"The power of a good story to teach us important life and business lessons is strikingly evident in this enjoyable, realistic, and practical business tale. It's two books in one, really both a fictional story and a factual tutorial on how you can move a group intentionally through the important stages of innovation. When you read The Innovative Team you'll travel down the path of breakthrough thinking and experience the many twists and turns, ups and downs, detours and speed bumps of a group that's challenged to solve a tough business problem. At the completion of the journey, you'll be treated to a master class in creative problem solving. You'll learn practical tools, valuable tips, and important concepts that you can apply to your own innovative team. It's a must–read for all leaders who want to improve the ways in which their groups find new and sustainable solutions to the ever–increasing challenges that organizations face."
Jim Kouzes, coauthor, The Leadership Challenge; Dean's Executive Fellow of Leadership, Leavey School of Business, Santa Clara University
"Keeping the faith on new ideas, especially when they are genre breaking or truly innovative, is never easy. This story of a group of colleagues trying to do exactly that reveals the struggles occurring daily in organizations aiming to innovate. It offers insights into the frustrations of bringing about innovation, while providing readers with practical ways to drive creativity through their business."
Linda Green, development executive, The British Broadcasting Corporation
"We live in an age of unprecedented and rapidly accelerating change, in which everyone wants to be innovative but few can define what that actually means or describe how to get there. Through simple language and storytelling, this book creates awareness of the creative resources in your organization and offers a proven framework to harness them and achieve real, measurable results. Highly recommended!"
Dr. Casimer DeCusatis, IBM Corporation; recipient of the 2011 Sigma Xi Walston Chubb Award for Innovation and the 2002 Mensa Copper Black Award for Creative Achievement
"Great teams pursue innovation, and this book tells you how. Drawing on years of research, the authors offer a process you can use with your team. They show you what successful breakthrough teams do; they pull you toward your team's possibilities."
Geoff Bellman, consultant and author of Extraordinary Groups and Getting Things DoneWhen You're Not in Charge
"If you're looking to up your performance as a team or simply increase your chances of getting change adopted, you'll get there with The Innovative Team. Backed by research–based tools and twenty years of experience, this book teaches individuals and teams how increasing their awareness of the breakthrough thinking process can accelerate performance. From fable to process deep–dive, this is a must for your toolbox."
David Gonzalez, design and delivery manager, Center for Creative Leadership
About the Authors xi
Part 1 The Story
Chapter 1 We Have a Problem 13
Chapter 2 JustWhat Kind of Duck AreWe Dealing with Here? 27
Chapter 3 The Sum of the Parts 33
Chapter 4 The Need and theWay Out 41
Chapter 5 Thinking About Thinking 59
Chapter 6 Mapping a Minefield 67
Chapter 7 The Power of a Good Question 77
Chapter 8 FromWild toWorkable 89
Chapter 9 Combining the Unlikely 99
Chapter 10 Be CarefulWhat YouWish For 109
Chapter 11 Preserving the Novelty 121
Chapter 12 Priming the Pump 127
Chapter 13 The Pieces Come Together 139
Chapter 14 What s the POINt? 153
Chapter 15 Assisting Acceptance 163
Chapter 16 Sealing the Deal 181
Epilogue Where Are They Now? 187
Part 2 Exploring the Four Creative Thinking Styles
Chapter 17 Applying the Framework 193
Chapter 18 Clarifying the Situation 195
Chapter 19 Generating Ideas 205
Chapter 20 Developing Solutions 215
Chapter 21 Implementing Plans 225
Chapter 22 The Combination of Preferences Within People 231
Chapter 23 Creating Conditions for Success 237
Gerard J. Puccio is department chair and professor at the International Center for Studies in Creativity at Buffalo State College and partner in FourSight, a training company and publisher of FourSight: Your Thinking Profile. He is an accomplished writer, speaker, and consultant to Fisher–Price, British Broadcasting Corporation, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Kraft, and others.