IDEO, the widely admired, award-winning design and development firm that brought the world the Apple mouse, Polaroid's I-Zone instant camera, the Palm V, and hundreds of other cutting-edge products and services, reveals its secrets for fostering a culture and process of continuous innovation.
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.
IDEO doesn't buy into the myth of the lone genius working away in isolation, waiting for great ideas to strike. Kelley believes everyone can be creative, and the goal at his firm is to tap into that wellspring of creativity in order to make innovation a way of life. How does it do that? IDEO fosters an atmosphere conducive to freely expressing ideas, breaking the rules, and freeing people to design their own work environments. IDEO's focus on teamwork generates countless breakthroughs, fueled by the constant give-and-take among people ready to share ideas and reap the benefits of the group process. IDEO has created an intense, quick-turnaround, brainstorm-and-build process dubbed "the Deep Dive."
In entertaining anecdotes, Kelley illustrates some of his firm's own successes (and joyful failures), as well as pioneering efforts at other leading companies. The book reveals how teams research and immerse themselves in every possible aspect of a new product or service, examining it from the perspective of clients, consumers, and other critical audiences.
Kelley takes the reader through the IDEO problem-solving method:
>Carefully observing the behavior or "anthropology" of the people who will be using a product or service
>Brainstorming with high-energy sessions focused on tangible results
>Quickly prototyping ideas and designs at every step of the way
>Cross-pollinating to find solutions from other fields
>Taking risks, and failing your way to success
>Building a "Greenhouse" for innovation
IDEO has won more awards in the last ten years than any other firm of its kind, and a full half-hour "Nightline" presentation of its creative process received one of the show's highest ratings. The Art of Innovation will provide business leaders with the insights and tools they need to make their companies the leading-edge, top-rated stars of their industries.
About the Author
Tom Kelley is general manager of IDEO, the world's leading design consultancy specializing in product development and innovation. Working together with his brother, IDEO founder David Kelley, he has helped manage the firm, as it has grown from twenty designers to a staff of over three hundred. During that time, he has been responsible for diverse areas such as business development, marketing, human resources, and operations. Like everyone else at IDEO, he also occasionally gets down on his knees to cut foam core alongside IDEO clients and designers, as part of the firm's brainstorming and prototyping efforts.
Advance praise for The Art of Innovation:
"Tom Kelley has unlocked the magic box of innovation for corporate America. At a time when creativity and innovation are the driving forces for the New Economy, Kelley shows how IDEO does it - and how companies everywhere can learn to build the products and services we all crave. If you're trying to create product lust, The Art of Innovation shows you how to do it."
-- Bruce Nussbaum, Business Week
"Everyone talks about innovation and creativity, but IDEO has actually done it. The Art of Innovation provides detailed, actionable ideas about how to build an innovative culture and an organization that makes creativity seem routine. Its well-placed emphasis on management practices makes it a great read for anyone in any organization who wants to get better at what
-- Jeffrey Pfeffer, Professor, Stanford Business School, and author of The Knowing-Doing Gap
What the world has been saying about IDEO:
"IDEO Product Development is the world's most celebrated design firm. Its ultimate creation is the process of creativity itself. For founder David M. Kelley and his colleagues, work is play, brainstorming is a science, and the most important rule is to break the rules... Can this formula for creativity work in other places? Some of the world's leading companies certainly think so."
-- Fast Company
"One of the hottest product development firms on the planet."
-- Production Magazine
"The fuel that starts the design engine is innovation, and, for once, the creative and business departments seem to agree: innovation is good. By definition, design is about change; this is what drives clients to IDEO. For the people at IDEO, change is interchangeable with progress."
-- Graphis3 magazine
"The ultimate candy store for design-technology-creativity buffs."
-- Tom Peters, On Excellence