Quick reviews of Unstuck and 11 1/2 Ideas that work.
I had been meaning to get around to reading this book for a good while. Unstuck is a trouble-shooting guide for situations when you can’t think your way out of a problem or are suffering from inertia. The book was based on a set of flash cards developed by the authors as part of an MBA module that they taught at Harvard.It is quite easy to imagine it as a big decision tree or one of them Dungeons and Dragons books that the geekiest kids at school used to read all the time as you are guided from problem recognition and diagnosis through to resolving the problem in a creative manner.
The best thing of all, unlike technical support helplines and customer service functions you are not kept on hold for an hour because they are swamped with other callers. Definitely one to keep in the desk drawer.
11 1/2 Weird Ideas That Work was a book that I read on the way back from Dresden. It is a thinkpiece for managers on how they can further develop innovation within an organisation that is not too corporate in its culture by bringing in disruptive influences and processes – a sort of ‘grain of sand’ in your shoe effect. Sutton is very particular about laying out the parameters of what kind of organisation his techniques will or won’t work for. He cites extensively examples from organisations like design and user experience company IDEO through to small business units in large corporates like phone-tapping technology company Hewlett-Packard.
Whilst the book makes for interesting reading, applying its ideas successfully may be much harder to do .