Holyoak, L. (2000), "The Innovation Premium", Leadership & Organization Development Journal, Vol. 21 No. 5, pp. 274-275. https://doi.org/10.1108/lodj.2000.21.5.274.2
Emerald Group Publishing Limited
This book is based on the premise that innovative companies (those that have a constant flow of new products and ways of doing business) are more successful than those that are not: the innovation premium. The authors remind us that things are now changing so quickly that products can be obsolete within a few weeks and it would be unwise for companies to think that old ways of doing things (and particularly old attitudes to research and development and to working with partners) can stand them in good stead for much longer. Using many examples of companies which have embraced innovation, the authors help the reader assess where their company is now and what might be done differently.
The book is in two parts. The first part (“Who’s got the innovation premium?”) develops the innovation framework and briefly introduces some companies which are using it. In the second part (“How do you get the innovation premium?”), each chapter contains an expanded case study of a particular company which has developed practices to encourage innovation in its own particular way. These companies include Canon, Nokia and Chrysler, some of which have reversed their fortunes by completely rethinking their approach. The book also includes two lengthy appendices which give details of the surveys of innovation carried out by Arthur D. Little Inc., which will be of use to those who want detail to back up the authors’ arguments.
The book has some very good features and some strange flaws. On the good side, the case studies give interesting detail and many contain quotations from key players within the featured company that emphasise that these are real people in real companies who have made the change. Another plus is the way that chapters in the latter part of the book contain questionnaires to enable the reader to check where his or her company stands at the moment, with in‐built hints about how to improve. On the minus side, the book seems unintegrated. The many figures in the book (although numbered and titled) are rarely referred to in the text, leaving the reader to guess exactly what they are illustrating. In the first part of the book a key figure (which is again not referred to explicitly) seems to hold the key to some of the subsequent figures, but the chance to show how the argument fits together is not taken up. Also, with much the same framework in each chapter in the second part, it did get rather repetitive. Finally, the chapter on organisational learning, that might be particularly relevant to readers of this journal, is very brief.
In sum, The Innovation Premium potentially holds some useful information for those intent on making the change, but might leave others rather cold.