For more than two years, I've been involved in a major research project on innovation. This wasn't the kind of research that academics do, it was the kind that practicing business people do.
My colleagues and I conducted round-table discussions with more than 150 executives and managers from 121 organizations. Most of these events were held in person, but a few were online discussion forums.
The net result was published as a book by the main research sponsor, the executive education arm of Schulich School of Business.
We had the book launch this week, in connection with the ribbon cutting for the Centre of Excellence in Innovation that the school launched in concert with this research. There was air kissing, hand-shaking, and even book autographing, along with fancy things on crackers and suitable adult beverages.
We learned a lot of really interesting things about innovation. We exploded a few myths. And we got the stories and experiences of working managers in all kinds of industries who have lived the emotional roller-coaster on innovation. Here's a one page graphic that summarizes some of the key learning, and the interesting paradoxes we found.
We weren't talking to the research participants about "new product" or "new technology", although that certainly came up. We went looking for innovation in every form and every functional area, from finance to marketing. The book is about the themes that emerged from this research.
There is only one place to get this book, if you'd like to read it. You can order it from Schulich online. All proceeds of the book go to the school. [And they include shipping, you've gotta love that!]
PS. If you happen to be a blogger or a national columnist, and you'd like a review copy, shoot me an e-mail, I'll see what I can do.