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Learn the key ideas of the book by Lucy Gower

The Innovation Workout

The steps you need to take, in order to implement your ideas and innovate

The Innovation Workout is structured just like a training session, and can either be read from beginning to end, or by skipping chapters and reading only the parts that are most interesting for our own specific needs. Written in simple, direct language, this book takes the reader step by step through the principles, problems, and opportunities that innovation brings. Lucy Gower suggests a series of actions we can all put into practice, in order to develop a successful innovation plan. After taking a pre-workout test to identify our weaknesses and strengths, we are then provided with all the necessary steps, which are organised into a tried and tested sequence. The 10-step improvement plan gives us everything we need to know to learn how to tap into our potential and become an expert innovator.

The Innovation Workout
Read in 14 min.
Listen in 18 min.

If we want to make big changes in our life, we need to completely disrupt our plans and strategies

In order to be an innovator, we need to possess a number of skills, including the ability to sniff out an opportunity, think creatively about solutions to problems, or develop and refine the ideas that we believe have the greatest potential. An innovator is able to inspire and influence other people, by having the tenacity and resilience to persevere when their idea does not work the first time, as well as the flexibility and humility to be able to adapt, in order to achieve their idea.

As far as innovation is concerned, theory is very different from practice, because results can only be seen with experience. We need to step out of our comfort zone and explore the unknown, trying to overcome our initial sense of unease and bewilderment. Innovation is not about achieving an idea, but about achieving ideas that bring us closer to our objective. That objective may be to develop new products, which meet the needs of customers, or to come up with a process that simplifies the lives of our employees, or a system that helps them work more effectively.

There are two types of approach to innovation: disruptive innovation and incremental innovation. The invention of the internet is an example of disruptive innovation, the kind that literally changed the way we communicate and shop. Incremental innovation is about the relentless pursuit of improvement through small changes that, when added up, make a big difference. Everyone can make small changes to their daily life, which add up and make a big difference in achieving personal and professional goals. 

New technologies are changing both our work and personal lives. From social media, which has changed the way we communicate with customers, friends, colleagues, and family, to the way we shop. Hardly anyone buys a product nowadays without first consulting reviews on the internet, because the opinions of other consumers are considered more credible and reliable than the advertisements themselves. 

The pace of technological development shows no signs of slowing down. Everything we take for granted today – our job, the skills we need, the lifestyle we lead – will change within five years, which means that, in order to grow and progress, we have to be able to change. 

Just as a coach refines an athlete's habits, we have to forget about our plans and strategies, and create new ones, without repeating the same activities. As with any kind of training, the first step is always the hardest.


The key ideas of "The Innovation Workout"

If we want to make big changes in our life, we need to completely disrupt our plans and strategies
We should start by identifying our customers and our purpose in life: our innovations will only work if we have a clear idea of these two factors
Today's market must predict tomorrow's trends, so we need be able to spot trends well in advance
How to develop our creative skills by expanding our experience, and connecting all ideas
Another useful exercise is to practice different techniques to generate new and original solutions to problems
We should filter and select only the best ideas: the likelihood of success is a factor, as is the ability to say no to weaker ideas
Conducting a pilot project helps us refine the idea before launching it on the market
Being a good innovator requires a wide range of skills
Take-home message
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