Innovation for the Fatigued Book Summary - Innovation for the Fatigued Book explained in key points
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Innovation for the Fatigued summary

Alf Rehn

How to Build a Culture of Deep Creativity

4.3 (109 ratings)
21 mins

Brief summary

Innovation for the Fatigued by Alf Rehn is a guidebook on cultivating creativity and innovation in our fast-paced, often overwhelming world. The author encourages readers to embrace experimentation and failure as pathways to successful innovation.

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    Innovation for the Fatigued
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    Innovation has become a tired buzzword.

    When author Alf Rehn gave talks to corporate leaders a decade ago, the room would listen attentively and with genuine enthusiasm. Today, as soon as he utters the word “innovation,” people become fidgety, sag in their seats, or sigh in exasperation. They’re tired of even hearing the word. 

    If you listen to entrepreneurial jargon, you’ll hear words like “revolutionary” and “ground-breaking” about products like Kellogg’s Pop Tarts or minor adaptations to certain models of car. The vocabulary of radical change has been co-opted for often uninspiring purposes.

    Just as there is an abundance of “innovation” jargon, there are oceans of books about the trend. In fact, there are around 100 such books published each month. 100! But while there is a lot of talk about innovation – which you might expect to be full of new, exciting ideas – these books can be boring and repetitive.

    This is because the advice has become so standardized that AI could feasibly write a passable innovation book. If it did, it would include the endlessly repeated advice on how to “experiment and test with customers,” “take chances,” and “learn to embrace failure.”

    Rehn demonstrated just how far this innovation talk had gone via an experiment with a leading tech company. Having been invited to give a 20-minute talk on innovation at the company (which Rehn prefers to keep anonymous, for fear of embarrassing them), he got to work right away.

    Wanting to make a good impression on such a massive organization, he decided to plan for many more hours worth of material than he actually had to present. When he arrived at the organization, he met their leadership team for some preliminary discussions. At such a prestigious company, he expected a robust, invigorating back-and-forth of ideas. Instead, he was disappointed to find they had little appetite for a real exchange of ideas.

    Emboldened, Rehn decided that he would compose a nonsensical speech made up entirely of buzzwords for his big presentation. He delivered the speech sincerely, with all the necessary emphasis and gestures. He declared things like: “So, you need to be the box you think outside of!” The audience of tech leaders and innovators listened eagerly. Some even took notes. 

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    What is Innovation for the Fatigued about?

    Innovation for the Fatigued (2019) grapples with a curse of the corporate world: innovation fatigue. Rather than inventing anything useful or new, many organizations are mired in fashionable soundbites about “disruption” and “blue sky thinking.” It peels back the layers of nonsense to look at how companies can establish a deep and purposeful innovation culture.

    Innovation for the Fatigued Review

    Innovation for the Fatigued (2018) by Alf Rehn is a refreshing take on innovation that will reignite your passion for creative problem-solving. Here's why this book is worth reading:

    • Challenging conventional wisdom, Rehn offers unique perspectives on innovation that push the boundaries of traditional thinking.
    • The book is filled with practical tips and strategies that can be immediately implemented in any industry or organization.
    • Combining deep research with relatable examples, Rehn keeps the content engaging and relevant, ensuring that readers stay hooked from start to finish.

    Who should read Innovation for the Fatigued?

    • Tech company leaders who’d like to try something different
    • Anyone interested in the business world
    • Changemakers looking to innovate in other fields

    About the Author

    Alf Rehn is a Finnish lecturer and author who holds the Chair of Management and Organization at Åbo Akademi University. Rehn works as a columnist and sits on the board of directors for several companies, including the government-run Finnish betting agency, Veikkaus. Other notable works by him include Dangerous Ideas and Trendspotting, which he co-authored with Magnus Lindkvist.


    © Alf Rehn, 2019. This Summary of Innovation for the Fatigued is published by arrangement with Kogan Page.

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    Innovation for the Fatigued FAQs 

    What is the main message of Innovation for the Fatigued?

    The main message of Innovation for the Fatigued is to rethink our approach to innovation, embracing diversity and experimentation.

    How long does it take to read Innovation for the Fatigued?

    The reading time for Innovation for the Fatigued varies depending on the reader's speed. However, the Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is Innovation for the Fatigued a good book? Is it worth reading?

    Innovation for the Fatigued is a thought-provoking read that challenges conventional thinking. It offers valuable insights for those interested in transforming their approach to innovation.

    Who is the author of Innovation for the Fatigued?

    The author of Innovation for the Fatigued is Alf Rehn.

    What to read after Innovation for the Fatigued?

    If you're wondering what to read next after Innovation for the Fatigued, here are some recommendations we suggest:
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    • The Stoic Mindset by Mark Tuitert
    • Practical Optimism by Sue Varma
    • The Problem with Change by Ashley Goodall
    • The Fearless Organization by Amy C. Edmondson
    • Change by Design by Tim Brown
    • How to Listen When Markets Speak by Lawrence G. McDonald
    • Testing Business Ideas by David J. Bland and Alexander Osterwalder