The Innovation Factory takes a fresh look at the fine art of breakthrough innovation. What makes it unique is that it brings together an experienced scholar and a serial entrepreneur who share the same passion for understanding the processes and theories needed to innovate over and over again. The book marries theory with practical examples focusing on the Concept-Knowledge (C-K) Theory developed by the prestigious school Mines ParisTech.
For the first time, you will discover the unknown story of the Swatch watch told by Elmar Mock, the creative engineering force behind the Swatch. In this book, he passionately tells how he helped to create this breakthrough innovation that saved the Swiss watch industry in the 1980s. Gilles Garel, a professor of management, relates this tale of epic innovation to C-K theory and both convincingly argue that organizations can channel creativity to develop breakthrough innovations that disrupt markets.
Innovation is not just a case of acquiring aptitude. It is also a question of attitude: Innovators strive to remain creative and active. The book provides an overview of the characteristics and essential strengths of the successful Innovation Factory, Creaholic, based in Switzerland. The example of Creaholic helps readers grasp what breakthrough innovation is truly all about.
The book’s use of vibrant metaphors helps readers easily digest the ideas and concepts presented. The book concludes with thoughts about future directions for the watch industry.
Table of Contents
Nobody Goes Truffle Hunting on the Highway
The Innovator Stops You from Going around in Circles
What Is at Stake for Companies with Contemporary Innovation?
From the Notion of Innovation to Actually Making It Happen
The Entrepreneur and the Scholar
Innovation Was, Is, and Will Be
The Hidden Side of the Concept of the Swatch
The Great Watch Crisis of the Late 1970s, or When Managers Are No Longer Entrepreneurs
Innovation versus the Crisis: The Empire Strikes Back with the Swatch
The Swatch Project Did Not Simply Appear Out of the Blue
The Innovative Design of the Swatch
C-K: A Truly Practical Theory of Breakthrough Innovation
Reconciling Concept with Knowledge
A First Approach of the Notion of Design
The Theoretical Roots of the Design: Design versus Decision
The Basic Notions of C-K Theory
The Reasoning Behind the C-K Theory
C-K in Action: Some Examples of C-K Cases
Conclusion: The Origins of the Concept
The Molecular Metaphor of Innovation: Gas, Liquid, Crystal
The Innovator Blues
The Origins and the Status of the Molecular Metaphor
The Molecular Metaphor of the Mental States of Innovation
The Mental State of Gas
The Mental State of Liquid
The Mental State of Crystal
From a Dialogue of the Deaf to a Dialogue of the Mental States
The Metaphor of the Matriarch
How to Organize Breakthrough Innovation: Creaholic, an Innovation Smith
Unique Organizational Principles
The Internal Organization of Creaholic
The Matriarch as a Metaphor of the Management of Ambidexterity
Multidisciplinary and Multifertilization
Epilogue: Watches to be Watched: Connected Watches, or the Innovation War Raging on Your Wrist
From a Coordinated World to a Connected World
The Economic War on Your Wrist
The Wrist: An Innovative Spot
Watchmaking Seized by a Revolution
Conclusion: Innovation at Work
Gilles Garel is a professor at the National Academy of Arts and Trades (Cnam), Paris, France, and at the Polytechnic School of France At Cnam. He is the chair of Innovation Management and has been collaborating with companies on innovation and project management since the 1990s. He is also director of Cnam’s Interdisciplinary Laboratory of Scientific Action research (LISRA).
Elmar Mock is an engineer of chronometers and plastic material. At the age of 26, he, along with Jacques Müller, invented the Swatch. He subsequently conceived the Rockwatch for Tissot before leaving the watch industry. In 1986 he founded his own company, Creaholic, in Biennes, Switzerland. He is cited as an inventor in more than 150 patents. In 2010 he won the Gaïa Prize.
"When Elmar Mock invented the Swatch, and when he launched Creaholic, he was unaware that he was applying a C-K method of reasoning. When Gilles adopted and spread the C-K Theory, he was unaware that the invention of the Swatch would be one of the most perfect examples of this theory. It was thanks to their meeting one another that they were able to share their thoughts in a harmonious, inventive, and accomplished fashion that will most certainly arouse the curiosity of the reader.
Throughout all of the chapters we can only be in admiration of the talent of these two partners. The former has a penchant for vibrant metaphors, which help him share his approach, his vision, and his accomplishments with the reader. ... The latter is a fervent admirer of the rigor of well-built theoretical constructions, which he passes on to the reader with precision, passion, and a neat sense of examples."
—From the Foreword by Yves Pigneur, Professor, Lausanne University, and co-author of Business Model Generation: A Handbook for Visionaries, Game Changers, and Challenges