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The Ten Faces of Innovation: Strategies for Heightened Creativity

3.95  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,320 Ratings  ·  98 Reviews
The author of the bestselling The Art of Innovation reveals the strategies IDEO, the world-famous design firm, uses to foster innovative thinking throughout an organization and overcome the naysayers who stifle creativity.

The role of the devil's advocate is nearly universal in business today. It allows individuals to step outside themselves and raise questions and concer
Paperback, 304 pages
Published August 3rd 2006 by Profile Books Ltd (first published October 18th 2005)
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The Artist's Way by Julia CameronFlow by Mihaly CsikszentmihalyiCreativity by Mihaly CsikszentmihalyiA Whack on the Side of the Head by Roger Von OechIncreasing Intuitional Intelligence by Martha Char Love
Books on Creativity
12th out of 73 books — 76 voters
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brienbooks list
5th out of 21 books — 3 voters

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Apr 27, 2013 Ensiform rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, work
The author, general manager of the design firm IDEO, explains ten roles employees can fill to help companies create and innovate. The roles are Anthropologist (sees everyday life as a source for new ideas); Experimenter (celebrates the prototype process); Cross-Pollinator (uses a wide breadth of learning to improve their main field); Hurdler (turn constraints into opportunity); Collaborator (leads cross-functioning teams where players exchange roles); Director (puts together teams with good chem ...more
Nov 08, 2009 Brooks rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good book on innovation and I want to read the early work, "The Art of Innovation". So 10 roles in innovation, but I focused on the first as they are more applicable to most projects.

1) Athropologists - Observers of the world. Rought edges, work arounds self-modify. Interns are good Athropologists as they have a different perspective. Always keep up with diverse magazines.

2) Experimenter - Allow for failure, many times.
3) Cross-Polinator - Value Diversity, People with "T" shaped backgrounds - d
Feb 04, 2013 Heather rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is another book that I've meant to read for a while and it's an interesting one by Tom Kelley of IDEO, the famous innovative design company. It has some good ideas for creating an innovative and collaborative environment. Instead of having a devil's advocate in a brainstorming session, IDEO's way of innovating, creating and solving problems encourages different people to take on different roles that are more productive.

The ten roles they suggest are broken up into three types:

Learning Pers
Nov 02, 2012 Mary rated it it was amazing
I read this book as a professional development assignment for work. I was part of an online book study with other professionals from my organization.(K-12 public education) I found the book fascinating and the personas that Kelley described very interesting. I was attracted to the book study based on Kelley's description of the Devil's Advocate. Throughout my career I have really disliked the Devil's Advocate as it relates to work and life in general! Kelley speaks about how the Devil's Advocate ...more
Dec 16, 2015 Andy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is superior to the average management/leadership book because IDEO actually has a system that has proven itself over and over again in many situations in many industries. The book's organization around the "ten faces" is a bit annoying because it's clearly not a question of ten different personality types or something like that. It's more like a bunch of techniques or principles. I've used some of their stuff, e.g. brainstorming, and found it very helpful.
Leah Wescott
This was a slow read for me, but that doesn't make it a bad thing. I savored every delicious bite. Tom Kelley is nice. That fact that he gets innovation right down to his core is only part of his value. He is also humane and humble.

The Ten Faces... breaks down the types of approaches to the world that yield creative, productive problem solving. IDEO models a process of innovation that is actually process of empathy. Why the business world has adopted this approach while higher education lags be
Bernard Farrell
Aug 26, 2011 Bernard Farrell rated it really liked it
Shelves: own-this
Kelley describes the folks who make up an ideal team for innovating within a company. Ideo is fortunate that they can probably create teams with ten folks, each filling one of these roles, but most companies cannot do this. Kelley does a good job of describing the roles of each person, and where they fit in the innovation process. He also explains how to put together a team with fewer folks, each filling more than one role at the right time.

One day I'd like to be a member in a team like this.
Nov 02, 2012 funkgoddess rated it liked it
seeing what passes for the latest business solution being shoe-horned into the wrong context(yes, six sigma, i'm looking at you)has thrown me to a discipline i previously mocked. sorry about that innovation design.

breezy, well paced and packed with ideas. it's getting a bit dated, but still essential business reading.
Dec 18, 2010 Mike marked it as to-read
I've never seen Erica quite so excited about a book. You'd think she was reading The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, the way she talks about it keeping her up all night. It sounds like "A Pattern Language", but concentrated on the process, not the results.
Dec 20, 2010 Ghuneim is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
Very inspiring book, it shows how great firms like Ideo are established and very creative roles help to keep this kind of firms going.
it's recommended for any type of people, as Tom Kelley gives tips to creative thinking in all aspects of life.
Apr 24, 2014 Erik rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a pretty good book about ten different roles people play in doing creative work. The ten roles made sense to me and I have lately found myself thinking things like 'oh yeah this guy is a total hurdler...'

Beyond this however I have a hard time figuring out how to use this book to make myself or my team better at creative work. It felt this was mainly because the author stayed on the surface of describing 'what' the roles were and 'how' they did their job, rather then talking about things
Richard Mulholland
Jun 27, 2010 Richard Mulholland rated it really liked it
Shelves: business
Very very good book - great quotes.
D/E 27/167: 10%
No idea what the above means - but it's what I wrote.
Nicholas Moryl
Follows the same format as most business books: states the takeaways in the first chapter, spends the rest of the book giving examples to explain the takeaways one-by-one. Some useful/solid advice here, and a potentially useful framework to employ, but won't change your life.

