By @. “There isn’t a business in America that doesn’t want to be more creative in its thinking, products, and processes. At many companies, being first with a concept and first to market are critical just to survive. In The Art of Innovation, Tom Kelley, general manager of the Silicon Valley based design firm IDEO, takes readers behind the scenes of this wildly imaginative and energized company to reveal the strategies and secrets it uses to turn out hit after hit.” Amazon blurb, available here.
We picked this book up in Singapore airport back in May, after leaving the Innovfestunbound event where Irish Tech News moderated a panel on the future of media with BBC Worldwide and Mashable among others participating. The publishing date said 2016 and 2001, suggesting an up to date edition of the book. However the further you got into the book, the more you began to wonder how much of this was written in 2000 and how much in 2015. Finally when they mentioned having done something awesome with CDs the penny dropped that this was just a re-issue rather than an update. On one hand this was a disappointment, on the other hand it is a testament to the enduring readability of this book that so much of it remains readable and of value.
You could argue that some of the tips about creating a creative environment in the workplace now sound a little too obvious, and yet many of the new multinational tech giants in Ireland clearly used this as their play book when it came to designing their Dublin offices. In this context the book then offers a thoughtful, refreshing read into what does, and does not encourage and instill creativity in the workforce. Having worked for one telecoms multinational in Ireland that would like to feel it was innovative and supportive of employee creativity, this book expertly nails some of the ways in which bad management decisions ensure the loss of creative and ‘out of the box’ thinkers from their companies.
It is an enjoyable read, and my only regret is that in republishing what is essentially a 2001 retread that they did not take the time to update the book and so give us the benefit of their insights and experiences over the last 15 years since they first wrote the book.