Kevin Kauzlaric: What inspired you to write The 4 Lenses of Innovation?
Rowan Gibson: A lot of companies believe that making innovation happen is simply a matter of creating the right cultural environment inside an organization and across its external ecosystem – i.e. stimulating a lot of creative collaboration and so on. This is certainly critical but it’s only half of the equation. If we truly want to build a company’s capacity for innovation we need to understand not just the environments that enhance our capacity to dream up and introduce new things, but also the thinking processes inside the human mind that lead innovators to their Eureka moments. When we read about successful cases of innovation in business books and magazines, what is usually missing is any kind of insight into the thinking processes that led people to discover their big ideas. I wanted to study and shed some light on these important thinking processes because they are actually the key to unlocking our ability to innovate. That’s essentially why I wrote this book.
Please tell us a little bit about your background and what you are currently doing.
I’m quite well-known in the innovation space as the author of a couple of bestselling books on the subject. Over the last couple of decades, I have travelled to 60 countries across the globe to deliver keynote speeches, master classes and seminars, as well as innovation consulting for some of the world’s largest and most successful companies. Actually, I’m just back from speaking at an event in Israel, where I was honored to receive the “Global Leader of Innovation” Award 2015, along with two of my innovation heroes, Dean Kamen, inventor of the Segway, and Ray Kurzweil, the great innovator and futurist. Otherwise, I’m busy right now with launching “The Four Lenses of Innovation” and with blogging on InnovationExcellence.com – the website I co-founded 4 years ago, which is now the most popular innovation portal on the Internet.
Delving into your book now, who would benefit most from your book?
I think this book is going to appeal to quite a wide cross-section of people. First, of course, there are the innovation practitioners – people inside companies who actually manage the innovation process. They naturally want to make their ideation efforts more effective, and this book gives them the tool. Then there are business people in every kind of industry who are looking for ways to improve their company’s innovation capability and to discover new strategic growth opportunities. Beyond that, we have what we might call the “creative industries”, like advertising and design. Here, too, people want to find ways to make their creative thinking less random and more process-driven to increase the probability of producing better ideas. That’s where “The Four Lenses of Innovation” can really help. In addition, I think the academic community will find a lot of value in the book – professors of innovation, business strategy, creativity, and also neuroscience. And finally, there’s the general public, because pretty much everyone I know would like to have some simple formula for enhancing their creative thinking and innovation skills.
What makes your book different from other books that cover this same topic?
This book is a really refreshing mix of content. At its core, of course, is this simple but very powerful methodology that enables us to [Continue reading]