Do Bigger Things · A Practical Guide to Powerful Innovation in a Changing World Book Review

Do Bigger Things

In the realm of innovation literature, “Do Bigger Things: A Practical Guide to Powerful Innovation in a Changing World,” by Dan McClure and Jennifer Wilde, distinguishes itself with a fresh, pragmatic approach towards achieving substantial and meaningful innovation. This book is more than just an inspirational call to action; it provides a structured, clear path forward for individuals and organizations aiming to impact the world significantly through innovative practices.

McClure and Wilde, both seasoned innovators with extensive backgrounds in transforming organizations, construct their narrative around the concept that today’s complex problems require more than incremental adjustments. They advocate for ‘doing bigger things’—a philosophy that combines ambitious thinking with actionable strategies to achieve breakthrough innovations that can address the multifaceted challenges of a rapidly evolving world.

The book is strategically divided into three main sections, each focusing on different aspects of achieving large-scale innovation. The first section lays the groundwork by challenging conventional wisdom about creativity and innovation. The authors debunk the myth that innovation is only about technology or products. Instead, they present it as a broader concept that involves rethinking entire systems and processes to create more profound, systemic change. This section sets the tone for the rest of the book, urging readers to expand their thinking.

The second section of the book is perhaps the most compelling, as it introduces the ‘Innovation Pyramid’—a tool designed by the authors that prioritizes problems worth solving and aligns them with impactful solutions. This framework helps readers identify and focus on opportunities that not only promise high returns but also create significant value for society. The authors provide numerous exercises and examples that guide readers through the process of applying the Innovation Pyramid to their specific contexts, making the theoretical concepts tangible and actionable.

In the final section, McClure and Wilde focus on the practical implementation of innovation strategies. They delve into methodologies for building robust innovation ecosystems that support sustained innovation efforts. Key themes include fostering a culture of innovation, leveraging collaboration across diverse groups, and maintaining momentum through continuous learning and adaptation. This part of the book is rich with case studies and real-world success stories that illustrate how various organizations have implemented the authors’ strategies to achieve remarkable results.

Throughout the book, the writing is clear and engaging, with a tone that is both authoritative and accessible. McClure and Wilde have a knack for explaining complex ideas in a way that is easy to understand and relatable. Their practical advice is supplemented with diagrams, checklists, and templates that readers can use to apply the concepts to their own work.

One of the book’s strengths is its emphasis on innovation as a disciplined, systematic process rather than a series of random, disconnected efforts. The authors effectively communicate that while creativity is a component of innovation, it also requires rigorous strategy, thoughtful planning, and relentless execution.

Overall, “Do Bigger Things” offers a powerful and practical blueprint for those looking to drive significant innovation in their fields. Whether you are a leader in a large organization, an entrepreneur, or an innovator in a nonprofit, this book provides the tools and inspiration needed to make a substantial impact. McClure and Wilde have crafted a guide that not only inspires but also equips readers to fundamentally change how they approach innovation in a complex world.