne | Mar 12, 2020 |
Fascinating read about the creative process. ( )
  beebeereads | Feb 9, 2017 |
A good introduction to design thinking and its application in a business innovation context, but very focussed on IDEO's experiences and case studies (not surprisingly, but it does limit the scope of the book). ( )
  espadana | Jun 24, 2015 |
The Deep Dive
How do great innovations come about? How is it that some groups seem to have a lot of good ideas while others move incrementally along? If you are curious about this – then watch this video: The Deep Dive.
The Deep Dive is a 30 min profile of the design firm IDEO by Dan Rather in 1999. You may not know it, but the firm is behind the designs of many of the products you use in your everyday life, like the computer mouse, and fat-handled toothbrush. Since the filming of the video, IDEO has grown to a company of over 500 people on 3 continents, continuing a string of success.

In the video, we follow a team as they redesign the standard shopping cart in a week. Although the activity is portrayed by Dan Rather as “chaotic,” there is actually a very coherent structure behind the group. It’s this structure, along with the intellectual playfulness of the participants that really makes the process not only creative but powerfully relevant and productive.

There are a couple key behaviors that stand out. First, they exhibit a keen awareness of the difference between divergent and convergent mental activity. This was first pointed out to me by Bill Casey of ELG. The group goes through a series of expanding and contracting activities that are matched with their physical activity. For example, research is a divergent activity (harvesting ideas) and is conducted away from the office individually or pairs. Integrating competing ideas is a convergent activity and is conducted in a group back at the office. As Bill Casey points out, the most effective brainstorming sessions are extremely expansive when divergent and extremely focused when convergent.

Another key behavior is the approach to prototyping competing solutions. Rather than attempting to develop some single optimal and integrated solution that met all the customer needs, they elected to build 4 prototypes each optimized along a single customer need. By doing so they freed each team from the constraints of the other customer needs (while still building an actual cart, that could be pushed through the aisles) resulting in a single minded focus on a single area. It is this focus and freedom that enables innovation. Ultimately, these 4 prototypes were merged, but after they’d been encouraged to push the art of the possible along their particular vector.

I recently asked IDEO how their process has evolved. “Even more customer involvement” was the immediate answer.

For more about IDEO, you can order their video from the ABC store, or buy the book: The Art of Innovation by Tom Kelley. ( )
  ldmarquet | Feb 26, 2010 |
I included this book in my book: The 100 Best Business Books of All Time. www.100bestbiz.com. ( )
This review has been flagged by multiple users as abuse of the terms of service and is no longer displayed (show).
  toddsattersten | May 8, 2009 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Tom Kelleyprimary authorall editionscalculated
Littman, Jonathansecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Peters, TomForewordsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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There isn't a business that doesn't want to be more creative in its thinking, products and processes. In The Art of Innovation, Tom Kelley, partner at the Silicon Valley-based firm IDEO, developer of hundreds of innovative products from the first commercial mouse to virtual reality headsets and the Palm hand-held, takes readers behind the scenes of this wildly imaginative company to reveal the strategies and secrets it uses to turn out hit after hit. Kelley shows how teams:-Research and immerse themselves in every possible aspect of a new product or service-Examine each product from the perspective of clients, consumers and other critical audiences-Brainstorm best when they are focussed, being physical and having funThe Art of Innovation will provide business leaders with the insights and tools they need to make their companies the leading-edge top-rated stars of their industries.

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