Managing the Unmanageable

Kaitlyn Landram

Mar 5, 2024

Jon Cagan and Peter Boatwright

At CMU we don’t imagine the future, we create it. Our community has been pioneering research and designing technology for decades, so it only makes sense that our faculty become the cornerstone of innovative teams; writing the rulebook for problem solvers everywhere.

Jon Cagan and Peter Boatwright have been connecting the dots between design, business, and engineering for years - preparing students in the College of Engineering, Tepper School of Business and Integrated Innovation Institute to lead cutting-edge initiatives across the world. 

Their new book Managing the Unmanageable, condenses fifty plus years of combined experience in hands-on innovation, research, and consulting into thirteen tips to propel people forward to address meaningful challenges.

book cover

“A lot of people talk about teams and innovation, but no one talks about how to manage innovation teams,” explained Cagan. 

In contrast to conventional teams that work with existing systems, products, and practices, innovation teams work to develop something entirely new. Innovation teams are building the solutions to the problems we have yet to overcome.

“By applying our academic research findings on team dynamics to the way we manage teams, Peter and I have nailed down not only the practice of solving real problems, but the knowledge behind how and why solutions become successful,” said Cagan.“This book is really a reflection of what the CMU community does everyday. We are a community of deep thinkers that focus on applications for today and tomorrow.”

We want people to walk away from this book feeling invigorated, or re-invigorated, to tackle the challenges ahead of them.

Peter Boatwright

Amidst their distinct insights into process management, reframing opportunities, and even the future of AI teaming, Cagan and Boatwright share personal applications that anyone can use for self-improvement. 

“Keep in mind, a big piece of any organization’s success, be it a Fortune 500 company or an NGO is its ability to contribute something that others cannot. There are innovation opportunities all around us whether you are an advanced innovator or a beginner. You can create the environment you need to become a better creative problem solver,” expressed Boatwright. “We want people to walk away from this book feeling invigorated, or re-invigorated, to tackle the challenges ahead of them.”