Conventional wisdom today says that to survive, companies must move beyond incremental, sustaining innovation and invest in some form of radical innovation. “Disrupt yourself or be disrupted!” is the relentless message company leaders hear. The Power of Little Ideas argues there’s a “third way” that is neither sustaining nor disruptive. This low-risk, high-reward strategy is an approach to innovation that all company leaders should understand so that they recognize it when their competitors practice it, and apply it when it will give them a competitive advantage.
In this powerful, practical book, Professor David Robertson illustrates how many well-known companies, including Victoria’s Secret, CarMax, GoPro, LEGO, Gatorade, Disney, USAA, Novo Nordisk, and many others, used this approach to stave off competitive threats and achieve great success. He outlines the organizational practices that unintentionally torpedo this approach to innovation in many companies and shows how organizations can overcome those challenges.
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From The Irish Times:
Among the more interesting books on strategy this year is The Power of Little Ideas by David Robertson. Sub-titled “A low-risk, high reward approach to innovation”, the book debunks the notion of radical disruptive innovation. In doing this, organisations often throw the baby out with the bathwater, he notes. Instead, he suggests creating a network of diverse, complimentary innovations around products to make them more compelling and attractive, without fundamentally changing them.
[T]he book doesn’t focus on businesses that just want to enhance their product to get new customers. The book’s contribution to innovation is more nuanced than that. The Power of Little Ideas focuses on enhancing value to your customers through a “little idea”. This “little idea” involves a series of decisions and actions that enhance the overall value of a business to its existing market. That is the “third way” of innovation.