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Innovation You
Cover of Innovation You
Innovation You
Four Steps to Becoming New and Improved
Borrow Borrow
In today's frenetic, uncertain world, the "same old, same old" routines are perfect ways to go nowhere fast. What has worked for you before—professionally or personally—no longer gets results. Whether you've been downsized, reached the end of a long relationship, or found yourself questioning where you are in life, it's clear you need to change. To innovate. Make it new. Make yourself new. Now, in this invaluable book, the world-renowned "Dean of Innovation," Jeff DeGraff, shares his tried-and-true techniques on how to reinvent yourself—creatively and with maximum impact.
Innovation You reveals DeGraff's unique four-step program to bolster your ingenuity and remake your life. From forging ahead in a new career to losing weight to finally pursuing that long-held dream, DeGraff's strategies are effective and easy to follow. Inside you will learn to

Rethink Innovation: Find ways to think outside the box, seek out diverse opinions, and pay attention to the next great trend.
Rethink Your Approach: Use the Competing Values Framework to identify your natural innovation profile—do you compete, collaborate, create, or control?—and then deliberately draw from the other styles to augment your usual tactics.
Rethink Your Methods: Put your reinvention plan in motion—set specific, realistic, and meaningful targets, cultivate relationships with relevant mentors and experts, and try alternate methods to achieve your goals.
Rethink the Journey: Understand that innovation is a process and that progress comes in cycles rather than a quick straight line. Accept uncertainty, question assumptions, and acknowledge areas where you can improve.

Full of invigorating ideas, engaging anecdotes, practical wisdom, and inspiring success stories, Innovation You is your personal road map to reach your highest potential—and experience a bold new way of living.
From the Hardcover edition.
In today's frenetic, uncertain world, the "same old, same old" routines are perfect ways to go nowhere fast. What has worked for you before—professionally or personally—no longer gets results. Whether you've been downsized, reached the end of a long relationship, or found yourself questioning where you are in life, it's clear you need to change. To innovate. Make it new. Make yourself new. Now, in this invaluable book, the world-renowned "Dean of Innovation," Jeff DeGraff, shares his tried-and-true techniques on how to reinvent yourself—creatively and with maximum impact.
Innovation You reveals DeGraff's unique four-step program to bolster your ingenuity and remake your life. From forging ahead in a new career to losing weight to finally pursuing that long-held dream, DeGraff's strategies are effective and easy to follow. Inside you will learn to

Rethink Innovation: Find ways to think outside the box, seek out diverse opinions, and pay attention to the next great trend.
Rethink Your Approach: Use the Competing Values Framework to identify your natural innovation profile—do you compete, collaborate, create, or control?—and then deliberately draw from the other styles to augment your usual tactics.
Rethink Your Methods: Put your reinvention plan in motion—set specific, realistic, and meaningful targets, cultivate relationships with relevant mentors and experts, and try alternate methods to achieve your goals.
Rethink the Journey: Understand that innovation is a process and that progress comes in cycles rather than a quick straight line. Accept uncertainty, question assumptions, and acknowledge areas where you can improve.

Full of invigorating ideas, engaging anecdotes, practical wisdom, and inspiring success stories, Innovation You is your personal road map to reach your highest potential—and experience a bold new way of living.
From the Hardcover edition.
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  • From the book

    9780345530691|excerpt DeGraff / INNOVATIVE YOU

    chapter one

    Creativize

    Henry Martin is important to me for what may seem a humble reason. A chemist in Buffalo, New York, in the mid-­twentieth century, Martin changed dry cleaning forever when he created a cleaning solvent that wouldn't burst into flames. Until 1949, the storefronts that people called "dry cleaners" were only pick-­up and drop-­off sites. The chemicals used to clean clothes were so dangerous that the actual cleaning had to be done in the safety of a factory, where a fire could be contained. But Martin's nonflammable solvent meant that dry cleaning could be done where the customers were.

