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How Stella Saved the Farm: A Tale about Making Innovation Happen
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How Stella Saved the Farm: A Tale about Making Innovation Happen

3.63  ·  Rating details ·  794 ratings  ·  76 reviews
How Stella Saved the Farm is a simple parable about making innovation happen. Written by the authors of the New York Times bestselling Reverse Innovation: Create Far From Home, Win Everywhere, the story resonates in organizations of all types—public sector, private sector, and social sector, from mammoth corporations to small organizations employing just a few dozen people ...more
Hardcover, 160 pages
Published March 12th 2013 by St. Martin's Press (first published September 1st 2011)
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3.63  · 
Rating details
 ·  794 ratings  ·  76 reviews

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Aks Madrid
Mar 17, 2013 rated it liked it
A short, simple read that you can finish in a day if one is not too busy. It is helpful for young business people like me who has no educational background in running a business but have been asked by their folks to carry on the business which they have began. It doesn't really tell you the details and bulk of intensive business management/ development but it has provided an overview of the basic elements enough to understand where to begin with in making your kind of business thrive. The book i ...more
Paul Ellis
Jun 07, 2018 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: no one
Shelves: reviewed
Vijay Govindarajan and Chris Trimble are business rockstars. They have enormous amounts of street cred, having spent over a decade researching how companies successfully innovate. They have, by and large, put quantitative metrics to a system that, by its very nature, defies quantification. Their watershed book, The Other Side of Innovation, is full of well-documented efforts, internally sound conclusions and traceable thought processes. It's a blueprint for folding explosive innovation into your ...more
Rachel P
Feb 07, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: first-reads
I won a free copy of “How Stella Saved the Farm” as a first-reads giveaway.

This short, 160 page novella is about the future of an animal run farm after the boss decides to retire. It addresses issues of innovation, leadership, and organizational change. It’s slightly less boring than a text book but not what I would consider fun or light reading.

I would agree with another reviewer that this book is best read/discussed as a group. It’s probably best suited for high school or college students. How
Robert Muwanga
Oct 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A case study retold as an amazing journey of perceverence

Dont be deceived by the title. There's a lot that can be learnt from this book on how to deal with change and innovation. A good translation of a case study into a story of pereceverence in the face of failure.
Amit Sachdev
Sep 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A very good case study on innovation.

Amazing book was recommended to me by my boss. Amazing case study on innovation. Want my entire team to go through this. A must read who wants to feel how innovation time feels till the graph shows an up tick.
Jan 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
How Stella saved the farm is a short fascinating fable inspired by the George Orwell classic, ‘Animal Farm’ and John Kotter’s ‘Our Iceberg is melting’. It illustrates an impressive way of not just thinking about innovation, but also implementing it. In its simplicity, lies its sheer brilliance like the rarest of things and thus it cannot be equated with multitudes of books describing innovation frameworks, treatise and the like which are available. In today’s world, most organizations, big and s ...more
Salman Faizi
Aug 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
Impressive light read - about the challenges faced by a company when they try to alter their business model forced by the shift of the ways of the world. This highlights another important challenge of using youngsters in mix of their enthusiasm/ fresh ideas and yet deal with their inexperience and im-maturity. The stage boasts of a farm managed by animals competing with human farms - the strategy & execution when they try to get into a new line of business: Peru based premium clothing line. ...more
Jul 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
It was a cute fable, and I think some of the reviews here are too harsh. My chief complaint is that the authors don't make it clear who they think saved the farm... and a reader looking at this without guidance might get the wrong ideas (which is what I think happened with some of the reviews here).

Anyone who has been in an organization during a downturn, change, merger, etc., will be able to identify and relate to situations and characters.

Easy read. Took 2 hours - and I consider myself a slo
Hamizah Hanim Hamzah
Aug 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
The story is relatable to what we sometimes experience in the workplace. It talks about how difficult innovation can be and goes through tools for making innovation happen. Govindarajan and Trimble did a good job in making the story light while making you think at the same time. I enjoyed reading this book!
Sriram Sundar
May 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Great book on innovation. This is 3 to 4 hour read with insightful lessons on how to make innovation happen in a company. I recommend this book for all leaders to read and understand better. The way of explaining lessons through fables is innovative. I am impressed and thanks to Vijay Govindarajan for writing this wonderful book
Roger Rohweder
Apr 27, 2018 rated it liked it
This fable provides valuable lessons in a context that will be familiar to those whose business has gone through the difficult process of adding a new product line to an established business. I have, and the pitfalls and suggested paths in this book are spot-on
Bob Burch
Mar 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
A nice allegorical tale that has lots of relevance to innovation in current corporate America.
Mar 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
An original, easy and powerful picture of what innovation is, what it brings and how to make it an helpful tool.
Wandering Wizard
Apr 28, 2019 rated it liked it
It is what it claims to be - a modern day fable with corporate morals. Simple and to the point but doesn't do anything beyond that.
Jul 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A very nice book! Lovely illustration and relevant for my career.
May 24, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
By Vijay Govindrajan and Chris Trimble. Grade: A
After I turned 12, I never thought I would ever read an illustrated novel again. After all, illustrated books are for small children, aren’t they? But here I was, all grown up, back to a book with pictures and a message…
How Stella Saved the Farm is a simple parable about making innovation happen. Grounded in over a decade of award-winning research, it’s a story that resonates with organizations of all types, from global corporations to small compan
Feb 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: strategy, business
Takes some guidance to get the lessons out, but very valuable once you do.