(I may also not be the target market; much of the advice is good, but it's also stuff I've heard before. So while it may have been useful when it was first published or to those who are just embarking on increasing their cr
Sergei Nemirovsky
This book had some good, creative ideas, but some of them were too "creative". For example in one of the chapters, Kelly describes how these two guys started developing their product while being consultants at another company because the client had good lab resources. When their contract ended and ID's got revoked, they figured out how to sneak in and continue working. It all ended up good for them, but is this REALLY an example of good creativity?! It's like advising somebody to hack into a cou ...more
Mar 17, 2016 Mavromou rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
En lugar de centrarse en los procesos, en los mercados, y en la gestión, este libro brinda un enfoque interesante de la innovación centrado en las personas. Tal como su metodología de diseño centrado en los humanos, las diez caras de la innovación personifican diez habilidades o competencias que deben poseer las personas que desean que su organización innove. Brinda también algunas pistas sobre la creatividad desde la perceptiva personal, describiendo distintas características que se asocian a l ...more
Jun 30, 2015 Audrey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Tom Kelley has done a great job of describing different facets of innovation and describing them in a way that helps the reader to identify areas that they have particular ability in and those they might want to develop.

Like the Belbin Team Roles, the 10 Faces of Innovation provides a variety of slots that a team can fill; with individuals having scope to develop new areas of strength or contribute expertise.

Chock full of real world examples of each facet, Kelley provides a good grounding in w
Paul Sidwell
May 09, 2011 Paul Sidwell rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2011
For a self-diagnosed paralytically creative person such as myself, this book really helped explain the (author's) ten different types of innovative people. What they do best, how they impact the world using their gifts, and how to best utilize each of these ten types of innovators is the most important part of this book.

Most of us have several of these "faces" within us, sort of like the different hats we get to wear throughout our daily lives.

The biggest takeaway for me was in identifying whic
Not every management/innovation/non-fiction book is an easy read. You have to be motivated to read such books or really, really interested in the domain related to the topic of book you are reading...

I must say this is an excellent read, a remarkable insight into the different type of people required to come up with innovative products. The ten faces - simple ten types of people who enable innovation.
Argosy Foundation
The Kelley brothers founded one of the most successful "Innovation for Hire" factories called IDEO. This book explains the principles behind their strategies for solving problems, developing products and innovating new services, all while having a lot of fun. Whether you have a problem to solve, are a closet inventor, or a full time professional, this immensely common sense book is a great read. -
Mohammed alkindy
Feb 10, 2014 Mohammed alkindy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
what a time to read such a book, where we need it the most to innovate and stop being consumer only. the 10 persona of the innovation are with in and we just need to discover them within our selves. if i have the choice to be what i want to be, it would be the experimenter and cross pollinator, beside an an anthropologist. good book to read for those who need a refresher dosage of motivation to innovate.
Dec 08, 2010 MI2 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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Atique Siddiqi
Jul 03, 2015 Atique Siddiqi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Excellent book especially for product development organizations. Equally applicable to other work places as well. A must read for everyone looking to improve and freshen up the work place. Possibly, similar to ten hats by Edward de Bono.
Mar 27, 2008 Michelle rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: designers, entrepreneuers
Tom Kelley's is that there are ten roles or hats that anyone might put on when approaching organizations and problems. These don't necessarily map to the structure of the team.

He defines the roles of the Anthropologist, Experimenter, Cross-Pollinator, Hurdler, Collaborator, Director, Experience Architect, Set Designer, Storyteller, and Caregiver, and gives very inspiring anecdotes to show how each of these roles are particularly valuable in certain situations.

I think I enjoyed it less than other
Jan 15, 2013 John rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent book on the critical roles of innovation by Tom Kelley, the head of IDEO and brother of IDEO co-founder David Kelley.

Kelley identifies the key roles in the innovation process that each face plays with the hope that the reader can understand how to identify gaps and staff/develop to meet the need for these roles in their organization.


Anthropologist - The observer of user behaviors who identifies user needs and innovation opportunities.

Experience Architect - The person with a pa
Fernando Veloso
May 25, 2013 Fernando Veloso rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: design
Role playing is important in dealing with problems and situations with diverse aspects. This is a toolbox for relationship management in group projects, giving you ten ways to address different situations, assuming roles such as "the anthropologist " or "the director". I found many handicaps in my ability to assume certain roles, and this book teaches or remembers readers that there can be other ways to interact with the stakeholders in a project.

According to the autor, main engine of innovatio
Bianca Shiu
Jan 02, 2014 Bianca Shiu rated it really liked it
The Ten Faces of Innovation is full of anecdotes from innovators in all fields - from pole vaulting to Scotch tape to ice cream to phones. Reading the profiles of each "face of innovation" caused me to think more about my role in the organizations I'm involved with and how I can push myself to bring new and creative elements to my work. I identified most with the Collaborator, the Director, and the Caregiver, and I hope to become more of a Storyteller. Overall, The Ten Faces of Innovation is a q ...more
Jeffrey Plummer
Overall, good. Nice job of describing and compartmentalizing into 10 "faces" the types of personalities you might find or want in an innovation effort. I'd suggest the model isn't relevant to just innovation. Further, I found it more useful in understanding some of the folks on an innovation effort (or general project) more than necessarily picking folks to be on that effort. As a consultant, I don't usually have the position or power to pick my participants - but do have the power to help them ...more
Nate Desmond
Feb 20, 2014 Nate Desmond rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wonderfully clear and straightforward.
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