    This new approach, "Martinizing," saved customers days of waiting and gave Martin's stores an advantage over every competitor. In a similar way, the first step toward innovating your own life is to look for the opportunities to add creativity to each element of what you do—­not just sending out for creativity like the old dry cleaners used to send out their clothes to the factory, but adding in creativity yourself where you live and work. Martinizing made dry cleaning safe, ordinary, everyday—­and hugely successful. That's what creativity needs to be in your life.

    The innovation visionary Marshall McLuhan made the point that innovation is not a thing. It's an attribute or quality: An innovation is anything that is enhanced—­made better or new. To see what I mean, pick up any business magazine. You are likely to find examples of the most innovative companies in the world. But look a little closer and you will find that some of these businesses excel at marketing, while others excel at technology development, and yet others don't seem to do anything revolutionary, but they are great at increasing revenues.

    The point is that these examples are all over the place, because innovation is something you can do in different forms, at different times, in different places. If it makes your business (or your life) better relative to your own idea of what better would be, it's an innovation. Sometimes the biggest innovations are actually steps backward into the past, like the local food movement, in which well-­off people with access to a global transportation network that can bring them food from anywhere in the world try as hard as they can to eat the food grown right nearby, as farming people did when there were no planes, trains, or automobiles. Innovation is any creative improvement, and "creativizing" can improve any area of your life.

    Shandra creativized when she received an unexpected medical diagnosis: Cancer. Aggressive tumors. Odds no better than fifty-­fifty. All she could think at first was, This wasn't supposed to happen. She had lived through a difficult divorce and was raising three children on her own. After years of night school and crummy jobs, she had found a position at a company that saw the good in her. She had advanced quickly to become an executive secretary. Now everything she had built for her family, from the condo in the good school district to the college tuition savings accounts to the possibility of retiring to watch over future grandchildren was all at risk. T

    he doctor spoke compassionately and made his recommendations. A patient like this should start chemotherapy right away. He offered a list of support groups to help with the emotional strain. Yet Shandra felt she'd been given a death sentence. When she finally got home, she couldn't bear to speak to her children. She paid the sitter, made her way upstairs, and climbed into bed.

    The next day, Shandra went to a support group of cancer...
About the Author-
  • Jeff DeGraff, Ph.D. is a clinical professor at the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan and the executive director of Innovatrium, a leading creativity center for executives. He is a consultant to the world's most prominent companies (from Apple to Visa), serves as an adviser to think tanks and governments, and is the author of three business books and numerous articles. Dubbed "the Dean of Innovation" because of his influence in the field, and featured on the PBS program Innovation You with Dr. Jeff DeGraff, DeGraff lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Reviews-
  • Publishers Weekly

    Advance praise for Innovation You
    "A useful guide to thinking about career changes, entrepreneurial leaps, or general self-improvement, DeGraff's newest work is a must-read for those contemplating change and wanting to make more creative decision."

  • Tom Glocer, CEO, Thomson-Reuters Group, PLC "Whether you're looking to stay competitive professionally, make a career change, or just be inspired to greater personal creativity, this is the book to light the proverbial fire underneath you. It is a pragmatic, step-by-step framework for unlocking the unique capacity for growth in each of us."
  • Beth Comstock, chief marketing officer, GE "This is not just another book on innovation. Jeff DeGraff takes a lifetime of learning and teaching and turns it into a conversation about what it takes to change, grow, and create. And he does it with honesty and wit. You'll discover 'we grow when our life sucks' and other DeGraffisms that put into perspective the hard work and motivation that goes into innovating at work and in life."
  • Vijay Govindarajan, professor, Tuck School of Business, Dartmouth "DeGraff translates the innovation strategies and practices used in top-shelf firms into an easy-to-follow road map for making our own lives new and improved. This book will show you how to really make innovation happen."
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    All copies of this title, including those transferred to portable devices and other media, must be deleted/destroyed at the end of the lending period.

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Innovation You
Four Steps to Becoming New and Improved
Jeff Degraff
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