The Wide Lens: What Successful Innovators See That Others Miss

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How can great companies do everything right - identify real customer needs, deliver excellent innovations, beat their competitors to market - and still fail?

The sad truth is that many companies fail because they focus too intensely on their own innovations, and then neglect the innovation ecosystems on which their success depends. In our increasingly interdependent world, winning requires more than just delivering on your own promises. It means ensuring that a host of partners -some visible, some hidden- deliver on their promises, too.

In The Wide Lens, innovation expert Ron Adner draws on over a decade of research and field testing to take you on far ranging journeys from Kenya to California, from transport to telecommunications, to reveal the hidden structure of success in a world of interdependence.

A riveting study that offers a new perspective on triumphs like Amazon's e-book strategy and Apple's path to market dominance; monumental failures like Michelin with run-flat tires and Pfizer with inhalable insulin; and still unresolved issues like electric cars and electronic health records, The Wide Lens offers a powerful new set of frameworks and tools that will multiply your odds of innovation success.

The Wide Lens will change the way you see, the way you think - and the way you win.

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About the author

Ron Adner has spent the last decade studying the root cause of innovation success and failure. An award winning professor of strategy at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College, and previously at INSEAD, he is a speaker and consultant to companies around the world. His writing has appeared in The Wall Street Journal, the Financial Times, Forbes, and the Harvard Business Review.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Penguin
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Published on
Mar 1, 2012
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Pages
288
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ISBN
9781101561324
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
Business & Economics / Corporate & Business History
Business & Economics / Development / Business Development
Business & Economics / Strategic Planning
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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Do you have reverse innovation in your strategic plan? If you haven’t asked yourself or your team this question, you will be soon.

Reverse Innovation introduces the idea of developing in emerging markets first—instead of scaling down rich world products—to unlock a world of opportunities for your business. Written by Vijay Govindarajan and Chris Trimble of the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth and stemming from a pivotal article in Harvard Business Review, the book offers an important next step for companies looking to derive long-term value from emerging markets. According to the authors: “Reverse innovation is a potent force that will transform the global economy over the next few decades. It will redistribute power and wealth to countries and companies who understand it and diminish those who do not.”

With a foreword by Chairman and CEO of PepsiCo Indra Nooyi, Reverse Innovation offers a glimpse at strategies from some of the world’s leading companies—from EMC and Deere & Company, to P&G and Logitech. There is no one industry that needs to reverse innovate; instead, all industries must have interest in the needs and opportunities in the developing world in order to thrive in tomorrow’s global marketplace.

In the book, GE Chairman and CEO Jeff Immelt points out the stark implications for companies who ignore reverse innovation: “If we don’t come up with innovations in poor countries and take them global, new competitors from the developing world…will. That’s a bracing concept. GE has long had tremendous respect for traditional rivals…But we know how to compete with them. They will never destroy GE. The emerging giants, on the other hand, very well could.”

This book offers a guide to changing both the mindset and management model in your company to execute on this important strategic initiative.
The Challenge
Built to Last, the defining management study of the nineties, showed how great companies triumph over time and how long-term sustained performance can be engineered into the DNA of an enterprise from the verybeginning.

But what about the company that is not born with great DNA? How can good companies, mediocre companies, even bad companies achieve enduring greatness?

The Study
For years, this question preyed on the mind of Jim Collins. Are there companies that defy gravity and convert long-term mediocrity or worse into long-term superiority? And if so, what are the universal distinguishing characteristics that cause a company to go from good to great?

The Standards
Using tough benchmarks, Collins and his research team identified a set of elite companies that made the leap to great results and sustained those results for at least fifteen years. How great? After the leap, the good-to-great companies generated cumulative stock returns that beat the general stock market by an average of seven times in fifteen years, better than twice the results delivered by a composite index of the world's greatest companies, including Coca-Cola, Intel, General Electric, and Merck.

The Comparisons
The research team contrasted the good-to-great companies with a carefully selected set of comparison companies that failed to make the leap from good to great. What was different? Why did one set of companies become truly great performers while the other set remained only good?

Over five years, the team analyzed the histories of all twenty-eight companies in the study. After sifting through mountains of data and thousands of pages of interviews, Collins and his crew discovered the key determinants of greatness -- why some companies make the leap and others don't.

The Findings
The findings of the Good to Great study will surprise many readers and shed light on virtually every area of management strategy and practice. The findings include:

Level 5 Leaders: The research team was shocked to discover the type of leadership required to achieve greatness. The Hedgehog Concept (Simplicity within the Three Circles): To go from good to great requires transcending the curse of competence. A Culture of Discipline: When you combine a culture of discipline with an ethic of entrepreneurship, you get the magical alchemy of great results. Technology Accelerators: Good-to-great companies think differently about the role of technology. The Flywheel and the Doom Loop: Those who launch radical change programs and wrenching restructurings will almost certainly fail to make the leap.

“Some of the key concepts discerned in the study,” comments Jim Collins, "fly in the face of our modern business culture and will, quite frankly, upset some people.”

Perhaps, but who can afford to ignore these findings?

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