Jack Welch said that, "someone somewhere has a better idea." Boynton and Fischer blow up the myth that great ideas come from innate creativity and show how anyone can come up with successful ideas for their business just by looking around them.
Too often, people fall into the trap of believing that great ideas have to be original. But rather than waiting for a brainstorm, many of the best "innovators" actually synthesize the best ideas they learn elsewhere - from studying their competitors, exploring other fields and industries, talking to everyone they meet, and generally keeping their ears to the ground.
The authors show how to expand your capacity for soaking up ideas, then select the best and most appropriate ones, adapt them to your business, and implement them before everyone else does. Their points are illustrated with interviews of successful "idea hunters" and stories of companies that have put their plan into practice.
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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 Büchner, CEO, Sulzer, Ltd.
"Breakaway ideas come to those who are in the habit of looking for them."
—from the Introduction
Ideas 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.
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