Beyond the Idea

How to Execute Innovation in Any Organization

Vijay Govindarajan and Chris Trimble

St. Martin's Press

The New York Times bestselling authors of Reverse Innovation and How Stella Saved the Farm distill more than a decade of exclusive research into one short, powerful, action-oriented book.

Companies stumble when they imagine that innovation is mostly about ideas. The reality is that ideas are only beginnings. Indeed, even a company with the world’s best idea still faces a devilish challenge: it must build the business of tomorrow without endangering the business of today.

Vijay Govindarajan and Chris Trimble are the world’s leading authorities on the successful management of innovation. In Beyond the Idea, they distill more than a decade of research and insight into a practical, accessible, read-at-one-sitting handbook that offers invaluable guidance for anyone charged with making innovation happen: executives, managers, consultants, project leaders, and teams.

By offering specific action steps, Beyond the Idea extends the elegant conceptual insights from How Stella  Saved the Farm, Govindarajan and Trimble’s parable. Beyond the Idea shows exactly how to:Build a team with a very particular structure, one that makes it possible to simultaneously build something new and sustain what exists. Manage any innovation initiative as a disciplined experiment. Implement three distinct models for moving from ideas to action.

Beyond the Idea is an essential book for any business that recognizes that innovation always has been, and always will be, the key to long term growth and vitality.


Read an Excerpt


Innovation is a two-part challenge. Part one is ideas; part two is execution.
To win, you have to succeed at both. Many companies, however, expend most or nearly all of their energies on part one. As such, they tend to produce a great many ideas on paper that never become anything more than … ideas on paper.
The most important message in Beyond the Idea is very simple: Part two, innovation execution, is its own unique discipline. It requires time, energy, and distinct thinking. Unfortunately, few companies treat it


Praise for Beyond the Idea

Praise for Reverse Innovation:


“This book is a defining work on how we invest in and engage in the future.” — William Green, Executive Chairman, Accenture


“Unique and important work, hard-hitting examples, detailed and actionable steps, and clear explanations.” — Omar Ishrak, Chairman and CEO, Medtronic, Inc.


“The global community is now so networked that innovation can come from just about anywhere and make an impact everywhere.” — John T. Chambers, Chairman and CEO, Cisco Systems


Praise for How Stella Saved the Farm:

 “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

 “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

“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

Reviews from Goodreads



  • Vijay Govindarajan and Chris Trimble

  • VIJAY GOVINDARAJAN (VG) is the Earl C. Daum 1924 Professor of International Business at Tuck at Dartmouth. In the latest global ranking of management thinkers, VG came in third place. He lives in New Hampshire.


    CHRIS TRIMBLE, also on the faculty at Tuck, has been an advisor for dozens of top corporations. With Govindarajan he co-authored The New York Times bestseller Reverse Innovation (2012) and How Stella Saved the Farm (2013). He lives in Vermont.

  • Vijay Govindarajan
    Vijay Govindarajan
  • Chris Trimble


Vijay Govindarajan Chris Trimble

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Available Formats and Book Details

Beyond the Idea

How to Execute Innovation in Any Organization

Vijay Govindarajan and Chris Trimble



St. Martin's Press