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The Four Lenses of Innovation

Ever wonder where big, breakthrough ideas come from? How do innovators manage to spot the opportunities for industry revolution that everyone else seems to miss? Contrary to popular belief, innovation is not some mystical art that's forbidden to mere mortals. The Four Lenses of Innovation thoroughly debunks this pervasive myth by delivering what we've long been hoping for: the news that innovation is systematic, it's methodical, and we can all achieve it. By asking how the world's top innovators Steve Jobs, Richard Branson, Jeff Bezos, and many others came up with their game-changing ideas, bestselling author Rowan Gibson identifies four key business perspectives that will enable you to discover groundbreaking opportunities for innovation and growth: Challenging Orthodoxies What if the dominant conventions in your field, market, or industry are outdated, unnecessary, or just plain wrong? Harnessing Trends Where are the shifts and discontinuities that will, now and in the future, provide the energy you need for a major leap forward? Leveraging Resources How can you arrange existing skills and assets into new combinations that add up to more than the sum of their parts? Understanding Needs What are the unmet needs and frustrations that everyone else is simply ignoring? Other books promise the keys to innovation this one delivers them. With a unique full-color design, thought-provoking examples, and features like the 8-Step Model for Building a Breakthrough, The Four Lenses of Innovation will teach you how to reverse-engineer creative genius and make radical business innovation an everyday reality inside your organization. "Rowan Gibson has done a superb job of `unpacking' what it takes to innovate." Philip Kotler, S. C. Johnson Distinguished Professor of International Marketing at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University "Can you develop an innovative mind? Yes, you can. And this book is the manual." John and Doris Naisbitt, authors of China's Megatrends and The Global Game Change "An excellent piece of work for practitioners and organizations who seek to have innovation as part of their DNA." Camille Mirshokrai, Managing Director of Leadership Development, and Partner at Accenture "Rowan Gibson's The Four Lenses of Innovation will inspire you to think big, look afresh at the challenges you face, and take bold action to change the world." Robert B. Tucker, author of Driving Growth Through Innovation
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Table of Contents

viii Preface xi Acknowledgments xii Introduction 1 Part One: The Mind of the Innovator 2 The Elusive Source of Creative Genius 12 Challenging Orthodoxies 15 Harnessing Trends 20 Leveraging Resources 30 Understanding Needs 40 The Four Lenses of Innovation 46 Time for an Innovation Renaissance 58 Lessons to Take Away 61 Part Two: The Power of Patterns 62 Seeing Things from a Fresh Perspective 66 What's Wrong with Our Brains? 68 The Pattern-Recognition Principle 70 Why We Stop Noticing 72 The Pattern of the Crowd 74 Resistance to Change 78 Patterns and Innovation 80 Sharpening Our Perceptive Powers 84 A Power Tool for Creative Thinking 86 Lessons to Take Away 89 Part Three: Looking Through the Four Lenses 92 "Here's to the Crazy Ones" 96 What Exactly Is an Orthodoxy? 102 Meet the Challengers 105 On a Path of Disruption 111 Innovation Means Shifting Assumptions 114 Ready to Rethink Everything? 117 Lessons to Take Away 118 Seeing the Future in the Present 120 A Global "Change Bomb" 122 The Race for Tomorrow 126 Learning to Ride the Waves 130 Meet the Trend Surfers 137 The Man from the Future 142 Fast-Forward Companies 144 It's Happening Now! 147 The Next Big Thing for Your Business 151 Lessons to Take Away 152 Repurpose, Redeploy, & Recombine 155 How Would You Define Google? 159 Leveraging Resources in New Ways 160 Extending the Boundaries of the Business 163 Stretching into New Spaces 166 Unlimited Potential for Growth 168 Exploiting Underutilized Assets 170 What Else Could We Do with This? 174 Leveraging Resources from Others 177 Lessons to Take Away 178 Innovating from the Customer Backward 182 Do Customers Really Know What They Want? 185 What's Wrong with It? 189 Understanding Particular Customer Groups 191 Innovating for Local Needs and Tastes 194 Matching What Is Possible with What Is Needed 201 Lessons to Take Away 203 Part Four: How Big Ideas Are Built 204 The Archimedes Principle 208 Rethinking the Universe 214 8 Steps to Building a Breakthrough 216 Inventing the 20th Century 224 Unpacking the Creative Process 230 "Say Good Bye to the Bag" 232 Different Routes to Big Ideas 235 Lessons to Take Away 236 What Exactly Is an Insight? 242 Do Insights Come from Breakthrough Thinking? Or Does Breakthrough Thinking Come from Insights? 244 A Practical Definition of Insights 246 Understanding Ideation 248 Stepping Stones for Creative Thinking 250 Improving Your Capacity for Radical Innovation 252 How Powerful Are Your Insights? 254 Working with the Four Lenses 259 Lessons to Take Away 260 Notes 269 Image Credits 272 Index 284 About the Author

About the Author

ROWAN GIBSON is widely recognized around the globe as a thought leader on business innovation. Labeled by the media as "the Innovation Grandmaster," Gibson provides some of the world's most successful organizations with services and tools to help them deepen their innovation capabilities. He is also the cofounder of, which is now the most popular innovation website on the Internet.

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