How Breakthroughs Happen: The Surprising Truth About How Companies Innovate

In How Breakthroughs Happen, Andrew Hargadon explains why so few companies actually innovate. Innovative companies have smart people, like everyone else, but they also have broad experience beyond one industry. So they can apply techiques already employed in one industry to solve a problem in another industry. Their minds are open to the possibility that a squirt gun reduced in size and filled with saline can become a medical device for clearing a wound; an inflatable pillow becomes the bladder for an inflatable shoe. The author says "The future is here already but it's unevenly distributed." Companies with a track record of innovation have broad experience in many disciplines rather than deep experience in one discipline.

Steve Johnson

Steve Johnson

Steve Johnson was a founding instructor at Pragmatic Institute, a role he held for more than 15 years before he left to start Under10 Playbook. In his return to Pragmatic Institute, Steve supports the complete learning path for product teams, ensuring they are fully armed for success. 

Over the course of his career, Steve has helped thousands of companies and tens of thousands of product professionals implement product management processes. He has worked in the high-tech arena since 1981, rising through the ranks from product manager to chief marketing officer. Steve has experience in technical, sales and marketing management positions at companies that specialize in both hardware and software. In addition, he is an author, speaker and advisor on product strategy and product management.


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