Lean Innovation

Understanding What's Next in Today's Economy

By Barry L. Cross

© 2013 – Productivity Press

219 pages | 25 B/W Illus.

Purchasing Options:
Hardback: 9781466515253
pub: 2012-12-03
US Dollars$54.95

e–Inspection Copy

About the Book

Do these comments sound familiar?

  • We would love to be more innovative, but we don’t have the resources
  • Innovation works in some companies; we just aren’t that creative
  • We get some good ideas, but nothing ever happens with them

Unfortunately, they reflect the general perception and environment for innovation in many firms today. In Lean Innovation: Understanding What's Next in Today's Economy, Barry Cross explores how to use Lean to free up resources from within the organization to support and ‘fund’ innovation and inspire a culture of creativity. Easy to read and humorous, Cross’ stories resonate and his tactics are very applicable. He demonstrates that you likely have the people needed to drive innovation.

Based on Cross’s twenty-five years of experience, and filled with stories and anecdotes from a number of industries, the book presents a different look at innovation and how to recognize opportunities for moving past merely talking about innovation to action and making it a priority. The author examines roadblocks and how to use enablers like Lean to facilitate and focus the approach on driving the focus forward, to the place where creativity in our ranks is more important that responding to an email and where the organization isn’t afraid to make an existing product redundant in favor of a new opportunity.

Table of Contents

Preparing the Organization for Innovation

The Need for Innovation

Innovation at CVS Pharmacy: Reimagining the Prescription Fulfillment Process


What’s Lean Got to Do with It?

Three Steps to a Lean Culture Shift

Step 1: Watch and See

Step 2: Think and Learn

Step 3: Get Our Hands Dirty

A Lean Opportunity: Research in Motion and Blackberry Product Complexity

Cirque du Soleil and Lean Innovation


Driving Innovation

The Innovation Framework

Cool Ideas: Saunders Farms

Cool Ideas: Noble Crop Science and Innovation


Innovation Culture

DN101 Lighting Program and Innovation Culture: Applying the Innovation Framework

Innovation Culture

Generating Ideas

Refining Ideas

Spreading Ideas



Generating Ideas

Create an i-space


Breaking Paradigms

Cool Ideas: Tim Horton’s Tim Card

Cool Ideas: Walshy Stick Repair


Refining Ideas

Lean Evaluation

The Sounding Board

The Devil’s Advocate

Idea Failure

Motorola Iridium Satellite Phone System


Spreading the Ideas for Adoption

Launch Well

Know Your Customer

Commit the Right Organization

Effective Launch: Crocs


Embedding Innovation for Long-Term Growth

Back to Culture

BC’s Innovation Calisthenics

Shake Up Your Routine

Take a New Route Home

Turn Off Your E-mail

Electric Cars and Disruptive Innovation


Appendix 1: Fearless Predictions and Things to Create or Kill

Home Phones and Land Lines Will Disappear by 2020

The Number of Wristwatch Manufacturers Will Drop by 50%

Meter Maids/Traffic Ticket Police/Parking Attendants Will Not Be Necessary

Desktop Computers Will Disappear by 2017

Plastic Bottle Use Will Decline 75% and Take Paper Cups with It by 2018

"Occupy" Movement Becomes a Tax Revolt by 2016

A Rehumanization of Communication by 2015

Ten Things to Create or Kill

Create: No-Brainer Food Labels We Can All Read

Kill: Cyberbullying

Create: "Express" Departments in Grocery Stores

Kill: The Facebook "Like-Me" Marketing

Create: A Better Password System

Create: Smarter, Synchronized Traffic Lights

Kill: The "Reply All" Button

Create: Better Kitchen Timers

Create: Doggie DNA Testing

Create: Active Messaging on Clothing


Appendix 2: More Thoughts on Lean

Personal Lean Tactics


Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Management Science
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Quality Control
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Industries / Manufacturing Industries