What you could learn from “The Art of Innovation” by Tom Kelly (2001, 297pages)

“The problem is not that big companies don’t see change coming, it is just that they fail to decide what to do about it and/or fail to execute their plan.”

IDEO is now one of the world’s top design consultancies.  IDEO’s success includes the first Apple mouse and the Plam V.  Tom Kelley, the founder and CEO of IDEO, is a global renown designer and innovation (you can find more on him in my other post here).  In this book, Tom Kelly explains the secret sauce behind IDEO’s success and set out how big companies could decide and execute their plans to change.

The IDEO Method:

  1. Understand the market, the client, the technology and perceived constraints
  2. Observe real people in real-life situations, find out what they like and hate and how they work around problems or use products in ways other than intended
  3. Visualise a new concept but build it (e.g., prototype, MTP)
  4. Evaluate and refine your concepts with customers and clients (only those who matter)
  5. Implement – get the solution built and implemented

‘The Art of Innovation’ is an engaging read.  Well written, it provides great insight into innovation and how to build innovative teams and companies.  Read this book if you want a simple playbook for innovation.

Link to ‘The Art of Innovation’ on Amazon


Other great content:

Tips for brainstorming:

  1. Sharpen the focus – define the problem well (As a <type of user>, I want <some goal> so that <some reason>)
  2. Playful rules – go for volume, don’t problem solve
  3. Number your ideas – helps show volume and you can refer easily to ideas
  4. Build and jump – further ‘build’ on ideas presented, or ‘jump’ to new area
  5. The space remembers – have all ideas where everyone can see them (post-its)
  6. Stretch your mental muscles- warm up first
  7. Get physical – draw sketches and move around

Bridges to creativity:

  1. Merit-based
  2. Autonomy
  3. Familiar
  4. Messy
  5. Tinkerers

Creating experience for fun and profit:

  1. Make experience entertaining
  2. Learning from Vegas (
  3. Make the human connections
  4. Tell a story
  5. Fix it
  6. Save a life, take a journey
  7. Rethinking services
  8. Little experience count