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Riding the Innovation Wave: Learning to Create Value from Ideas

by John Bessant Emerald Publishing Limited
Pub Date:
Hbk 296 pages
AU$67.00 NZ$69.57
Product Status: In Stock Now
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Innovation matters – being able to create value from ideas is crucial to survival and growth. But while any organization might get lucky once being able to repeat the trick requires learning and developing particular ways of working which enable the process. Over a hundred years of research and practical experience now provides a knowledge base from which we can draw to help develop such approaches.


But how do we move from prescription to implementation? And how does the innovation challenge play out over the lifetime of an organization? How does it renew its capability to innovate and do so against a background of dramatically changing markets, technologies and social trends?


This book draws on a detailed history of a large German company (HELLA ), now active in over 35 countries, employing 34,000 people. It didn't start out that way, it began as an entrepreneurial start-up in the late 19th century in the (then) uncertain early days of the car industry. It moved from selling whips and other buggy accessories for horse-drawn carriages to horns and lamps for the new-fangled motor cars beginning to appear on the roads of north-western Germany. The journey since then has been one of innovation – in products and processes, in entering new markets, in adding services to its products, and in changing its underlying business models. Survival for over a hundred years is not an accident – it has been built on learning how to innovate and on constantly challenging and updating those models.


Chapter 1 Introductions

Chapter 2 Hella's innovation history

Chapter 3 Patterns of innovation

Chapter 4 We are the champions

Chapter 5 Maintaining innovation momentum

Chapter 6 Mobilising entrepreneurial engagement

Chapter 7 Continuous improvement

Chapter 8 Frugal innovation

Chapter 9 Platform innovation

Chapter 10 Creating new networks

Chapter 11 Dealing with discontinuity

Chapter 12 Agile innovation

Chapter 13 Looking to the future

Notes, resources and reflection questions


The author uses a case study of automotive, lighting, and electronics company Hella to outline a model of innovation that is focused on competence, capability, and continuity. He details Hella's innovation history, including specific innovation examples and milestones; how it maintains momentum in innovation and mobilizes entrepreneurial engagement; its continuous improvement efforts; its mindset of frugal innovation; and the elements of platform thinking, innovation networks, dealing with discontinuity, and agile innovation, with discussion of the concept in general, why it matters, why it matters to Hella, and what Hella is currently doing.
Originally a chemical engineer, John Bessant has been
active in the field of research and consultancy in technology and innovation
management for over 35 years. He currently
holds the Chair in Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the University of Exeter
and has visiting appointments at the universities of Erlangen-Nuremburg and
Queensland University of Technology. In
2003 he was elected a Fellow of the British Academy of Management and in 2016 a
Fellow of the International Society for Professional Innovation Management (ISPIM). He has
acted as advisor to various national governments, international bodies
(including the United Nations,World Bank and OECD) and to many public and
private sector organizations. He is the
author of 30 books and many articles on the topic and has lectured and
consulted widely around the world.