Beyond the Obvious: Killer Questions That Spark Game-Changing Innovation

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Hyperion, Feb 7, 2012 - Business & Economics - 288 pages
7 Reviews

The Killer Questions Your Company Should Be Asking

Generating and executing great ideas is the key to staying ahead in a rapidly changing world. It seems so basic. Why is it so hard to actually get right? According to innovation expert Phil McKinney, the real problem is that we’re teaching people to ask the wrong questions about their businesses--or none at all. There has to be a better way.

In Beyond the Obvious, McKinney will help you use his proven FIRE (Focus, Ideation, Rank, Execution) Method to dig deeper and get back to asking the right questions--the ones all companies must ask to survive. Full of real-world examples, this book will change the way you operate, innovate, and create, and it all begins with battle-tested questions Phil has gathered on note cards throughout his career. Shared for the first time here, these "Killer Questions" include:

  • What are the rules and assumptions my industry operates under? What if the opposite were true?
  • What will be the buying criteria used by my customer in 5 years?
  • What are my unshakable beliefs about what my customers want?
  • Who uses my product in ways I never anticipated?

These questions will reframe the way you see your products, your customers, and the way the two interact. Whether you're a company of thousands or a lean startup, Beyond the Obvious will give you the skills and easy-to-follow plan you need to make both the revolutionary changes and nuanced tweaks required for success.

Praise for Beyond the Obvious

"Human beings are creatures of habit, so getting ourselves and our teams to think beyond the obvious is a challenge we face all the time. Phil McKinney is an innovation expert, and his killer questions and hit-the-spot anecdotes provide a great way to get out in front of opportunities we otherwise won't see."
--Geoffrey Moore, author of Crossing the Chasm and Escape Velocity

"I've always believed that asking the right questions is the essence of design. Phil McKinney proves that point with this wonderful set of killer questions that will jumpstart—or greatly enhance— your innovation efforts."
--B. Joseph Pine II, co-author, The Experience Economy & Infinite Possibility.

"Product Innovation is a prerequisite to building great brands. Phil's questions are a prerequisite to building innovative products."
--Satjiv S. Chahil, former global marketing chief, Apple

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Review: Beyond the Obvious: Killer Questions That Spark Game-Changing Innovation

User Review  - Barry - Goodreads

I liked this book and probably would have given it more than 3 stars were it not for the fact that I have listened to so many podcasts from Phil Mckinney that hearing his words of wisdom from someone ... Read full review

Review: Beyond the Obvious: Killer Questions That Spark Game-Changing Innovation

User Review  - Kelley Pearson - Goodreads

Great book on innovation. Author is former chief innovation officer at Hewlett Packard, now CEO of CableLabs. Excellent questions and guidelines. Read full review

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About the author (2012)

Phil McKinney is the vice president and chief technology officer for Hewlett-Packard's (HP) Personal Systems Group, where he is responsible for long-range strategic planning and research and development for all of the company's PC product lines, including displays, mobile devices, notebooks, desktops, and workstations. Over the course of his career, he has been profiled or had his work on innovation written about in media outlets ranging from tech press to Vanity Fair, the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal. McKinney also writes a column for Forbes called "The Objective," hosts a popular "Killer Innovations" podcast that CIO Insight has called "a must listen," and tweets from his @philmckinney handle. He currently resides in the San Francisco Bay Area. This is his first book.

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