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On Innovation

Harvard Business Review (2013) On Innovation by Harvard Business Review Press, USA.

This small paperback could almost be carried with you purely for those times when you feel you need a little inspiration. All the articles it contains have been published previously and by renowned authors including Drucker, Kanter, Kotter, Porter, Goleman, and Christensen. Whilst no article deals directly with Higher Education there are countless examples of innovation in industry, many of which have parallels for the public sector and for universities. Examples I thought worthy of consideration in HE include:

  • Developing innovation catalysts – people with coaching skills who will stimulate individuals and teams to use their creative skills.
  • Special teams dedicated to the innovation required. These teams are formed of individuals from across the organisation (across the silos and irrespective of level), picked specifically for their skills and the change required.
  • Recognise that “big innovations” are needed but manage the risk in taking them forward.
  • Treat the development plan as a hypothesis that will evolve as new information becomes available and not the definitive route which must be adhered to.
  • Entrepreneurship can occur in a business of any size or age because, at heart, it has to do with a certain kind of activity: innovation, the disciplined effort to improve a business potential.
As the cover states "If you read nothing else on inspiring and executing innovation, read these definitive articles."

Amazon details can be found at: http://www.amazon.co.uk/HBRs-10-Must-Reads-Innovation/dp/1422189856/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1364554427&sr=1-3

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