cover image The Art of Innovation: Lessons in Creativity from Ideo, America's Leading Design Firm

The Art of Innovation: Lessons in Creativity from Ideo, America's Leading Design Firm

Thomas Kelley. Broadway Business, $29.95 (320pp) ISBN 978-0-385-49984-2

""Routine is the enemy of innovation,"" declares Kelley, general manager of IDEO, in this lively and practical guide to nurturing that elusive quality in all organizations. Dubbed ""Innovation U."" by Fortune and lauded as ""the world's most celebrated design firm"" by Fast Company, IDEO, through its work on over 3,000 new product programs, has developed a system for staying on the creative cutting edge while keeping clients happy. Kelley handily parses the components of this systemDunderstanding the market, observing real-life users, brainstorming new concepts and developing and refining prototypes on a tight schedule to come up with a commercial productDwith examples from the development of such pathbreaking products as the original Apple mouse and the Palm Pilot V. Kelley vividly conveys how ""hot teams,"" assembled for specific projects with concrete goals and deadlines, are the foundation of IDEO's performance-based reputation. While he recognizes that not every organization is a hip design firm, Kelley believes that all organizations can gain an edge by innovating; among the successes he cites are Amazon, Igloo, Shoebox Greetings and Sephora. IDEO has learned and profited from maxims like ""Fail often to succeed sooner."" Many who previously feared change may answer his unpretentious call to ""Start by following your customer journey, breaking it down into component elements, and asking yourself how you can deliver a better experience."" Illustrations. (Feb.) Forecast: Featured in a half-hour segment of Nightline last year that ranked among the most popular aired on the show, IDEO's culture of innovation has received broad exposure. This well-written, well-organized and energizing guide will be a magnet for more attention, and could have a shot at business bestseller lists.