Skip to main content

Book:Innovation’s Dirty Little Secret

Today’s book is sponsored by the ever-growing Cross-Focused Reviews. Need some book publicity? Hit Shaun up and see what he can do.

I’ll start you with the video book trailer:

Innovation’s Dirty Little Secret by Larry Osborne is a book. There. That’s not much of an innovative label, but then again I have the fear of failure that Osborne references so very often in his text. That fear of not getting it right that hampers a person from doing anything or taking any risk.

Innovation's Dirty Little Secret by Larry OsborneThat is, I suppose, a spoiler for Innovation’s Dirty Little Secret, but it’s not a plot book, so I’m unconcerned. The real purpose of Osborne’s work here is to present techniques and ideas for how to get over that fear. With 172 pages, he has time enough to address the issue but not enough time to beat it to death. (Having just read two 400+ page books on leadership, I’ve seen beaten to death on the subject.)

My fundamental concern with Innovation’s Dirty Little Secret is that, with Osborne writing as a pastor, his book has turned out to be a little too much church for business world, and a little too much business for the church world. His ideas are solid in terms of the innovation and implementation of change, but his personal experience backing it mostly comes from religious work.

And throughout Innovation’s Dirty Little Secret he does not truly justify the changes made in church behaviors in Scripture. They are justified as being necessary innovations for the times, but not as being grounded in a faith that is two millennia old. This creates a tension for use of Osborne’s work in training/challenging church leaders: his paradigm is business driven, and the church should function from a different view.

From a business perspective, though, it is hard to define hard parallels between church work and the business world. It is one thing to define a vision for a church and get buy-in from donors and volunteers who trust you or see the eternal significance. It is quite different to define a business vision and get the same support from those who are uncertain they’ll get their money back or who will not reap the same benefits that you will as the boss.

In all, it feels like Innovation’s Dirty Little Secret tries to be a church/non-profit redevelopment book and be a business start-up guide and be a business survival guide. And it falls a little short on all counts for trying to hit three birds with one shot.

Is it a bad book? No. Innovation’s Dirty Little Secret is at its best when being considered by people of faith who are looking to start out on a new enterprise in life. There is encouragement to keep going after failure, suggestions for how to present your idea, and tips for working through what to do next.

The most helpful portion of Innovation’s Dirty Little Secret is Osborne’s guidelines for having an exit strategy. It’s been a challenge for everyone, from Cub Scout popcorn-sellers to the United States government, to have a clear cut way of ending involvement in a new idea. Sometimes it’s because the idea shows itself bad, and sometimes it’s just time to move on.

Either way, if you are a leader and are wanting to have a better plan for when things go wrong, Innovation’s Dirty Little Secret can be helpful. It’s good, but it’s not quite the only book you’ll ever need.

Admittedly, I was given a copy of this book, but obviously I’m not throwing my concerns away to keep getting more books. Check this site for links to other reviews for other opinions.


Popular posts from this blog

Book: By the Waters of Babylon

Worship. It is what the church does as we strive to honor God with our lips and our lives. And then, many churches argue about worship. I have about a half-dozen books on my shelf about worship, but adding Scott Aniol’s By the Waters of Babylon to the shelf has been excellent.

First of all, Aniol’s work is not based on solving a musical debate. While that branch of worship is often the most troublesome in the local church, By the Waters of Babylon takes a broader view. The starting point is the place of the church. That place is a parallel of Psalm 137, where the people of God, Israel, found themselves in a strange land. The people of God, again, find themselves in a strange land.
Second, in summary, the book works logically to the text of Scripture, primarily Psalm 137 but well-filled with other passages. Then it works outward from how the text addresses the problems submitted in the first chapter into how worship, specifically corporate worship, should look in the 21st century Weste…

Book Review: The Heart Mender by @andyandrews (Andy Andrews)

The Heart Mender: A Story of Second ChancesEver read a book that you just kind of wish is true?  That's my take on The Heart Mender by Andy Andrews.  It's a charming story of love and forgiveness, and it's woven into the historical setting of World War II America.  For the narrative alone, the book is worth the read, but the message it contains is well worth absorbing as well.However, let's drop back a minute.  This book was originally published under the title Island of Saints.  I read Island of Saints and enjoyed it greatly.  Now, Andrews has released it under a new title, with a few minor changes.  All of this is explained in the Author's Note at the beginning, but should be noted for purchaser's sake.  If you read Island of Saints, you're rereading when you read The Heart Mender.  Now, go ahead and reread it.  It will not hurt you one bit.Overall, the story is well-paced.  There are points where I'd like more detail, both in the history and the geog…

Sermon Recap for October 14

Here is what you'll find: there is an audio player with the sermon audios built-in to it, just click to find the one you want. You'll also find the embedded Youtube videos of each sermon.If you'd like, you can subscribe to the audio feed here: for iTunes users. Other audio feeds go here: video is linked on my personal Youtube Page here: are stockpiled here:!