Chris Trimble
Internationally Recognized Innovation Expert

Chris Trimble has dedicated more than a decade to studying the challenge that vexes even the best-managed corporations: how to execute an innovation initiative, that is, how to turn breakthrough ideas into actual products, services, and improvements.


He is the author of the landmark book, The Other Side of Innovation: Solving the Execution Challenge, with Vijay Govindarajan, as well as their New York Times bestselling follow-up, Reverse Innovation: Create Far From Home, Win Everywhere—which applied their research to the challenge of innovating to drive growth in emerging markets, while bringing those innovations home. A true visionary in his field, Trimble serves on the faculties of both the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth and the Dartmouth Center for Health Care Delivery Science—where he is immersed in a multi-year effort to apply his work to the specific challenge of innovation in health care delivery.


Trimble is actively enjoying the payoff of his work in its real-world application—working shoulder-to-shoulder with innovation leaders in top corporations including General Electric, IBM, Intel, Microsoft, The New York Times Company, Genencor, Corning, Thomson Reuters, eBay, Fidelity, Unilever, and many, many others. A highly sought-after speaker, he has been welcomed by audiences at both public forums such as the BusinessWeek CEO Forum, the Conference Board’s Innovation Conference, and the HSM Innovation Forum—as well as for membership groups and associations such as American Public Power Association, Construction Industry Roundtable, CUSO Financial Services, Institute of Management Studies, and more.


Chris Trimble first broke into the forefront of executive consciousness with his 2005 book, Ten Rules for Strategic Innovators—from Idea to Execution, which was on The Wall Street Journal’s Top Ten Recommended Reading list alongside Freakonomics, The Tipping Point, and Blink. It was selected by Strategy & Business magazine as the best strategy book of the year. Notable articles include “Stop the Innovation Wars,” with Vijay Govindarajan, which won a McKinsey Award as one of the Harvard Business Review’s best articles of the year, as well as “How GE is Disrupting Itself,” with Jeff Immelt and Vijay Govindarajan. Trimble’s work has also appeared in the MIT Sloan Management Review, California Management Review, Fast Company and The Financial Times.


With a career that mixes rigorous academic research with hard-nosed practical experience, Trimble credits his interest in innovation within large organizations as stemming from early experience as a submarine officer in the United States Navy. Trimble holds an MBA degree with distinction from the Tuck School of Business, and a Bachelor of Science degree with highest distinction from the University of Virginia.

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Beyond the Idea
How to Execute Innovation in Any Organization
St. Martin's Press

A short, powerful one-stop guide to managing innovation and change, from the New York Times bestselling authors of Reverse Innovation. 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.

How Stella Saved the Farm
A Tale About Making Innovation Happen
St. Martin's Press

How Stella Saved the Farm delivers eight simple lessons to guide innovation initiatives to success. It prepares business leaders to avoid some of innovation’s most toxic myths, teaches how to build the right kind of team, and shows how to learn quickly from experience.

Reverse Innovation - Create Far from Home, Win Everywhere: It’s a preoccupation in many boardrooms that today’s high-growth hot spots are all in the developing economies, which will account for a jaw-dropping two-thirds of global economic growth over the next generation. But what is less well understood is what it will take to win. For decades, most global corporations have followed a simple strategy: create great products and services for home markets, and then export them. But what worked in the past is no longer good enough—the needs and opportunities are just too different. As a result, corporations must learn the new trick of reverse innovation: learn to innovate in emerging economies, and bring those innovations home.
The Other Side of Innovation: “Genius is one percent inspiration, ninety-nine percent perspiration.” Thomas Edison said it over a century ago. Nobody listened. When companies launch innovation initiatives, they focus almost all of their time and energy on that initial one percent—the thrilling hunt for the breakthrough idea. They draw guidance from countless books and articles that treat innovation as though it is synonymous with creativity. It is not. The reality is that an idea is only a beginning. Innovation is not just the much-anticipated light-bulb moment. It is also a long, hard journey—from imagination to impact.
Leading Innovation in Healthcare Delivery: We can’t wait for policy makers on Capitol Hill to save our troubled health care system. Instead, we need a new generation of health care leaders—physicians and executives alike—that are ready to remake the system from the grass roots, through innovation and entrepreneurship. While health care may seem impossibly complex, the reality is that it is hard to walk more than ten yards without tripping over an idea or an innovative pilot project with tremendous potential. This presentation will show why these pilots so rarely achieve full potential, and what to do about it.
The Leading Innovation Workshop: This workshop details Six Essential Principles to make innovation happen inside your organization. Workshop participants discover a straight-forward approach to executing an innovation initiative involving, in particular, a special kind of (dedicated) team and a special kind of (disciplined) plan. This workshop is not about creativity, brainstorming, searching for ideas, or even selecting the best. It is about achieving an idea’s full potential without getting eaten or run-over by the very organization that is trying to bring it to life. It is about enabling a team in the present that can deliver you to your future.

Praise for How Stella Saved the Farm

“Simple. Powerful. Memorable. This story resonates with our own experiences.”
—Jonathan Hornby, director of Worldwide Marketing, SAS Institute, and author of Radical Action for Radical Times

“Lively characters and practical lessons.”
—Abdul Halim bin Abdul Manaf, Product and Quality Program Manager, Freescale Semiconductor

“A wonderful story with terrific insights into innovation.”
—Kristi Marsella, vice president, Talent Management, E&J Gallo Winery

“Fantastic, practical, and business-minded read. Relevant for the business challenges of innovation, organizational renewal, and growth.”
—Sipho Gumbi, Senior Organizational Development Consultant, MTN Group Management Services