Highly recommended for business students hoping to enter corporate life.
Nov 01, 2013 rated it really liked it
When I was given this book I was told two things: it is not Orwell’s ‘Animal Farm’ and it is a quick read. Both turned out to be true. Of all the professional and personal development books I have read, I think this was the first to be illustrated.

This book is an allegory that uses an animal-run farm to convey some of the challenges that people face in a work setting. Though the point of the book is to show how innovation comes from idea to fruition, there is a host of workplace dynamic underto
Stella sure helped out a lot and the farm really made sure that resources were provided as much as they could afford in this little story. I picked up this book because I like to read business books and this one just seemed like it was trying hard to be different. The business world has really tried hard to catch on to what the entertainment industry has known since the beginning of time, if you want to teach someone about something, use a story.

The story of How Stella saved the Farm is apparent
Nov 14, 2013 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: managers and innovation teams
As a business consultant, I read lots of books designed to help teams improve and this was a parable that would be useful for groups to read with their managers about change and innovation. A light read, somewhat entertaining but not as much fun as the Fred Factor or Built to Sell, other parables in business.

Come on an parable adventure with Stella the sheep who lives and works at an animal run farm that is in dire straits as many of the other animal farms are being bought up by the large huma
Jane Olsen
May 05, 2015 rated it it was ok
I am a little confused by all the raves about this book. I am not a business person (I am a teacher), but my boss gave all of us this book to read to orient us towards innovation at our school. I suppose there are good lessons in here about recognizing the challenges involved in innovation, but it seemed to me as though it was mostly just one crisis after another (which seemed like they should have been anticipated, but somehow came out of nowhere), each of which was resolved through injections ...more
Kevin Bracy
Feb 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
Great way to illustrate the concepts of innovation and the challenges it presents. Depicts the struggle between the current and the new. Highlights some approaches to addressing those items and leaves some other details out altogether. Good introduction to the topic.
Jul 24, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2013
Presented in the form of an illustrated fable, this cross between Animal Farm and a management book looks at the challenges of growing a company through business innovation. Cash flow and resource limits, the philosophical clash between adherents of the core business and the new recruits, the personal frictions caused by any organizational change, and other sore spots are all covered in a friendly, memorable, and easily digestible way.

The flip side of that is the sense of being talked down to, l
Kitten Kisser
Sep 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: business-farming
Normally I don't care for parables & was hesitant about how beneficial this book could be to my small home based *ironically* organic farm business. After seeing the glowing reviews I figured I'd give it a go & I'm glad that I did. It is a quick read; very simple in it's execution & it works! Although this is geared towards large business, there is still much to learn as the owner of a small business. While I do not have to hire employees or have sections of business requiring depart ...more
This is a very short fable - one you can read in about an hour (maybe less). It is an illustration of the difficulty of innovating in your business.

From the problems with new ideas, to a whole lot of failure along the way, and the necessity for discipline in your experiment, How Stella Saved The Farm has it all.

But ultimately, Stella didn't save the farm. The discipline in the experiment, the persistence with the experiment, and learning and iterating quickly are what saved it.

The critical less
no matter what you think of the book, you can finish it in a brief time to figure out your impression since it's such a short read. listed as a fable, it's like a cliff's notes for innovation reading.

the story and characters do resonate and if a group reads it together, the fable can be a great case to play off of and refer to in thinking about group dynamics, leadership and innovation.

unfortunately, some of the language is ridiculous and i find the terrible illustration almost offensive to an
Sara Mahmoud
Apr 15, 2014 rated it really liked it
Personally I finished reading it in one day, it's a short story written in a very simple way talks about innovation process. you should read it if you are applying for business school! it gives you insight about how to manage a business and how to bring innovation to it. The story presents the difficulties faced by any business owner to bring innovation to his business and how to solve them in logical scientific way.

The author tries to let you get the idea in an easy manner instead of reading bo
Jan 19, 2016 rated it liked it
If Napoleon Hill and Dale Carnegie met George Orwell, the result might be a tale like this fable. Any person who has been through a management change at work, who is involved in innovation or who must create or embrace operational change can benefit from the simplistic, yet insightful story of Stella and the farm. The farm is in trouble and only innovating a new business plan will save it. The practicalities and realities of making business changes are explored in a fun and easy read. A great ca ...more
Feb 03, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: work
This book caught me by surprise, although I'm not sure what I was expecting when I put this on hold, I'm pretty sure I wasn't expecting a parable about a bunch of animals running a farm. That being said, it was an interesting, if different way to teach a lesson about being a good leader and getting the best from your people. It was a quick read, rather superficial, but suitable for use in a beginning business class, retreat or team building exercise. The discussion questions at the end add to it ...more
Jan 31, 2015 rated it it was ok
This is a sweet little easy read which teaches you valuable management lessons in the form of a fable. You can finish the book in one go as the language is simple and the font is bigger with lots of picture.

The journey of windsor farm towards bringing in innovation is interesting and the incidents that happen are carefully chosen to depict those that happen in real-life corporate world.

this book can be used as a tool to stimulate discussion in groups on making innovation happen.

overall, a goo
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Vijay Govinadrajan is the Earl C. Daum 1924 Professor of International Business at the Tuck School at Dartmouth's Center for Global Leadership.
“Inside a big experiment, there are little experiments,” 1 likes
“One, state a hypothesis. Two, predict what will happen. Three, measure results. Four, assess lessons learned by comparing your predictions to actual outcomes.” 0 likes
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