"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.
Introduction: Brilliance Not Required 1
Already Out ere 3
Ready to Unlearn 7
1 Know Your Gig 11
The Discernment 13
The Circle of Competence 17
Gigs Matter 19
The I D E A Principles
2 Be Interested, Not Just Interesting 25
Curiosity at the Trading Post 28
Learning Machines 29
Your Brain Is Open 33
DeBning Your Own Hunt 36
IDEAWORK #1: SELLING THE BEST HOUR OF THE DAY TO YOURSELF 39
3 Diversifying the Hunt 47
The Color of Your Ideas 49
WhenWeak Ties Are Strong 51
Widening Your Intellectual Bandwidth 54
Bridging DistantWorlds 58
Ideas Are Everywhere 61
IDEAWORK #2: THE I S AND T S 65
4 Mastering the Habits of the Hunt 71
The Practice of Ideas 73
Begin with an Eye 75
Observing at the Ritz 77
Erecting a Personal Platform of Observation 80
Write It Down 83
Get It Moving 86
Observe Yourself 88
IDEAWORK #3: ASSEMBLING AN IDEA PORTFOLIO 91
5 Idea Flow Is Critical 101
The Case of the Guitar Strings 104
Creating Idea Spaces at Pixar 106
Finding the "Informal Bosses" 110
Letting Ideas Percolate 112
When It′s Time to "Kill" Ideas 115
IDEAWORK #4: READY, SET, LAUNCH 121
6 Create Great Conversations 129
"Continuers" and "Terminators" 132
The Value of a Naive Question 136
Preparing for the Big Conversation 138
Epilogue: Thoreau and the I–D–E–A Assessment 143
About the Authors 165
Bill Fischer is a professor at IMD.He previously served as dean and president of the China–Europe International Business School, a joint venture of the European Union and Chinese government, inShanghai, China.
William Bole is a journalist and a research fellow of the Winston Center for Leadership and Ethics at Boston College.