James P. Andrew & Harold L. Sirkin with John Butman
Harvard Business School Press
60 Harvard Way, Boston, MA 02163
1422103137 $29.95 www.hbspress.org
Written by professional consultants James P. Andrew and Harold L. Sirkin, Payback: Reaping the Rewards of Innovation is a solid guide to the difference between having a good idea and turning that idea into financial reward. Payback puts forth the argument that the biggest challenge facing most companies today is their need to increase returns from their innovation spending. Introducing a concept called the "cash curve", Payback explores the fundamental factors that affect how much financial return will be netted. From how and when it can be profitable to apply innovation to noncash goals (such as the acquisition of new knowledge or enhancement of the company's brand), to models that accurately assess financial, technical and market risks to the relative advantages and disadvantages of the integration, orchestration, and licensing models and when to employ each, Payback is a reservoir of solid, high-stakes insight into skilled decision making. As valuable for innovative small business owners as for managers of grand enterprises.