Over the Christmas break, I downloaded a copy of The Myths of Innovation by Scott Berkun as part of the O'Reilly Blogger Review Program and have been reading it on my kindle, enjoying the ability to annotate and highlight aspects of the text that seem relevant.
Innovation is a word I've struggled with over the past few years. Its a word that seems to have been used to describe almost everything. So, I was pleasantly surprised to get barely into the preface before I got to two quotes which made me wonder if the book was written just for me
The word innovation has fallen on hard times
The i-word is thrown around so frequently it no longer means anything
The book is well laid out, and easy to read. Each of the original chapters takes a myth and breaks it apart, often using forays into history to describe the real story behind some ideas, rather than the popularly held one. Whilst the newly added chapters are more practical "how-to" lessons based around creative thinking, pitching and motivation and seem to contain good advice.
This book is obviously well-researched, and the references are all well marked up for easy follow-up (especially on the kindle where its a simple one click to find out more).
So, do I still struggle with the word innovation? I still think its used far too often, by far too many people. But, at least I can now smile to myself when people describe something to me as innovative, whereas before I'd have probably switched-off and stopped listening immediately.
I'd recommend this book, and having enjoyed and engaged with Scott's writing style, I've already bought and downloaded Confessions of a Public Speaker which I plan to read later in the year