Innovation requires teaming. (Put another way, teaming is to innovation what assembly lines are to car production.) This book brings together key insights on teaming, as they pertain to innovation. How do you build a culture of innovation? What does that culture look like? How does it evolve and grow? How are teams most effectively created and then nurtured in this context? What is a leader's role in this culture? This little book is a roadmap for teaming to innovate. We describe five necessary steps along that road: Aim High, Team Up, Fail Well, Learn Fast, and Repeat. This path is not smooth. To illustrate each critical step, we look at real-life scenarios that show how teaming to innovate provides the spark that can fertilize creativity, clarify goals, and redefine the meaning of leadership.
Amy Edmondson is the Novartis Professor of Leadership and Management at the Harvard Business School, where she teaches courses in leadership, organizational learning and operations management in the MBA and Executive Education programs. Her writings on organizational learning and leadership have been published in more than 60 articles in academic and management journals, and she has consulted widely on these topics for organizations around the world. Before her academic career, she was Director of Research at Pecos River Learning Centers, where she worked with founder and CEO Larry Wilson to design and implement change programs in large companies including General Motors, DuPont, Sears and others. Her recent consulting activities include projects on organizational learning and team effectiveness in such organizations as Federal Express, The Monitor Company, Nortel, American Heart Association, and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care.
Executive Summary 1 Introduction 3 What It Takes to Innovate 3 Situating Innovation on the Process Knowledge Spectrum 12 A Recipe for Innovation 19 Aim High 26 A Worthy Goal 27 Engaging Hearts and Minds 34 It s a Stretch 44 Worthy Aspirations That Motivate Innovation 47 Team Up 48 Strange Bedfellows 49 Teaming Across Boundaries 54 What It Takes to Team 60 When Conflict Heats Up 67 Embracing the Risks of Teaming 74 Fail Well 76 Unpacking Failure 77 Failing Well At the Right Scale 88 Leading Failure 90 Courage and Fear 94 Learn Fast 96 Learning as You Go 97 How to Learn Fast 99 Overcoming Barriers to Learning 104 Leading Learning to Innovate 113 Conclusion 115 Recommendations for a Successful Innovation Journey 116 Leaders Who Innovate 119 Notes 123 About the Author 129