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About Thomas Wedell-Wedellsborg
Thomas Wedell-Wedellsborg is a Harvard Business Press author and a globally recognized expert on innovation and problem solving.
His first book, "Innovation as Usual", coauthored with Paddy Miller, was translated into five languages and got Thomas recognized as a "Top 20 International Thinker" by HR Magazine. Thomas' research has been featured in Harvard Business Review, The Sunday Times, The Telegraph, BBC Radio, Bloomberg Businessweek and the Financial Times.
His second book, "What's Your Problem?", was endorsed by Google's Eric Schmidt with the words "If you want the superpower of solving better problems, read this book". Thomas has shared and refined his reframing method with clients like Cisco, Microsoft, Citigroup, Time Warner, AbbVie, Caterpillar, Amgen, Prudential, Union Pacific, Credit Suisse, Deloitte, the Wall Street Journal, and the United Nations.
Thomas holds an MA in Media Science from the University of Copenhagen and an MBA from IESE Business School. Prior to his business career, Thomas served for four years as an officer with the Danish Royal Guards.
To learn more about Thomas, visit thomaswedell.com.
To learn more about reframing, visit howtoreframe.com.
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"The author makes a compelling case that we often start solving a problem before thinking deeply about whether we are solving the right problem. If you want the superpower of solving better problems, read this book." -- Eric Schmidt, former CEO, Google
Are you solving the right problems? Have you or your colleagues ever worked hard on something, only to find out you were focusing on the wrong problem entirely? Most people have. In a survey, 85 percent of companies said they often struggle to solve the right problems. The consequences are severe: Leaders fight the wrong strategic battles. Teams spend their energy on low-impact work. Startups build products that nobody wants. Organizations implement "solutions" that somehow make things worse, not better. Everywhere you look, the waste is staggering. As Peter Drucker pointed out, there's nothing more dangerous than the right answer to the wrong question.
There is a way to do better.
The key is reframing, a crucial, underutilized skill that you can master with the help of this book. Using real-world stories and unforgettable examples like "the slow elevator problem," author Thomas Wedell-Wedellsborg offers a simple, three-step method - Frame, Reframe, Move Forward - that anyone can use to start solving the right problems. Reframing is not difficult to learn. It can be used on everyday challenges and on the biggest, trickiest problems you face. In this visually engaging, deeply researched book, you’ll learn from leaders at large companies, from entrepreneurs, consultants, nonprofit leaders, and many other breakthrough thinkers.
It's time for everyone to stop barking up the wrong trees. Teach yourself and your team to reframe, and growth and success will follow.
Most organizations approach innovation as if it were a sideline activity. Every so often employees are sent to “Brainstorm Island”: an off-site replete with trendy lectures, creative workshops, and overenthusiastic facilitators. But once they return, it’s back to business as usual.
Innovation experts Paddy Miller and Thomas Wedell-Wedellsborg suggest a better approach. They recommend that leaders at all levels become “innovation architects,” creating an ecosystem in which people engage in key innovation behaviors as part of their daily work.
In short, this book is about getting to a state of “innovation as usual,” where regular employees—in jobs like finance, marketing, sales, or operations—make innovation happen in a way that’s both systemic and sustainable.
Instead of organizing brainstorming sessions, idea jams, and off-sites that rarely result in success, leaders should guide their people in what the authors call the “5 + 1 keystone behaviors” of innovation: focus, connect, tweak, select, stealthstorm, (and the + 1) persist:
• Focus beats freedom: Direct people to look only for ideas that matter to the business
• Insight comes from the outside: Urge people to connect to new worlds
• First ideas are flawed: Challenge people to tweak and reframe their initial ideas
• Most ideas are bad ideas: Guide people to select the best ideas and discard the rest
• Stealthstorming rules: Help people navigate the politics of innovation
• Creativity is a choice: Motivate everyone to persist in the five keystone behaviors
Using examples from a wide range of companies such as Pfizer, Index Ventures, Lonza, Go Travel, Prehype, DSM, and others, Innovation as Usual lights the way toward embedding creativity in the DNA of the workplace.
So cancel that off-site. Instead, read Innovation as Usual—and put innovation at the core of your business.