The Innovation Workout by Lucy Gower

The Innovation Workout by Lucy Gower aims to help readers build their skills in thinking up new ideas, writes Daniel Farey-Jones

Lucy Gower, a familiar name to some in the charity world, has now turned her hand to a general business book on the subject of innovation.

innovation workout book cover

What distinguishes The Innovation Workout from most volumes on the subject is that it is written like a training manual, with a promise to help the reader build their skills in thinking up new ideas.

It forms part of the Business Gym series published by Pearson, and is tightly edited and neatly structured in three parts, each comprising 10 bite-sized sections.

This makes it an easy read, but it is also one of those books in which you are supposed to pause at the end of each chapter and think about how it relates to your own situation.

It even opens with a self-assessment questionnaire to help you understand your "current innovation confidence and skills", and closes with the invitation to complete the same questionnaire again.

The first and longest part presents a series of practical ideas to help people with business challenges find new ways of coming up with potential solutions.

The second looks at 10 different contexts in which the reader might be trying to innovate - for example, in a big organisation, on their own, or with no budget.

The third answers a series of questions expressing challenges, such as "How do I make time to innovate?" and "How do I recruit good innovators?"

The author is credited as having established the first innovation programme at the NSPCC and has worked with Amnesty International, Oxfam and the Children's Society.

The book offers a number of brief case studies, featuring both for-profit businesses and non-profits, such as SolarAid, Liftshare and Ramblers Scotland.

It is also sprinkled with pointers to further resources and information online - and with the odd, lateral-thinking brain teaser.

The Innovation Workout, by Lucy Gower, Pearson, £12.99

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