The folks at sent me a free copy of the newly published innovation strategy book, "Better and Faster - The Proven Path to Unstoppable Ideas" by the organization's CEO, Jeremy Gutsche (affiliate link).

BetterAndFasterThe book opens with the story of how scientist Robert Lang's obsession with origami (including his ability to recognize connections and interpret patterns) led to revolutionary advances in creative paper folding AND space exploration, auto safety, and biotechnology. Gutsche follows it up with stories illustrating three innovation roadblocks and six "patterns of opportunity" behind successful organizations using innovation strategy to its greatest advantage.

The story selection approach Jeremy Gutsche spells out upfront highlights his preference for sharing lesser-told stories.

You certainly find plenty of mentions of the usual suspects, including Apple, Starbucks, Google, and IKEA. It was intriguing, however, to gain insight into the early strategy re-direct that set Victoria's Secret up for success, the meth-to-millions brand story behind Dave's Killer Bread, and Gutsche's own insider perspective on how Capital One uses a credit cards as "information" view to drive an ongoing stream of high- and low-probability innovations.

"Better and Faster" employs a Hunter-Farmer metaphor to organize innovation strategy lessons based on thousands of interviews from the past decade.

The three "Farmer Traps" Gutsche highlights tie to a leader or organization cultivating an expectation of perpetually winning. The specific traps are:

  • Complacency from previous successes
  • Repeating the same formula again and again
  • Ignoring challenges to the organization's beliefs and perspectives

The main section of "Better and Faster" details six innovation strategy patterns emerging from research and analysis:

  • Convergence - Putting various pieces together to create success
  • Divergence - Products and services fighting against the comfortable and familiar
  • Cyclicality - Events and dynamics that repeat in a predicable way
  • Redirection - Changing the current course to leverage and ride a trend
  • Reduction - Stripping away the unnecessary elements of a concept
  • Acceleration - Pushing for faster and more when a feature portends disproportionate opportunity

The book's final section offers frameworks and applications to better understand applying patterns of opportunity and how they play out in particular industries.

Intrigued by the innovation strategy model "Better and Faster" suggests? has a free download of the book's first chapter to launch your experience with “Better and Faster.” All you have to do is visit the book’s launch website and tweet about the book.

If you are ready to start taking a hunting approach to innovation strategy, order "Better and Faster" right away at (affiliate link) or directly from the book website and take advantage of variety of special offers. – Mike Brown


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