10 Best Books on Innovation Management

Thinking KidAre you looking for information on how to implement or improve the innovation management process at your organization?

If so, you may already know that innovation shouldn’t be treated as isolated “Eureka!” moments. Instead, you should manage innovation as a systematic process to bring ideas to life.

In fact, successful organizations such as GE and P&G manage their innovation with a very systematic process.

There are a lot (I mean, a LOT!) of books on innovation. But most of them focus on theory and concepts. While such books may provide good information, they don’t help your team in implementing a process to manage innovation at your organization. How do you find books that can help you? 

Here we have put together a list of the 10 best books on innovation management that will actually help you better manage innovation at your organization.

Making Innovation Work1. Making Innovation Work: How to Manage It, Measure It, and Profit from It by Tony Davila, Marc Epstein, and Robert Shelton

This book presents a formal innovation process that has been proven to work at large companies like HP, Microsoft, and Toyota. The authors base their recommendations on their consulting experience and a thorough review of innovation research. All aspects of innovation management are discussed, including how to design a management system for innovation, how to measure and reward innovation, and how to nurture an innovative culture.

Innovation to the Core2. Innovation to the Core: A Blueprint for Transforming the Way Your Company Innovates by Peter Skarzynski and Rowan Gibson

Drawing on their experience as consultants and business strategists, the authors show how a variety of companies have overcome the barriers to successful, profitable innovation.

As Gary Hamel explains in the foreword:

Innovation is too important to be a function, or a department, or a one-time initiative, or an exceptional act. [Click to Tweet!]

The aim of this book is to provide practical examples, tools, and methods for bringing innovation to the core of your business, organization, and culture. Al Ries called this book the bible of innovation. Need we say more?

Innovation Mgmt and New Product Development3. Innovation Management and New Product Development by Paul Trott

Now in its fourth edition, this book offers an excellent introduction to all aspects of innovation management. The book covers topics like innovation and operations management, managing intellectual property, managing R&D, strategic alliances, the new product development process, and market research. If you’re new to innovation management, then this is an excellent start.

Managing Innovation4. Managing Innovation: Integrating Technological, Market and Organizational Change by Joe Tidd and John Bessant

This book summarizes the latest research on innovation topics, provides real-life case studies to contextualize the research topics, and includes comments from practicing managers of innovation.  It is a good follow-up to the book by Paul Trott mentioned in number 3, above.

The Innovator's Toolkit5. The Innovator’s Toolkit: 50+ Techniques for Predictable and Sustainable Organic Growth by David Silverstein, Philip Samuel, and Neil DeCarlo

This book presents 58 different tools to help innovation managers. The tools help you define opportunities, discover ideas, develop designs, and demonstrate innovation. Each tool is outlined in an easy-to-read manner; and the authors provide guidance on when and how to use the tools to optimize results.  You will find yourself referring to it from time to time to learn more about each tool.

40 Years, 20 Million Ideas6. 40 Years, 20 Million Ideas: The Toyota Suggestion System by Yuzo Yasuda

This book provides an overview of idea management at Toyota through the years. It explains how Toyota has developed an employee suggestion program for continuous improvement. If you’re looking to implement an employee suggestion program at your company, this book is an excellent start.

The Other Side of Innovation7. The Other Side of Innovation: Solving the Execution Challenge by Vijay Govindarajan and Chris Trimble

Innovation often fails not at the fuzzy front-end, but at execution. This book focuses solely on implementing innovation, on turning ideas into products. Ideas are only beginnings. Execution is the hard part of innovation. The book comprises two parts: how to build a team and how to run disciplined experiments.

The Idea Generator8. The Idea Generator: Quick and Easy Kaizen by Bunji Tozawa and Norman Bodek

This is a guide on improving internal and external customer service. It is based on the authors’ experience at Dana Corporation, one of the world’s largest automotive parts suppliers. A separate workbook is available that teaches the importance of submitting and implementing improvement ideas at work.

Ideas are Free9. Ideas Are Free: How the Idea Revolution Is Liberating People and Transforming Organizations by Alan G. Robinson and Dean M. Schroeder

The authors use real-world examples to show how to exploit the free resource of employee ideas. This book explains the power of small ideas, the pitfalls of rewards, how to generate more and better ideas, and how to make idea generation everyone’s job. A full road map is provided for implementing an idea management system.

EDQ10. Employee Driven Quality: Releasing the Creative Spirit of Your Organization Through Suggestion Systems by Robin E. McDermott, Raymond J. Mikulak, and Michael R. Beauregard

This is a step-by-step guide for implementing an employee suggestion program at your company. It discusses how to set up an employee suggestion program, how to integrate your program into your continuous improvement process, how to build recognition into your program, and how to assign roles to each person at your company. The authors also provide case studies from a selection of companies including Toyota, Honda, and AT&T.

Did we miss any of your favorite books on managing innovation? Let us know in the comments.

Suggested Next Steps:

Leila Durmaz

Hello, I'm your author, Leila Durmaz. I spend a lot of my time researching the best practices for innovation management, and writing articles to share them. I hope you find them helpful! I work at Accompa - one of our products is IdeaGlow innovation management software.

More Posts

Check out these things!

Like This Post? Get More by Email
Get new posts like this delivered right to your inbox...

(We value your privacy)
Innovation Management Software for Your Team
Want to build your own systematic innovation management process? Check out IdeaGlow now - it is a cloud-based idea management system that is affordable...