Contributed by Daylon Soh
Having studied at Harvard Business School (HBS) Professor Clayton M. Christensen’s work on Innovation and Strategy through his books and HBX online course, there are less than a handful of innovation-related books out there that I would count on that are backed by extensive research and will elevate your mind after reading.
Below are 3 lesser known titles that I would encourage fellow innovator’s and product development professionals to include in your toolbox and library.
1. Book recommendation 1: Inside the Box: A Proven System of Creativity for Breakthrough Results (2014) by Drew Boyd & Jacob Goldenberg
The simplicity of the techniques shared for creative problem solving made me wonder why isn’t the book shared more widely.
The authors have used their proprietary Systematic Inventive Thinking (SIT) technique to teach skeptical corporate teams (e.g. General Electric) and 6 graders how to innovate. If you have time for only one book, read this first. Its Kindle version is currently retailing at US$2.99 on Amazon.
2. Book recommendation 2: Hidden in Plain Sight: How to Create Extraordinary Products for Tomorrow’s Customers (2013) by Jan Chipchase & Simon Steinhardt
Chipchase, named by Fortune as “one of the 50 smartest people in tech,” has traveled the world, studying people of all nations and their habits, paying attention to the ordinary things that we do every day ad how they effect our buying decisions.
The book (US$12.99 on Kindle) distills decades of user research experience into a friendly read filled with local stories and insights. Some of the problems and insights that the authors have uncovered are still unsolved today, this makes this a goldmine of product and business ideas waiting for innovators to solve.
3. Book recommendation 3: Delft Design Guide: Design strategies and methods by The Faculty of Industrial Design Engineering @ Delft University of Technology
The softcover printed edition is beautifully designed and printed with step by step methods for innovators to employ at each step of product development.
Some methods, such as using Personas, are touted widely in many books while some methods are quite refreshing to me, such as the Datum Method which evaluates design alternatives in a systematic manner. The book’s paperback price of US$32.78 is worth the extra cost and shipping fee.
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About Daylon Soh
Daylon works in the intersection between digital marketing, digital product design and digital product management helping startups and corporations build new digital products and ventures. He uses a mix of research methods, Agile practices and communication strategies to facilitate the innovation process with teams. He currently works for Unilever as a Digital Marketing Strategist and was most recently part of the Digital Product Design team of Aviva Digital Garage working as a SCRUM Product Owner. Daylon is also an Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP)® & PRINCE2® Certified Practitioner in Project Management and instructs adult learners at General Assembly.
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