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The Innovator's Hypothesis: How Cheap Experiments Are Worth More Than Good Ideas

What is the best way for a company to innovate? Advice recommending “innovation vacations” and the luxury of failure may be wonderful for organizations with time to spend and money to waste. The Innovator’s Hypothesis addresses the innovation priorities of companies that live in the real world of limits. Michael Schrage advocates a cultural and strategic shift: small teams, collaboratively — and competitively — crafting business experiments that make top management sit up and take notice. He introduces the 5×5 framework: giving diverse teams of five people up to five days to come up with portfolios of five business experiments costing no more than $5,000 each and taking no longer than five weeks to run. Successful 5x5s, Schrage shows, make people more effective innovators, and more effective innovators mean more effective innovations.(less)

The book outlines a 5 X 5 methodology which emphasizes “lightweight, high-impact experimentation, as follows:

Give a diverse team of 5 people no more than 5 days to come up with a portfolio of 5 business experiments that cost no more than $5,000 (each) and take no longer than 5 weeks to run.”

All experiment must be easily replicable, provide meaningful learning with measurable outcomes.

Michael Schrage states that  good ideas have nothing to do with good implementation.
Implementation is a must  to make a good idea become successful; ideas mean nothing unless they’re implemented. So, what innovators do matter more than what they say. To be successful the innovation needs to be: simple, fast, cheap, smart, lean, and important.

Why read the book
For new people learning about innovation it’s good. For innovation professionals and those and who know a lot about design thinking and jobs to be done literature read part III.

About the author
Michael Schrage is a “sought after consultant on business innovation” and a research fellow at the Center for Digital Business at MIT Sloan School of Management.

Read more fromMichael Schrage on this blog