How Stella Saved the Farm

by Vijay Govindarajan & Chris Trimble (MacMillan) ISBN 9780230761360


This business fiction book uses a fable to show how to make innovation happen in a company.


A farm run by animals is on the verge of bankruptcy and may be acquired by their (human-run) competitor. The innovative idea is to expand the (sheep) wool business by introducing a luxury item: wool of Peruvian Alpacas.


In the second part it goes through the eight key points to implement this idea. It mentions the challenges and risks the animals are facing. The book ends with questions and lessons to remember, like the importance of disciplined experimentation.


Story telling works and it is a good tool to catalyse the learning process, as the authors say in the preface. I think this book would work best as a syllabus that is part of a workshop or seminar. It shows how a company or organisation can successfully incorporate innovation initiatives in simple ways. It provides practical methods, without threatening the core business.


The storyline is straightforward, and because of that, easy to remember. The illustrations by Keny Widjaja are cheerful. The tone of the book is maybe intended not to intimidate, but with that I think the authors have limited their target market.


Pauline Vijverberg


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