Book Review: The Slow Pace of Fast Change – Bhaskar Chakravorti

Categories: Book Reviews

Good Innovation books typically break down into two categories: consolidators and original thinkers. The consolidators create overall frameworks for innovation and make the overall topic more digestable to the general reader. The original thinkers share new knowledge and insights, focusing on much narrower topics, such as Open Innovation (Henry Chesbrough), Disruptive Innovation (Clayton Christensen), or Experimentation (Stefan Thomke).

Chakravorti’s book, The Slow Pace of Fast Change, is definitely for the original thinkers. His specialization is the network effect of introducing innovations, how to bring complex products into complex changing market places. For example, introducing the hydrogen fuel cell will require many economic agents and individual behaviors to change. A deep understanding of the dynamics of Network Innovation is essential to bringing certain types of innovation to life. Chakravorti draws heavily on the Nobel-prize winning game theory of John Nash to explain how self-interest guides players in the introduction of such innovations.

Unusually for an original thinker, he also provides a reasonable roadmap to allow corporate innovators to find their own path to success. This is not an easy task, but it is better to know the challenges ahead of time and take action. This is an excellent book and deserves serious attention from anyone working on breakthrough innovation initiatives or large-scale business development projects.

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