By @SimonCocking review of Yes, You Can Innovate: Discover your innovation strengths and develop your creative potential by Natalie Turner. Available from Amazon here.

Covering the six stages of innovation, find out which of the 6’I’s® is your personal strength:

•   IDENTIFY opportunities by understanding trends, patterns and future areas of growth

•   IGNITE ideas by creating novel solutions

•   INVESTIGATE by prototyping, testing and researching ideas

•   INVEST by having the courage, to create business models and persuade others to back ideas

•   IMPLEMENT by making an idea happen and creating value from it

•   IMPROVE by optimising your ideas and learning from success and failure

Discover the skills required to successfully innovate, how to understand the problem you want to solve, and how to cultivate and implement innovative ideas. Whether you work for an organisation or are an entrepreneur, each chapter will equip you with a practical toolkit containing examples, activities and resources to help you build and improve your innovation skills.

Like so many things these days, it seems to be important to include an X step plan to help you achieve your goals. In some ways these seemed to get in the way of the useful insights within the book, as you had to remember to check if you were igniting, identifying or investigating your ideas. That grumble to one side it is an interesting book. To be fair maybe it helps to have some structure on how you decide if you have something worth innovating or not. Parts of the book do aim to reassure some readers that they can be innovative, but maybe that it trying to be all things to all people. If you need reassurance then maybe it’s not the right time for you to be doing this? Then again we get a lot of ideas pitched to us, and maybe it would be no harm if some internal editing and filtering had happened by the pitchers before they launched their ideas.

Overall it is a timely book, as robots and AI programs look to remove the drudge work from our lives, it does raise the question of what is there left for humans to do? Fortunately the answer is potentially quite a lot, and particularly in the creative areas of our working lives. In this context we may well come to see many more books on innovation and creativity, because if you want to future proof your working career, this may well be the strategic area to focus on. We liked the business anecdotes and examples and found them useful and interesting. If you are the sort of person that needs a frame work and a structure to develop your potential ideas and innovations, then this could be a helpful book for you too.


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