Book review: The Science of Serendipity

Emma De Vita reviews the new book by consultant Matt Kingdon

The Science of Serendipity
The Science of Serendipity

Although this book has 'science' in its title, it is not in any way scientific. Written by the consultant Matt Kingdon, it is about how to put that creative spark back into a large organisation so that the entrepreneurial va-va-voom it might have lost can be recaptured. Who knows? The brightly coloured design might even be enough to produce an innovative spark on a dreary Monday morning.

The book seeks to inspire the hard-working people whom Kingdon calls the real heroes of innovation - those who actually make good things happen in a large organisation. Innovative products and services are not created by executives around a boardroom table - they happen because the right people bump into each other, spark off interesting ideas and spot lucrative opportunities.

So how do you create a work culture that encourages the right attitude among staff? The good news is that innovation is a business process that can be broken down, analysed and taught. Leaders should decide what they want to innovate, provide colleagues with the stimulus that gets the creative juices flowing and put in place structures to support the innovation that does happen. Et voila - your va-va-voom is back.

Emma De Vita is books editor of Management Today 

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