The process of listing my 16 favorite innovation books got me to thinking about what is missing – What is the “Blue Ocean” space in popular innovation reading?
I think I found two clear blue patches – Do you spot others?? Or do you think I missed a great book in those patches?
In the fall I listed my 16 favorite books on innovation. In alphabetical order by author they were:
- Tim Brown Change by Design
- David Burkus Myths of Creativity
- Henry Chesbrough Open Innovation
- Clayton Christensen The Innovators Dilemma
- Peter Drucker Innovation and Entrepreneurship
- Abbie Griffin Serial Innovators
- Walter Isaacson The Innovators
- Ken Kahn PDMA Handbook of New Product Development III
- Tom Kelley Creative Confidence
- Mauborgne & Kim Blue Ocean Strategy
- Geoffrey Moore Crossing the Chasm
- Gina C. O’Connor Grabbing Lightning
- Eric Ries Lean Innovation
- Gerald Tellis Will and Vision
- Stefan Thomke Experimentation
- Eric von Hippel Democratizing Innovation
What is missing?
I would classify the topics of the 16 books above into four categories:
- Innovation processes (design thinking, lean, experiment, lead users, disruption, etc.)
- Strategy for innovation in an organization (blue ocean, open, etc.)
- Fostering individual creativity and innovation
- Fostering innovation in an organization.
So what is missing that we would expect in such a list?
Ten or 15 years ago we would have expected something on the Internet but the Internet is ubiquitous by now. One could claim that social media is everywhere today, but I was still surprised that I hadn’t found a great book on:
- Social Innovation – Either using social in the innovation process OR innovating in the social media space itself.
The other clear gap or blue patch that I see is in service. (Of course I started a blog on service co-creation 5 years ago…) The majority of the world’s GDP is services, over 80% in most of Europe and 90% in the U.S. Services are different. Yet no book in my list is focused specifically on innovation of service. Service has a major influence of course – the iteration and experimentation that underlies most of the new approaches has been facilitated by the ease of making changes in services. Yet there again seems to be a vivid large blue space:
- Service Innovation – Either innovation of service offerings or services provided with goods.*
I ask the reader if (1) you see another blue patch I missed and/or (2) if I should review a book that fits in one of those spaces.
*Note: I am a co-author (with three impressive scholars) of a book on service innovation that should be released this spring. Trust me – you will hear more about that book as the launch date approaches.
Other innovation books
A reader suggested Econovation by Faktor should be considered for the list. Other lists of innovation books include:
Again, after reading through these other lists, this reader still spots the key blue spaces:
- Social Innovation, and
- Service Innovation.
What is missing?