Books by Barnes &  Conti

The Barnes & Conti Bookshelf

Lead the Pack: Sparking Innovation That Drives Customers Wild

Leading the Pack: book on innovation

by Nelson Soken and Wil Wengert

Lead the Pack: Sparking Innovation that Drives Customers Wild, Soken and Wengert provide an insightful analysis of the psychological factors that influence innovation from the perspective of customers and companies.

The business world is fraught with examples of companies that failed or lost market share because they attempted to sell “what we make” instead of anticipating “what you want.” Soken and Wengert identify and explore the barriers that make it difficult to break free of old habits and provide the tools to unleash creativity that lead to true innovation.

This book takes a deeper look into the human psyche that makes it possible to identify future market offerings that customers often don’t yet know they need. The genuine visionary in the marketplace remains competitive by being steps ahead in recognizing emerging customer needs and desires and taking the appropriate measures to counter the deeply inherent resistance to change. Successfully reaching beyond the status quo is the true competitive advantage.

About the Authors

Nelson Soken, Ph.D. Nelson Soken is a Chief Innovation Strategist of Barnes & Conti. He has worked at the Mayo Clinic, Medtronic, Baxter Healthcare, and Honeywell International in consulting, leadership, managerial, and technical roles. As a consultant and facilitator, he works with Medtronic, Genentech, Abbott Labs, Merial, Sanofi, United Technologies, Vertex Pharmaceuticals, Daymon Worldwide, Texas Instruments and Freddie Mac. Nelson received his undergraduate degree in psychology from Macalester and his doctorate in experimental child psychology from University of Minnesota. He has been published in academic journals, presented papers at technology conferences, and is a sought-after speaker and thought leader on innovation. He is also on the advisory board of Design Management Institute.

Wil Wengert Wil Wengert is the president of the consulting firm, C4 Planning. Wil has completed Advanced Product Development, Product Planning, Market Research and Product Positioning Projects in Australia, Europe and the USA over the last twelve years. He has worked in many industries including medical, aerospace, transportation, telecommunications, electronics and utilities. His expertise is in the development of breakthrough, disruptive and more recently, complimentary products with an emphasis on the theory and strategy surrounding their creation. Prior to becoming a consultant, Wil graduated from the Business School at the University of Colorado and has worked for United States Surgical Corporation, American Hospital Supply and Baxter in Sales, Marketing, Product Development and Product Planning.

What Others Are Saying:

Lead the Pack brings together the underlying psychology of introducing a new product, how to gain customer acceptance, and the process of innovation. The book is packed with examples of when innovation went right, and when it went wrong. The book brings together the concepts in the best books on business and innovation over the last 15 years.

The book provides both the theoretical underpinnings of innovation, how the customer views new products, and suggests practical steps to putting the theory into practice. As innovators we know we are supposed to pay attention to the customer, but what is the customer telling you? How do you interpret their input into what you should build? How do innovative products gain broad acceptance and what can you do to ensure that acceptance will happen? The topics covered are broadly applicable across the life cycle of new product introduction including how to market the new idea.

The book has several great discussion of how corporate culture impacts the innovative process. The book accepts the notion there is no "right" culture, and provides examples of how leading corporations have molded high performing innovative processes to fit their culture. In my 32 years as a technologist working with dozens of companies, I have come to understanding the importance of corporate culture.”

—Brian Isle, Co-Founder Adventium Labs

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