The Innovator's Way

The Innovator's Way

Essential Practices for Successful Innovation

By Peter J. Denning and Robert Dunham

Foreword by John Seely Brown

Two experts show that innovation is a skill that can be learned and describe eight essential practices for achieving success.





Two experts show that innovation is a skill that can be learned and describe eight essential practices for achieving success.

Innovation is the ruling buzzword in business today. Technology companies invest billions in developing new gadgets; business leaders see innovation as the key to a competitive edge; policymakers craft regulations to foster a climate of innovation. And yet businesses report a success rate of only four percent for innovation initiatives. Can we significantly increase our odds of success? In The Innovator's Way, innovation experts Peter Denning and Robert Dunham reply with an emphatic yes. Innovation, they write, is not simply an invention, a policy, or a process to be managed. It is a personal skill that can be learned, developed through practice, and extended into organizations.

Denning and Dunham identify and describe eight personal practices that all successful innovators perform: sensing, envisioning, offering, adopting, sustaining, executing, leading, and embodying. Together, these practices can boost a fledgling innovator to success. Weakness in any of these practices, they show, blocks innovation. Denning and Dunham chart the path to innovation mastery, from individual practices to teams and social networks.


Out of Print ISBN: 9780262014540 464 pp. | 6 in x 9 in 25 b&w illus.


$29.95 T ISBN: 9780262518123 464 pp. | 6 in x 9 in 25 b&w illus.

Not for sale on the Indian subcontinent.


John Seely Brown.


  • This book will directly appeal to all those involved with inventions, innovations, and research and development-including those in computer and information science areas, as well as business leaders responsible for organizational renewal through innovations.

    C.S. Arora

    Computing Reviews


  • Denning and Dunham have set a new standard for the inquiry and practice of innovation. Their approach is fresh and revolutionary. Their eight practices are practical, wise, and usher in a new and much-needed perspective on the how of innovation. Standing on solid research and experience this book transcends theory and takes you to the practices that allow innovation to flower. The Innovator's Way belongs on every leader's desk.

    Richard Strozzi-Heckler

    author of The Leadership Dojo

  • Denning and Dunham have taken innovation out of the realm of mysterious abilities into a very concrete set of practices. The Innovator's Way is a well researched book that walks its talk.

    Julio Olalla

    President and Founder, The Newfield Network

  • Denning and Dunham make clear something I have been muddling through for decades. I wish I long ago had their checklist of eight practices of The Innovator's Way—would have saved me a lot of wasted time.

    Bob Metcalfe

    Ethernet inventor, 3Com founder, National Technology and Innovation Medalist

  • Innovations (adopted inventions) become platforms for the next innovation. The World Wide Web could not have existed without the Internet and has itself now become the next platform for new innovations. This book amplifies the importance of adoption to turn invention into innovation.

    Vint Cerf

    Chief Internet Evangelist, Google

  • Truly innovative thinking about innovative thinking but it's the authenticity of the authors' experience that makes this book uniquely valuable and valuably unique.

    Michael Schrage

    Research Fellow, MIT Sloan School Center for Digital Business


  • CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title, 2011