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The Wise Company: How Companies Create Continuous Innovation
The Wise Company: How Companies Create Continuous Innovation
  • Identifies main challenges companies face today
  • Provides insights into ways that companies can continuously innovate
  • Emphasizes wisdom based on experience, for leaders and all employees
  • Highlights the importance of

High-velocity change is the fundamental challenge facing companies today. Few companies, however, are prepared to continuously innovate-because they focus on the short-term and do not emphasize the wisdom needed to make sure that their interests are aligned with those of society.
Practical wisdom is the bases of continuous innovation, where companies ceaselessly and repeatedly creating new knowledge, disseminating it throughout the organization, and converting knowledge to action over time. In The Wise Company, legendary management experts Ikujiro Nonaka and Hirotaka Takeuchi highlight how various companies have confronted the challenge of rapid change to create new products and new ways of doing business that benefit employees, consumers, and society. The key: a relentless self-renewal process where companies realize the future they envisions, rather than only responding to changes in the environment. Nonaka and Takeuchi argue that while knowledge-creating companies focusing on tacit and explicit knowledge can generate innovation, they cannot create it on a continuous and ongoing basis without having wisdom about human interactions and how they influence organizational structures and practices.
Companies that have resilience, longevity, and sustainability share a number of characteristics, Nonaka and Takeuchi show. Strategies are based on alignment of organizational and societal benefits. Leaders grasp the core of any situation or problem quickly, and intuitively comprehend the nature and meaning of people, things, and events. But wise leadership is not enough: wisdom must infuse the organization through informal as well as formal shared interactions and communications that focus on metaphors and stories that convey the essence and meaning of strategies and actions. In short, Nonaka and Takeuchi demonstrate how continuous innovation results from companies ceaselessly and repeatedly creating new knowledge, disseminating knowledge throughout the organization, and converting that knowledge to action.
The Wise Company presents a new model of knowledge-creation and practice for the twenty-first century.


1. From Knowledge to Wisdom
2. The Foundations of Knowledge Practice
3. Towards a Model of Knowledge Creation and Practice
4. Judging Goodness
5. Grasping the Essence
6. Creating Ba
7. Communicating the Essence
8. Exercising "Political" Power
9. Fostering Practical Wisdom in Others
10. Epilogue

About the author: 

Ikujiro Nonaka is Professor Emeritus at the Graduate School of International Corporate Strategy, Hitotsubashi University, Tokyo.
Hirotaka Takeuchi is Professor of Management Practice at Harvard Business School.

"Professors Nonaka and Takeuchi have taught the world much about managing knowledge. In The Wise Company, they go further, teaching us how to grow our knowledge into wisdom. Every manager will learn from this book, for their job, their organization, and indeed, their own life and well-being." -- Henry Chesbrough, Professor, U.C. Berkeley-Haas School of Business
"Nonaka and Takeuchi have created a tour de force book of value to CEOs, leaders at all levels, and students aspiring to be world class leaders in a world driven by winners who continuously innovate by creating valuable new knowledge and putting it to practice. Both authors are established world-class academics, but equally as important they are hands-on clinicians who have worked globally with real clients, making real change happen. This book is well-written, engaging, and an important theoretical and practical guide on how to make the world a better place." -- Noel Tichy, Professor at the University of Michigan, and author of Control Your Destiny or Someone Else Will and Succession: Mastering the Make-Or-Break Process of Leadership Transition

"Nonaka & Takeuchi-both alchemists of innovation management who provide ageless pearls of wisdom-describe how new methods of managing and leading business enterprises require wise leaders, at all levels of the organization. A tour de force with insights, delights, and powerful narratives featuring some of the world's top business leaders and innovators, in Japan and the USA. An evolutionary sequel to the authors' earlier work on the knowledge creating company." -- David J. Teece, Tusher Professor, Haas School, U.C. Berkeley

Product details

ISBN : 9780190497002

Ikujiro Nonaka; Hirotaka Takeuchi
304 Pages
156 x 235 mm
Pub date
Oct 2019
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The Wise Company: How Companies Create Continuous Innovation

The Wise Company: How Companies Create Continuous Innovation

The Wise Company: How Companies Create Continuous Innovation