Skip to main content

The Innovator's Path: How Individuals, Teams, and Organizations Can Make Innovation Business-as-Usual



The Innovator's Path: How Individuals, Teams, and Organizations Can Make Innovation Business-as-Usual

Madge M. Meyer

ISBN: 978-1-118-53732-9 September 2013 256 Pages


A guide to creating and sustaining a culture of innovation focused on business value

The Innovator’s Path introduces business readers to thought leader Madge M. Meyer’s unique, cross-cultural perspective on corporate innovation. The book presents eight essential disciplines (Listen, Lead, Position, Promote, Connect, Commit, Execute, and Evolve) that pave the way for individuals, teams, and organizations to continually innovate in ways that create new business value. The author overturns existing assumptions about inspiring and managing innovation, while offering new insights and practical advice for aspiring innovators and corporate leaders. Meyer demonstrates her points by telling the stories behind many of her award-winning results and adds engaging personal anecdotes to illustrate many of her points. The book also contains contributions from an extraordinary and diverse set of industry innovators.

Offers new ways for cultivating a mindset and culture of results-focused innovation and business value creation

  • Equips CEOs, CFOs, CIOs, CMOs, COOs, CTOs and aspiring innovators with proven principles and practices for leading innovation
  • Focuses her readers' attention on the eight essential disciplines that help individuals, teams, and organizations innovate more successfully

Whether your focus is on your career, your team's success, or your organization's future, The Innovator’s Path provides you with the insights, strategies, techniques, and inspiration you need to accelerate your innovation progress.

Foreword xi

Preface xv

Acknowledgments xxi

Author’s Note xxiii

Introduction Innovation and the Eight Disciplines 1

Defining Innovation 2

Making Innovation Business-as-Usual 2

Different Contexts 5

The Eight Disciplines 8

Chapter 1 Listen 13

Patience, Humility, Respect 15

Listen: Levels of Eff ectiveness 17

Preparing Ourselves to Listen 18

How I Go about Listening 19

“Listening” to the Facts 21

Listening to What Is Not Being Said 24

Listen—Concrete Steps for Putting This Discipline into Action 29

Chapter 2 Lead 33

Leadership Essentials 36

Leading with Passion 37

Leading with Vision 38

Respect, Trust, and Integrity 41

The Soft Skills of Leadership 43

Sound Judgment 46

Creating a Culture of Innovation 47

Lead: Levels of Effectiveness 54

Lead—Concrete Steps for Putting This Discipline into Action 55

Chapter 3 Position 57

A Roadmap for Change 57

Positioning Our Sights 60

Developing Our Roadmap 65

Positioning for Change 68

Position: Levels of Effectiveness 70

Personal Positioning 71

Position—Concrete Steps for Putting This Discipline into Action 72

Chapter 4 Promote 75

Branding 77

The Importance of Establishing a Baseline for Innovation 78

Promoting Our Innovation Ideas 79

Opportunities to Promote 88

Promote: Levels of Eff ectiveness 90

Promoting State Street’s Environmental Sustainability and Green Programs 91

Promote—Concrete Steps for Putting This Discipline into Action 94

Chapter 5 Connect 97

Connect: Levels of Effectiveness 107

The Connect Culture 108

Connect and Cooperate 110

Connecting Strategy, Processes, and Systems 112

Ways to Connect 114

Connecting with My Team 115

MIT Collaborative Initiatives and the Albright Challenge 117

Connect—Concrete Steps for Putting This Discipline into Action 120

Chapter 6 Commit 123

Culture and Commitment 124

Innovation Management in the Safety Zone 128

The IBM Way 129

Funding as Commitment 130

Personal and Team Commitment 135

Timing and Commitment 139

Commit: Levels of Eff ectiveness 140

Commit—Concrete Steps for Putting This Discipline into Action 141

Chapter 7 Execute 143

Meeting the Highest Standard for Our Astronauts 144

Flawless Execution 145

Rapid Value Delivery 148

Putting the Pieces Together 153

Execute: Levels of Eff ectiveness 154

Server Certifi cation Process 155

Execute—Concrete Steps for Putting This Discipline into Action 157

Chapter 8 Evolve 159

Overcoming Success 160

Going Further Beyond 164

Continual Innovation, Not Constant Change 166

Clearing the Path 169

Adversity and Change 172

Evolve: Levels of Eff ectiveness 176

Evolving from Certifi cation to Cloud 177

Evolve—Concrete Steps for Putting This Discipline into Action 178

Afterword 181

Appendix I The Eight Disciplines—Summaries and Action Plans 183

Listen 183

Lead 186

Position 189

Promote 192

Connect 195

Commit 198

Execute 200

Evolve 203

Appendix II Biographies of Individuals Interviewed for This Book 207

Tenley E. Albright, MD 207

Deborah Ancona 208

Eugene Y. Chan, MD 209

Gerald Chertavian 210

Dean Kamen 210

Tarkan Maner 211

Tom Mendoza 212

Admiral Michael Mullen 212

Nathan Myhrvold 213

Samuel J. Palmisano 214

James S. Phalen 215

Linda S. Sanford 216

John Swainson 216

John Thompson 217

Ming Tsai 218

About the Author 221

Index 223