It's no secret that executives are under escalating pressure to deliver increasing profits every quarter. In such a pressure-cooker environment, the only way that companies can hope to meet the lofty expectations of the market is to hard-wire their organizations to be mindful of costs while simultaneously pursuing innovation.

Innovation has become the focus not only for businesses but also for governments and whole economies, too, as countries seek to secure high-paying jobs for their citizens and their tax base. This book will help managers identify and begin removing the barriers to innovation that are preventing their organization from creating sustainable growth and change.

Every successful organization began as a nimble, innovative start-up with the ability to course-correct and quickly adapt to the needs of its customers. But along the way, success and growth cause changes in the structure, the culture, and sometimes even the vision of organizations (see Figure I.1). Successful, growing organizations often focus on driving out the operational inefficiencies they maintained during their start-up phase, and unintentionally erect barriers to innovation as they become ever more efficient and profitable.

Unfortunately, when organizations realize that they need to innovate again, they find that they struggle to do so. Successful organizations are typically built around one or more key customer insights that allow them to solve their customers' problems better than their ...

Get Stoking Your Innovation Bonfire now with the O’Reilly learning platform.

O’Reilly members experience books, live events, courses curated by job role, and more from O’Reilly and nearly 200 top publishers.