I have just finished reading Scott Berkun’s Myths of Innovation. It is a really good investigation of what innovative thinking is, how to better yourself at it and crucially, what kind of environmental factors play a critical role in enabling more of it. Scott begins by busting several myths that expose the insight and years of dedicated grafting (not to mention considerable luck) that an inventor needs to be able to arrive at that much vaunted “Eureka Moment” when a new idea is born.
Once Scott has straightened out the facts and illustrated that innovation isn’t neccessarily the domain of the ridiculously clever or impossibly fortunate, he gives concisely distilled advice on who should and how to encourage, foster, cultivate innovation in the work place. Issues such as the “political shield” management should create and low cost of experimentation receive much needed attention.
This is one of those rare titles that crystallizes into fact those suspicions we’ve had for ages, but haven’t begun to act on or formalize because they’ve heretofore only been suspicions. The sooner you evolve your workplace environment towards increasingly innovative processes and practices, the sooner you will increase the quality of your output – start with this book!
Here is a google techtalk with Scott talking about the book (1 hour 10 mins long).