„The Imagination Machine – How to Spark New Ideas and Create Your Company‘s Future“ (by Martin Reeves and Jack Fuller) – a HBR Book Essentials

„The Imagination Machine – How to Spark New Ideas and Create Your Company‘s Future“

As a long-standing science fiction fan, I can only testify – best ideas come from people‘s minds. „The Imagination Machine – How to Spark New Ideas and Create Your Company‘s Future“ take the ideas further – from the realm of the possibilities to the reality field. Boston Consulting‘s Group Martin Reeves and Jack Fuller are embarking on building a prototype – for finding and bringing great ideas to help.

Humans have many things that other species miss – but there is nothing like imagination. It is the only capacity known to transition from one realm to ours – and back. *The Imagination Machine“ apply a wealth of consulting techniques and cases to build the above mentioned prototype. From the ancient caves to the realm of science fiction, humans are able to use various combinations of artifacts and abilities to create new products. Or new ways of seeing the same things – in a new light. Imagination has given us the greatest inventions, those who make our lives richer than those of a Roman Emperor. Yet, many companies fail to invent anything substantial for decades, even fail to innovate. Others do and manage to change the world in the process.

As any well-organized book, „The Imagination Machine“ starts with defining the tool itself. More exactly, by defining its critical 6 steps – from concept to reality:

1. The Seduction

2. The Idea

3. The Collision

4. The Epidemic

5. The New Ordinary

6. The Encore

Kind of self explanatory, right? You get a whiff of something that might change the world – and you fall in love with it. Then it gets some flesh over the bones – and becomes an idea. The reality, in the form of a problem waiting for a solution, collides with your idea. It is so good, that it starts spreading like fire on oil (by the way, one of the greatest ideas ever, despite its hated status today). The idea becomes so widespread, that it generates an epidemic – with its many mutations and variants. It then settles in people‘s minds and on the supermarkets shelves, becoming so omnipresent that you think it was always there.

Then, one day, somebody takes the brick in her hands and thinks – hey, why don‘t we make this paper weight a communication device? And the imagination gives the product a new life, on its own. A new marketing identity, a new set of uses, new audiences and new places to live. All made possible by the efforts and minds of inspired or following people. Of those who see all these possibilities.

Another thing – I really liked the way Martin Reeves and Jack Fuller structured the book. „The Imagination Machine“ is an homage to the great writers who have inspired most of us and taken us on journeys. The book is structured like a graphical novel – starting with a „Dramatis Personae“ list and continuing with the countless illustrations. „The Imagination Machine“ does a wonderful job in creating some surprising concepts.

The most interesting one? Without spoiling any surprise, I must say it starts with „A“. But I leave this for you, the reader, to discover.

Title: „The Imagination Machine – How to Spark New Ideas and Create Your Company‘s Future“

Authors: Martin Reeves, Jack Fuller

Publishing House: Harvard Business Review Press

Publication Date: June 8, 2021

„The Imagination Machine – How to Spark New Ideas and Create Your Company‘s Future“

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