Naval War College Review


Hank Kniskern


Innovation is one of the four pillars of the U.S. Defense Department’s Trans- formation Plan. Innovation has nudged its way into the mission statements and strategies of most business and govern- ment organizations, because it is essen- tial for competitive positioning and sustained performance. Yet in spite of executive proclamations and substantial investment, a majority of organizations report disappointing innovation results. Making Innovation Work does a thor- ough job of converting the concept of innovation into a practical manage- ment framework. Although the book is research-based and two of its authors are academics, it provides practical tools and techniques for managing the end-to-end innovation process. It also debunks several innovation myths, such as creativity and management discipline being incompatible. Examples and vo- cabulary are clearly geared to a business audience. There are several excellent books on military innovation, but most are analytical and retrospective. This is a “hands on” book about the manage- ment of innovation, and leaders of na- tional security organizations will appreciate the relevance of the book’s framework.