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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.
The parable is about a farm in trouble. Bankruptcy, or the grim prospect of being acquired by a hostile competitor, threaten. The farm succeeds only if the team pulls together and innovates.
The main characters in the story—Stella, Deirdre, Bull, Mav, Einstein, Rambo, Maisie, and Andrea—are all like people you know, maybe even yourself. The tale includes an unexpected leadership challenge, an ambitious call to action, a bold idea, countless internal obstacles and conflicts, fears, joys, triumphs, and even a love interest.
It’s a story that can be enjoyed by anyone. How Stella Saved the Farm delivers eight simple lessons to guide innovation initiatives to success. It prepares business leaders to avoid some of innovation’s most toxic myths, teaches how to build the right kind of team, and shows how to learn quickly from experience.
“We have found How Stella Saved the Farm to be a very useful tool for raising the key challenges in organizing and executing innovation initiatives.”—James Euchner, VP, Global Innovation at The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company
"Deere has already held innovation workshops based on Stella, with very positive results. This is a powerful, practical tool for learning and executive development."—Mary Jones, Vice President Global Human Resources, Deere & Company
“This elegant story, rich in insight into what it takes to make innovation happen, has already had tremendous impact in GE executive development programs and on key innovation projects.”—Stephen Liguori, Executive Director - Global Innovation and New Models, General Electric
“Govindarajan and Trimble have managed to do the unthinkable—develop a case study that is both seriously thought-provoking and truly entertaining.”—Dolph Johnson, Senior Vice President, Human Resources, Hasbro
“At first glance, I was skeptical. By the end, I was blown away. In a quick, fun read I found brilliant simplicity, capturing best practices for enabling and managing innovation. I continue to recommend Stella to executives seeking to turn new ideas into material business outcomes.”—Roy Rosin, former vice president of Innovation, Intuit
“Delightful to read. And, it sliced right through the complexities of innovation.”—Kathy O’Hara, Leadership and Organization Development Manager, AT&T Consumer IT
“Simple. Powerful. Memorable. This story resonates with our own experiences.”—Jonathan Hornby, director of Worldwide Marketing, SAS Institute, and author of Radical Action for Radical Times
“Lively characters and practical lessons.”—Abdul Halim bin Abdul Manaf, Product and Quality Program Manager, Freescale Semiconductor
“A wonderful story with terrific insights into innovation.”—Kristi Marsella, vice president, Talent Management, E&J Gallo Winery
“Fantastic, practical, and business-minded read. Relevant for the business challenges of innovation, organizational renewal, and growth.”—Sipho Gumbi, Senior Organizational Development Consultant, MTN Group Management Services
Vijay Govindarajan is the Earl C. Daum 1924 Professor of International Business and founding director of the Tuck School’s Center for Global Leadership. He has worked with dozens of Fortune 500 corporations and speaks at conferences around the world. He lives in New Hampshire.
Chris Trimble has dedicated more than ten years to studying a single challenge that vexes even the best-managed corporations: how to execute an innovation initiative. With Govindarajan he coauthored the New York Times bestseller Reverse Innovation (2012). He lives in Vermont.
In this book video, co-author Chris Trimble introduces readers to his book How Stella Saved the Farm