This graphic novel is a fun read about how to enhance your organization’s ability to drive creative thinking and boost your innovation effectiveness. The authors lay out a systematic approach to creating the right conditions for innovation to flourish through the combination and application of existing ideas in new ways.
They start out using innovation in art as an example of this principle. They tell the story of how Picasso was at dinner with Matisse, who brought an African sculpture to dinner. Picasso was influenced not only by how impressionism created a different emotional experience than a photograph, but by the vibrant design of the sculpture. He apparently went home and painted Demoiselles d’Avignon, which is seen as one of the single most famous paintings in modern art and the beginning of the transition from the impressionist to the cubist era in painting. Picasso’s innovation combined two pre-existing styles in a unique and engaging way.
In The Art of Ideas, Murphy and Duggan go on to lay out a systematic approach to creating the right conditions for innovation to flourish through the combination and application of existing ideas in new ways. First, they encourage you to break down your problem into challenges for which you are going to search for a better solution. Second, you allow your thoughts to search more freely for precedents of how they have been solved before, so that you can select and combine them in new ways. Third, you enjoy a spark of insight when you see the idea come together in your mind. Fourth, you put your idea into motion and drive sustained impact. If you try to jump straight to ideation without the first two steps, you’re more likely to generate incremental thinking constrained by your industry’s ingrained assumptions.
I’ve found this framework to be a very powerful way to ideate more transformational opportunities to innovate the customer experience, while using a lean startup approach to get fast feedback and iterate on them. In an earlier blog about The Lean Startup, I shared a “green, yellow, red” approach to use agile practices to work on CX improvements. The Art of Ideas is a very powerful framework to help you generate bold bets to work on applying this agile model.
If you’ve been reading the other book reviews from my top ten list, you’ve likely noticed other recurring themes. The Art of Ideas is also well aligned to Think Again, which encourages openness to reconsideration.The Art of Ideas provides an actionable way to put this into practice to boost your innovation effectiveness. In our next review, we’ll cap off the top ten with The Adaptive Enterprise, by Stephan Haeckel, which focuses on how to create a "sense and respond" organization.
To read other book reviews, click here.
If you’d like to connect directly to discuss this book or sign up to join an online group discussion, please let us know using the "Start A Book Discussion" form below.