The Idea Hunter: How to Find the Best Ideas and Make Them Happen

The Idea Hunter: How to Find the Best Ideas and Make Them Happen

Hardback

By (author) Andy Boynton, By (author) Bill Fischer, By (author) William Bole

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  • Publisher: Jossey Bass Wiley
  • Format: Hardback | 192 pages
  • Dimensions: 155mm x 231mm x 23mm | 363g
  • Publication date: 6 May 2011
  • Publication City/Country: Chichester
  • ISBN 10: 0470767766
  • ISBN 13: 9780470767764
  • Sales rank: 180,525

Product description

A different way of discovering and developing the best business ideasJack Welch once said, "Someone, somewhere has a better idea." In this myth-busting book, the authors reveal that great business ideas do not spring from innate creativity, or necessarily from the brilliant minds of people. Rather, great ideas come to those who are in the habit of looking for great ideas all around them, all the time. Too often, people fall into the trap of thinking that the only worthwhile idea is a thoroughly original one. Idea Hunters know better. They understand that valuable ideas are already out there, waiting to be found - and not just in the usual places. * Shows how to expand your capacity to find and develop winning business ideas * Explains why ideas are a critical asset for every manager and professional, not just for those who do "creative" * Reveals how to seek out and select the ideas that best serve your purposes and goals and define who you are, as a professional * Offers practical tips on how to master the everyday habits of an Idea Hunter, which include cultivating great conversationsThe book is filled with illustrative accounts of successful Idea Hunters and stories from thriving "idea" companies. Warren Buffet, Walt Disney, Thomas Edison, Mary Kay Ash, Twitter, and Pixar Animation Studios are among the many profiled.

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Author information

Andy Boynton is the dean of the Carroll School of Management at Boston College. He was a professor of strategic leadership at IMD (International Institute for Management Development) in Lausanne, Switzerland, where he created and directed the school's highly-rated global Executive MBA program. Bill Fischer is a professor at IMD.He previously served as dean and president of the China-Europe International Business School, a joint venture of the European Union and Chinese government, inShanghai, China. William Bole is a journalist and a research fellow of the Winston Center for Leadership and Ethics at Boston College.

Back cover copy

Praise for "The Idea Hunter""Humans make progress by discovering new ideas, but also, importantly, by repurposing the ones that already exist. Boynton and Fischer show how each of us can get better at this critical skill--identifying and reapplying existing ideas." --Paul Romer, senior fellow, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research"Hunting is an apt metaphor. Ideas exist everywhere in the wild. The trick is knowing where to look for them and how to capture them. Boynton and Fischer tell us how." --Ron Sargent, chairman and CEO, Staples, Inc.""The Idea Hunter" is unique. It's about curiosity, agility, and perpetually hunting for better ideas. It's a must-read for anyone who wants to compete and collaborate more effectively each and every day." --Greg Brown, president and CEO, Motorola Solutions"This book upends a number of persistent myths about innovation and what it takes to be an 'idea person.' It shows that what's required is not spectacular creativity or remarkable IQ, but curiosity--a genuine desire to engage in a daily search for ideas. It will help transform the way you and your business operate." --Jay Hooley, president and CEO, State Street Corporation""The Idea Hunter" is not just an enjoyable read. It also offers a practical method so that anyone or any firm can learn the secrets of harnessing the power of ideas to drive success." --Laura J. Sen, president and CEO, BJ's Wholesale Club"Boynton and Fischer offer powerful and practical advice on how to 'jump-shift' the flow of ideas in your organization. This will become required reading for any leader intent on shaping a high-performance organization." --Michael D. White, chairman and CEO, DirecTV"Observe, ask questions, be curious, and dare to throw odd ideas into a group's conversation to make it better. Be an Idea Hunter!" --Ton Buchner, CEO, Sulzer, Ltd.

Flap copy

"Breakaway ideas come to those who are in the habit of looking for them." --from the IntroductionIdeas are arguably the most valuable asset in an information-based economy. But how do you find the best ideas--the kind that can boost careers, change organizations, and ramp up the value of projects? Why do some people seem to come up with these ideas whenever they need them?In this myth-busting book, the authors reveal that great business ideas do not spring from innate creativity, or necessarily from the minds of brilliant people. High-value ideas come to those people who are in the habit of looking for such ideas--all around them, all the time. These are the Idea Hunters. Such people do not buy into the notion that the only great idea is a pristinely original one. They know better. They understand that game-changing ideas are already out there, waiting to be spotted and then shaped into an innovation.The authors present an eclectic band of Idea Hunters, ranging from Thomas Edison, Mary Kay Ash, and Walt Disney, to Warren Buffett, Apple's Phil Schiller, and others including the leaders of Twitter, Pixar Animation Studios, and the Boston Beer Company. These people have certain characteristics embodied in the four I-D-E-A principles (Interested, Diverse, Exercised, and Agile). They also know their gig--their personal mission, and why it matters. They don't let the organization, job, industry, or profession define their Idea Hunt. And they recognize how the world around them connects with their plans and projects.Step by step, "The Idea Hunter" unveils a strategy for unearthing new ideas in any industry or organ- ization. It is a must-have resource for anyone who wants to tap into the successful business ideas that are just waiting to be rediscovered.

Table of contents

Preface:Why Hunt? xi Introduction: Brilliance Not Required 1 Already Out ere 3 Ready to Unlearn 7 1 Know Your Gig 11 The Discernment 13 The Circle of Competence 17 Gigs Matter 19 The I D E A Principles INTERESTED 2 Be Interested, Not Just Interesting 25 Curiosity at the Trading Post 28 Learning Machines 29 Your Brain Is Open 33 DeBning Your Own Hunt 36 IDEAWORK #1: SELLING THE BEST HOUR OF THE DAY TO YOURSELF 39 DIVERSE 3 Diversifying the Hunt 47 The Color of Your Ideas 49 WhenWeak Ties Are Strong 51 Widening Your Intellectual Bandwidth 54 Bridging DistantWorlds 58 Ideas Are Everywhere 61 IDEAWORK #2: THE I S AND T S 65 EXERCISED 4 Mastering the Habits of the Hunt 71 The Practice of Ideas 73 Begin with an Eye 75 Observing at the Ritz 77 Erecting a Personal Platform of Observation 80 Write It Down 83 Get It Moving 86 Observe Yourself 88 IDEAWORK #3: ASSEMBLING AN IDEA PORTFOLIO 91 AGILE 5 Idea Flow Is Critical 101 The Case of the Guitar Strings 104 Creating Idea Spaces at Pixar 106 Finding the "Informal Bosses" 110 Letting Ideas Percolate 112 When It's Time to "Kill" Ideas 115 IDEAWORK #4: READY, SET, LAUNCH 121 6 Create Great Conversations 129 "Continuers" and "Terminators" 132 The Value of a Naive Question 136 Preparing for the Big Conversation 138 Epilogue: Thoreau and the I-D-E-A Assessment 143 References 151 Acknowledgments 161 About the Authors 165 Index 167