How Breakthroughs Happen

How Breakthroughs Happen – The Surprising Truth About How Companies Innovate by Andrew Hargadon. This is a must read for all coaches. It is a great coaching book. I know you think I have finally lost it because the title doesn’t say anything about coaching. That is precisely why it is a good coaching book. As coaches we are constantly searching for breakthroughs, what this book did for me was to reaffirm and confirm where my reading and research has been leading me, breakthroughs are there right in front of us we just need to put things in historical context and recombine people, ideas and objects. Breakthrough innovation occurs by fully exploiting the past, look back to move forward. Networking is an essential element in achieving breakthroughs; lone rangers seldom achieve breakthrough ideas. Breakthroughs are also the result of getting the right knowledge in the right hands at the correct time; it is amazing when you do that how things happen. Formal education in an area can serve as a constraint; Hargadon feels it can force people to conform to the confines of a particular discipline. To achieve breakthroughs start each project with a clean slate, he recommends starting “start stupid.” The following quote from Descartes certainly sums up the spirit of the book: “Each problem that I solved became a rule which served afterwards to solve other problems.”


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