Good Reads

Startup-Owners-Manual   The Startup Owner’s Manual is the indispensable “how to” reference for any startup founder, investor, entrepreneur or educator, incorporating a decade of hands-on learning about how great startups are built:

  • A detailed, step-by step walk through putting Customer Development to work
  • Uses the business model canvas to monitor Customer Development progress
  • Plus a wealth of detailed information on how to get, keep, and grow your customers
  • Link:


Evolution of Innovation Management – Trends in an International Context 9780230368965 A new book of Evolution of Innovation management will be published on the 15th of February 2013, edited by Alexander Brem and Eric Viardot. The book is about the fact that Innovation is seen as a key driver for performance and growth in business. It provides a strong competitive advantage and is one of the best ways to speed up the rate of change and adaptation to the global environment. Concurrently, the topic of innovation is also gaining increased visibility and interest among academic communities worldwide. However, some of the challenges of innovating are remarkably consistent and recent times have shown the emergence of new ways for stimulating and managing the innovation process, especially from an international perspective. Even if these processes are taking place in very different industries, there are many parallels in successfully managing them.  The new book explores these new routes and assesses their value both for markets and companies. More specifically, the book is organized around three themes:

• Innovation Strategies

• Innovation Management Tools

• International Perspectives



Innovation as Usual: How to Help Your People Bring Great Ideas to Life [Thomas Wedell-Wedellsborg and Paddy Miller] In the Sunday Times, Hannah Prevett Published (24 March 2013) a strong article based on the outcome of the book. She summarized the book with the key message that is that focus beats freedom. See the following parts of the article: When organisations urge their teams to think creatively, employees are often given no guidelines — they are simply told to “think outside the box”. But sometimes a little direction is much more useful in creating a culture of innovation, the book argues. “There are these perceptions that if you want people to be creative, it’s just about giving them all the freedom in the world. That might work in some settings — if you are an R&D  company, for example. But my experience is that, if you give people total freedom in a regular company, that’s paralysing.” In the book, the authors explain that employees are used to making micro-decisions as part of their day-to-day duties. But when they are taken out of that environment, they will come face to face with choices that are unfamiliar and make them feel uncomfortable. This can lead to inertia. The theory has been borne out by empirical research. A study undertaken by the authors in 2011 with Koen Klokgieters, vice president of strategy and innovation at the consultant Capgemini, found that the failure of companies to direct people’s search for new ideas may be the most widespread barrier to innovation. The researchers solicited the views of 260 executives worldwide, most of whom had the word “innovation” in their job title. Only 42% of the companies surveyed had an explicit innovation strategy, and just 55% of the executives demonstrated an awareness of any systems they had in place to help employees innovate.


Marjorie Kelly

OWNING our future, The emerging Ownership Revolution, Journeys to a Generative Economy As long as businesses are set up to focus exclusively on maximizing financial income for the few, our economy will be locked into endless growth and widening inequality. But now people across the world are experimenting with new forms of ownership, which Kelly calls generative: aimed at creating the conditions for all of life to thrive for many generations to come. These designs may hold the key to the deep transformation our civilization needs.   To understand these emerging alternatives, Kelly reports from across the globe, visiting a community-owned wind facility in Massachusetts, a lobster cooperative in Maine, a multibillion-dollar employee-owned department-store chain in London, a foundati As financial and ecological crises multiply and linger in our time, many people remain grim adherents of the TINA school of thought: There Is No Alternative to capitalism as we know it. Yet emerging alternative designs show that there is a real and workable alternative, which goes beyond the dusty 19th century categories of capitalism vs. socialism. It’s “yet to be recognized as a single phenomenon because it has yet to have a single name,” Kelly writes. “We might try calling this a family of generative ownership designs. Together they form the foundation for a generative economy” – an economy whose fundamental architecture tends to create beneficial rather than harmful outcomes. A living economy that has a built-in tendency to be socially fair and ecologically sustainable.on-owned pharmaceutical in Denmark, a farmer-owned dairy in Wisconsin, and other places where a hopeful new economy is being built. Along the way, she finds the five essential patterns of ownership design that make these models work.