How Breakthroughs Happen

How Breakthroughs Happen: The Surprising Truth About How Companies Innovate
Andrew Hargadon

The most innovative companies create revolutionary breakthroughs year after year. But do they start with a blank sheet of paper and invent totally new technologies and products?

No! Instead, they simply find established ideas from other industries that can be applied in new ways and places.

For example, the idea for Henry Ford's famous automobile assembly line didn't come out of "thin air." He borrowed processes that were already being used in other industries to make sewing machines and cut meat.

In How Breakthroughs Happen, Andrew Hargadon explains that Ford was a "technology broker," and that the best companies innovate in the same way. Hargadon is Assistant Professor of Technology Management at the Graduate School of Management at the University of California, Davis.

Based on 10 years of study into the origins of historic inventions and modern innovations -- from the lightbulb to the Reebok Pump athletic shoe -- Hargadon's work shows how "technology brokers" create an enduring capacity for breakthrough innovations.

In this summary -- which is essential listening for anyone in business today -- you'll learn how you can use technology brokering to turn your own company into an innovation factory.