Innovation occupies many pages of the business and academic press, yet under close scrutiny, it is difficult to find innovation that provides economic value. Where are the innovations that have an impact on economic growth?
Introducing new features to current products or processes often dominates discussion on innovation. Much confusion abounds as to what innovation really involves. Author Gus Gaynor theorizes that “innovation is not science or engineering, and it is not technology; it is about taking ideas and developing them into products and services and bringing them to the marketplace to generate new economic growth.
The Doing Innovation: Creating Economic Value e-book series exploring innovation comes about from the author’s concern that while innovation appears to receive considerable attention in the academic and business media, these “innovations” provide little, if any, consistent and significant economic growth. He argues that academia, government and industry struggle, to various degrees, to translate ideas into innovations that not only provide for economic growth--but also offer some social benefit.
In this first e-book of the series, Gaynor laments that, at times, it appears that the innovations that drove economic growth in the past no longer exist. He explains that innovations in the financial sector are not considered in this discussion, as readers might conclude that financial innovations somehow missed all the requirements of successful innovations.
Gaynor’s series on innovation includes four e-books that provide the reader with an understanding of the fundamentals of converting ideas into innovations. Book 1: Perspectives on Innovation give readers an introduction to innovation; considers the ambiguities associated with innovation; describes the basic concepts associated with innovation; differentiates between idea, concept, invention and innovation; defines the types of innovation; identifies how innovation takes place; and considers innovation in different types of organizations.
From 1-31 December, IEEE-USA is offering Doing Innovation—Creating Economic Value—Book 1: Perspectives on Innovation free to IEEE members only.
These four e-books provide the basics for gaining an understanding of what innovation involves; what it takes to be an innovator; and what it takes to develop a culture where innovation can thrive. Innovation involves thinking about thinking. It is multi-disciplinary. It is multi-functional. It involves individual and team effort. It requires systems thinking.
Doing innovation is not a “how to” book series: its purpose is to learn and apply the fundamentals in the context of the organization’s purpose and associated values. So, if you’re looking to become an innovator, or participating in the innovation process, begin with Book 1: Perspectives on Innovation.
Book 2, 3, and 4
In Book 2, Developing a Workable Innovation Process, Gaynor teaches the fundamentals related to the innovation process; presents various models with their limitations; identifies the limitations of process models; describes the innovation design process; considers the issues in developing a process model; suggests a generic model; and describes organizing for innovation.
In Book 3, Fostering an Innovation Culture, the author links organizational culture theory and practice; identifies and classifies cultures and their impact on innovation; differentiates the idealistic from the real world; considers what it takes to change a culture; suggests the role of managers in changing culture; describes some organizational cultures; and suggests approaches to developing the appropriate culture.
And in Book 4 What It Takes to Be an Innovator; Gaynor identifies the required personal characteristics and attitudes of an innovator; describes the required skills of the innovator; considers the role of the knowledge base of the innovator; links the innovator to the organization’s culture; identifies the innovator’s challenges; presents the obstacles to innovation; and explores doing innovation.
IEEE members can purchase the other three books in Gus Gaynor’s innovation series noted above, and other IEEE-USA e-books, at deeply discounted prices by going to IEEE-USA E-Books. To purchase IEEE members-only products, and to receive the member discount on eligible products, members must log in with their IEEE Web Account.
Call for Authors
IEEE-USA E-Books seeks authors to write an individual e-book, or a series of e-books, on career guidance and development topics. If you have an idea for an e-book that will educate other IEEE members on a particular topic of expertise, email your e-book proposal to IEEE-USA Publishing Manager, Georgia C. Stelluto, or E-Book Chair Gus Gaynor.
Georgia C. Stelluto is IEEE-USA’s publishing manager, editor-in-chief of IEEE-USA in ACTION, and manager/editor of IEEE-USA E-Books.