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Innovation Is Easy When You’re IdeaWise

Every process, every technology, every product eventually becomes old. But as Peter Drucker once observed, “Defending yesterday – that is, not innovating – is far more risky than making tomorrow.”

IdeaWise, the acclaimed 2002 book by Steve Rivkin and Fraser Seitel from John Wiley & Sons, shows you how to collect, borrow and adapt existing ideas.

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Steve Rivkin and Fraser Seitel demystify the creation of great new innovations in Ideawise, showing you how to foster fresh thinking that solves problems and propels business. They demonstrate how to borrow an existing idea and manipulate it in inventive ways to produce new products and business solutions. Inside, you'll find easy-to-understand methods that prove that a subtle twist on an idea can make a huge impact on business, including:
What can you combine with an existing idea? (Band-Aids are now available with antibiotic ointment already on the pad.)
  What can you magnify or minimize? (McDonald's and Pizza Hut are shrinking their outlets to fit inside airport terminals.)
  What can you eliminate? (Saturn did away with pushy salespeople to address customers' fears of the car-buying process.)
  What can you reverse? (LEGO did an about-face on an ill-advised diversification and returned to its core business.)
  What can you bring back? (Commerce Bank is bringing back the old values of long hours and personal service in consumer and small business banking.)
The authors reveal how anyone can be creative and transform new ideas through logic, common sense and practicality. And you'll explore the three major process steps that will make you IdeaWise:
How to work most effectively by yourself on new ideas.
  How to work most effectively on new ideas in a group setting.
  How to begin evaluating your ideas.
Chapter List
"But, I'm Not Creative"
  Don't Buy the Idea Industry's Blather
  Seek and Ye Shall Find
  Thomas Edison Was Right
  What Could You Substitute?
  What Could You Combine?
  What Could You Magnify Or Minimize?
  What Else Could It Be?
  What Could You Eliminate?
  What Could You Reverse?
  What Could You Bring Back?
  Generate First, Judge Later
  One Final Word: Cojones

A message from David Rockefeller
As chairman and chief executive officer of The Chase Manhattan Bank, Mr. Rockefeller led a global expansion that earned Chase the distinction as one of the world's most well known and socially responsible financial institutions. At the same time, Mr. Rockefeller served as “Ambassador Without Portfolio” for American Presidents since Dwight Eisenhower, crisscrossing the globe countless times to meet with hundreds of heads of state.

During my 35-year career at The Chase Manhattan Bank, I was often exposed to ways by which the bank’s performance could be improved and its profitability increased.

Bankers, by the very nature of their work, come across a vast array of business practices, both good and bad, and are in a unique position to assess how competitors in the same economic sector run their operations. The rigorous analysis of balance sheets, profit and loss statements, cash flow and other economic data, was, and is, the basis upon which credit is assessed and loans extended.

But, underneath the hard financial data are the practices -- some call it the “corporate culture” -- that separate the truly excellent companies from those that are simply good. These practices, which run the gamut from flexible work hours to corporate art programs to on-site day care centers, are an invisible and intangible part of the bottom line, but they are there nevertheless. The really successful companies – GE, Microsoft, Intel – are well known for such innovative methods.

What I did not do as often as I should have as a bank CEO was to take the innovative ideas that I had observed around the world and introduce them at Chase. It would have made an immense difference. But, then, I did not have IdeaWise for a guide.

You, fortunately, don’t have the same excuse.

Steve Rivkin and Fraser Seitel have provided an invaluable resource for business executives and entrepreneurs, as well as leaders in government and the not-for-profit sector.

Humorous, insightful and provocative are only a few of the words that come to mind to describe this superb book. It should be essential reading for anyone concerned about keeping his or her business or organization productive, expanding and dynamic.

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