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Innovation management is the courage to take the road less travelled

The new Sitra publication provides tools for those who want to take their organisation to the vanguard of innovation activity.


What new can be said about innovation and innovativeness, the hot buzzwords of the day? A lot, as long we focus on the people behind the piles of paper and the product innovations, according to Tuula Antola and Jukka Pohjola, the authors of Innovatiivisuuden johtaminen (Innovation management), a book in the Sitra series recently launched in Helsinki.

“Innovation no longer means just technological breakthrough, and innovativeness is not the exclusive right of the chosen few. It is a question of mobilising the innovation potential that is in all of us and making it produce added value for enterprises and society,” says Tuula Antola.

The book takes the reader to a level beyond the empty buzzwords by presenting real cases and the people behind them, but with a solid theoretical underpinning. The book challenges readers to recognise conditions in their operating environment that are favourable to innovation and to question the conventional wisdom and power structures that stand in the way of regeneration. The book provides food for thought, particularly for the management and supervisor-level employees in enterprises and other communities, who have the power to either impede or liberate innovative forces in their organisations.

“For the regenerative force within an organisation to gain momentum, the management must adopt a more visionary and humane approach to their organisation while still applying a firm management style,” says Jukka Pohjola.

The book provides a wealth of tools for those who want to take their organisation to the vanguard of innovation activity. The book features a varied group of people with insight into management and leadership, such as the dancer and choreographer Tero Saarinen from Tero Saarinen Company; Sampo Karjalainen, Chief Creative Officer of Sulake Corporation; Riku Kärri, the inventor of thorough colouring method for birch; Erkki Kuisma, Technology Fellow from Nokia; and designer Paola Suhonen.

The book describes innovation management as a never-ending journey rather than as a project with a beginning and an end. The year-long writing process showed the writers that in reality innovativeness flourishes through encounters that take place at different interfaces. Innovativeness requires that people dare to leave their comfort zone.

“The experience of writing this book taught me that innovation management is not rocket science. It is a combination of a systematic approach and a readiness to embrace things and happy coincidences, and most of all it is the courage to choose an untrodden path,” says Antola.

Further information

Tuula Antola
Managing Director, InnoSpa Consulting Oy
Tel. +358 50 577 1929

Jukka Pohjola
CEO, Corporate Image Oy
Tel. +358 50 63115

Publication details

Innovatiivisuuden johtaminen (Innovation management).
Tuula Antola and Jukka Pohjola. Sitra 280. Edita, Helsinki, 2006. ISBN 951-37-4789-1, ISSN 0785-8388 (Sitra).

Available from Edita customer service and bookshops. Price € 39.