Innovation at Work

55 Activities to Spark Your Team's Creativity

 Innovation at Work

Author: Richard Brynteson
Pub Date: September 2012
Print Edition: $34.95
Print ISBN: 9780814432341
Page Count: 288
Format: Paper or Softback
e-Book ISBN: 9780814432365

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As the economy dramatically shifts and settles, fundamental questions are being raised about the readiness of the workers to handle the jobs of the future. Is your company ready to handle international competition?

Is it agile enough to deal with rapid change?

What skills will the new economy require?

--Traditional education with a focus on a proficiency in reading, writing, and arithmetic has worked in the past, but the new workplace requires more from its employees.

--Employees need to think critically, solve problems, innovate, collaborate, and communicate more effectively—and at every level within the organization. According to an AMA Critical Skills Survey, many executives admit there is room for improvement among their employees in these skills and competencies.

In an effort to assess how “top of mind” these skills and competencies are, the American Man-agement Association (AMA)—in conjunction with P21, a national organization that advocates for 21st-century readiness for every student—surveyed 2,115 managers and other executives in AMA member and customer companies about the importance of the four Cs to their organization today and in the future.

This survey defined the most critical skills for organizational success as follows:

--Critical thinking and problem solving—the ability to make decisions, solve problems, and take action as appropriate;

--Effective communication—the ability to synthesize and transmit your ideas both in written and oral formats;

--Collaboration and team building—the ability to work effectively with others, including those from diverse groups and with opposing points of view;

--Creativity and innovation—the ability to see what’s NOT there and make something happen.

For more information on the findings and a copy of the survey, visit


The purpose of this book is to create centers of innovation. We are past the point where we can rely on brilliant or creative individuals. Innovation has to be organization-wide. Organizations have to build capacity for innovation so that they can produce innovation after innovation. This book presents ways to build that capacity. This book provides exercises and activities to build the innovation muscle of individ¬uals, groups, and organizations.

It is my strong belief that innovation can be a learned trait by individuals, groups, and organi-zations. These exercises provide a roadmap, a method, an impetus to develop that trait.


These exercises do not need to be used in any particular order. The time parameters do not need to be followed. They do not have to be followed verbatim. They can be plucked and har-vested in any number of ways.

Some situations where these exercises may be used include:

--For standalone play during “lunch and learn” sessions at your organization.

--In organization-wide innovation training sessions.

--Strategically placed during process redesign sessions in order to shake up the thinking of participants.

--Peppered into fun events, such as scavenger hunts and company picnics.

--In problem solving, when tackling organizational problems head-on.

--As team-building activities for teams and groups.

--As activities for friendly competition between work groups.

In all cases, these exercises will help build the organizational innovation muscle.


Excerpted from Innovation at Work by Richard Brynteson, Ph.D. Copyright © 2013. Published by AMACOM Books, a division of American Management Association, New York, NY. Used with permission. All rights reserved.

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