Cover of Beyond the Champion by Gina Colarelli O
Beyond the Champion
Institutionalizing Innovation Through People
Gina Colarelli O'Connor, Andrew C. Corbett, and Lois S. Peters


January 2018
312 pages.

Cloth ISBN: 9780804798273



Large, mature companies often struggle when it comes to the uncertain process of breakthrough innovation. But innovation is an imperative in today's cutthroat business environment. To fulfill its potential, there has to be a better way—and there is.

Beyond the Champion argues that innovation is a talent all its own that requires distinct skills and expertise, just like finance or marketing. Viewing innovation as a discipline in its own right, it is easy to see that breakthrough wins require an organizational design with clearly delineated roles, responsibilities, and career tracks for those who shoulder the responsibility for new products. Drawing on the results of a four-year study and two decades of related research, this book outlines three fundamental competencies necessary for innovation: discovery, incubation, and acceleration. Mapping these skills onto roles and opportunities for advancement, the authors deliver a pioneering blueprint for sustainable innovation.

About the author

Gina Colarelli O'Connor is Professor of Marketing and Innovation Management and Associate Dean of Academic Affairs at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute's Lally School of Management and Director of the Radical Innovation Research Program. She is the lead author ofGrabbing Lightning: Building a Capability for Breakthrough Innovation (2008).

Andrew C. Corbett is a Babson Research Scholar, Professor of Entrepreneurship, and the Faculty Director for John E. & Alice L. Butler Venture Accelerator at Babson College.

Lois S. Peters is Associate Professor at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute's Lally School of Management, and Director of the MS-Technology, Commercialization, and Entrepreneurship program. She is the co-author ofGrabbing Lightning: Building Capability for Breakthrough Innovation (2008).

"This book is the capstone of 20+ years of longitudinal research that has revealed the issues with corporate innovation on numerous levels. This book pinpoints the underlying issues on a macro level but then brings them to life with specific stories of the people in these roles, concluding with practical models to guide future practitioners. It's spot on."

—Rich Duncombe, University of Oregon

"In their novel and useful approach to innovation, the authors deliver a strong practical message, continued outlines, and tables that provide tremendous guidance for the practitioner. This book supplies a blueprint for how to institutionalize the innovation function and create an organization that enhances the talents of its people in a strategic manner."

—Donald F. Kuratko, The Gill Distinguished Chair of Entrepreneurship, Indiana University