How can you teach innovation?

The innovation constraints framework featured in the book was developed during a decade of teaching in degree programs to MBAs, EMBAs, engineers, designers, and economics students, and in non-degree corporate programs, seminars, and workshops for 100’s of organizations from a wide variety of industries.  For the participants in these practice-focused contexts, “Creative People Must Be Stopped” has primarily served as a how-to guide, showing them how people in organizations often sabotage their own best intentions to encourage “outside the box” thinking.  It shows them how to overcome this self-defeating behavior by identifying which of the six major types of constraints are hindering innovation in their context.

In addition to informing innovation practice, the relatively simple conceptual framework at the core of the book serves to integrate insights from across the vast literature on innovation.  This enables teachers to show their students how the six different academic perspectives on innovation are based on fundamentally different assumptions of what innovation is, it shows how these differ in levels-of-analysis, and it demonstrates how each disciplinary perspective can offer stronger or weaker explanatory power in a wide range of situations.  This serves to make the book well-suited as the backbone text for a graduate-level course in innovation strategy, creative problem solving, organizational behavior, management of technology, and entrepreneurship.  The diagnostic surveys included at the end of each chapter also make the book ideally suited for generating discussion in executive education programs focused on leading innovation and change.

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Table of Contents

1. The Context of Innovation: Why Everyone Wants Innovation but No One Wants to Change > The constraints framework and outline of the six perspectives

2. Why Most of Us Are More Creative Than We Think: Individual Innovation Constraints > A psychological perspective of the problem of coming up with ideas: perception, intellection, and expression

3. Why a Brainstorm Meeting Can Be Worse Than No Meeting at All: Innovation Constraints in Groups > A social-psychological perspective of the problem of sharing ideas with others in groups: emotion, culture, environment, and process.

4. Why You’ll Never Be a Prophet in Your Hometown: Organizational Innovation Constraints > An organizational behavior and corporate strategy perspective of the problem of organizing and executing innovation: Strategy, Structure & Resources

5. If It’s Such a Great Idea, Why Isn’t Our Competitor Doing It? Industry Innovation Constraints > An economic perspective of the problem of innovation in an industry:  competition, suppliers, and markets

6. Why My Innovation Means You Have to Change: Societal Innovation Constraints > A sociological perspective of the problem of innovation in a society:  identity, values and social control, and history

7. How to Take a Really Hard Problem and Make It Completely Impossible: Technological Innovation Constraints > A technological view of the problem of innovation:  physics, time, and the natural environment

8. When Failure Is Not an Option: Leading an Innovation Strategy > A leadership perspective of the problem of leading positive change in an organization

This book gives people in organizations the conceptual framework and practical information they need to innovate successfully.

Click to request an Exam Copy and don’t hesitate to contact the author  for ideas on adopting the book for your course.

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