Innovation Models

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Marie Lancup


My comment is not with respect to the questions per say at this point, but is with respect to "broad community of people working in innovation".

Have we identified who this broad community is? Are they CEO's, Managing Directors, company executives, or people closer to the coal face?

How will the target community be selected to ensure accurate statistical representation?

Innovation and risk appetite will differ between different cultures,industry, types (private, public sector, quoted) & size of business.
I'm assuming the population will be categorised in these various ways?

I believe Naina Redhu has an excellent point when she speaks of "objective" responses - perhaps we could contemplate adding another dimension to the survey, and for each question, ask for both: what are they doing in their own business? and if they had the choice, would they do something different to what's being done? (ie: what do they believe is the best answer as opposed to what they've been told to do by the decision makers).

Marie Lancup

Janice Maffei

Lobbing in a few more questions to consider for the survey.

1. What is NOT innovation? What does the absence of innovation look like? How do you know it when you see it?

2. Before "innovation" became a catch phrase, your organization may have been pretty good at getting it done. In your business' life cycle, have there been times where you have been more innovative? Less innovative? How so?

3. If you don't get better at innovation, what's the risk to your organization?

4. If the tone is set from the top, what can senior leaders do to stimulate innovation? To slow it down?

5. How is innovation a threat for senior leaders? Since senior leaders have the most invested in the status quo, how do you get them comfortable with breakthroughs and change that may threaten their turf or challenge their comfort zone?

6. How do you recognize and reward innovation?

7. What do you want to know about innovation?

Jack Hipple

Organizations turn innovation programs on and off in response to business conditions. This creates credibility gaps the second and third times around, and leading innovators leave their organizations never to return (AMI study published in the 2000-2002 time frame and supplemented with additional personal data). So the question is, "Why are innovation programs turned on and off, knowing the repercussions, and also knowing that innovation is the likely key to solving the business problems in the first place?"

Marsha MacArthur

These definitions are not very original (Edgett and Cooper, 1999), but they are a good start:

1.) New-to-the-world: Never been offered to any marketplace ever before (aka., a Breakthrough). These are usually major/radical innovations. This type of innovation is the rarest and carries the highest level of risk.

2.) New-to-Industry: This type of product/service exists, but until now has not been seen/used/incorporated into a particular industry's array of products/services.

3.) New-to-company: This type of product/service is one that is new to the organization but not to the marketplace. The product/service is a new endeavor for the company.

4.) Line extensions: A product/service that is incrementally new to the company and by definition fits into existing product/service lines. It is probably the most common type of “new” service and presents less risk than the three former options and are designed primarily to modernize and retain existing revenue streams.

5.) Cost reductions: modifications to services that are usually not visible to the customer. Cost Reductions can be radical in nature (see the case study on float glass technology), but that is rarely the case.

Too much time is spent on the low-risk service modifications that do not produce enough new streams of revenue. We kid ourselves into thinking that we will work on the other projects later. Unfortunately, later never seems to come. A good portfolio has the right mix of new products/services to ensure that existing markets are protected while new opportunities are sought. Management needs to ask:

-Is the split among the different types of projects the preferred split? Or are we spending too much time on low-risk, low-impact projects?
- What is the breakdown of sales and profits?
- Do these percentages reflect our strategy?
- Is there a clear pattern of new revenue or is it mostly replacement revenue?
- Which types of new products/services have produced the best returns?
- Do our current efforts reflect where we really should be spending our time and money?
- What is our success rate by type of innovation?

Many organizations find that they are spending too much time on short-term hits that are not building new markets or streams of revenue.

Naina Redhu

Some more questions, but like i said earlier, we need to be more focused about what it is that we are trying to accomplish in the first round of questions. Also, some of them will overlap with the questions already in the list and some might not be required for the first round of questions.

1. Which departments within the organization are involved in the innovation process?

2. Who is responsible for innovation within the organization? (One person / one department / everybody?)

3. Does the organization have a well-defined innovation process?

4. What are the phases of this innovation process?

5. What is the primary factor that inhibits innovation in your organization?

6. Does the organization have established metrics to measure innovation? (success / failure)

7. What techniques, if any, does your organization employ to accelarate the pace of innovation?

8. How does your organization define innovation?

9. What process / technique / methodology does an innovation project team within your organization use?

10. Who all in the value-chain contribute to the innovation process within your organization? Does the organization have an established procedure / process to enable the participation?

11. Does your organization consider innovativeness as a competitive advantage?

12. Does your organization use "Innovation Performance" as a metric for performance appraisals?

13. Is the innovation process aligned with the goals of your organization?

14. Is participation in the innovation process actively encouraged? What processes / techniques are employed for the same?

15. Does your organization utilize software to facilitate the process of innovation? Which software (name)?

16. Does your organization have a process / methodology to decide on the participants of the innovation project team?

Would it be better to look for obejctive answers to these questions at this stage, or would be better to seek subjective answers? The above questions do not leave much room for subjective answers, but can be re-worded depending on the answers we are seeking.

Open to suggestions for modifications and corrections! So BRING IT ON!

Charlie Garland

Our definition was shamelessly "stolen" from authors Ahterton & Hannon (I'll gladly make a formal/proper reference upon request): "a process of managing a bundle of activities which create new wealth, in the widest sense of the word, from existing resources." This definition is pivotal in helping us to understand/appreciate innovation's value and potential for application. Jumping right to the last question, one of the key indicators of effective innovation is an initial appreciation (by the inspirer, the administrator, the leader, and the participant roles) of innovation's implicit ROI (or reasonable facsimile). Stemming from this are a few important terms that need thorough elaboration: "value proposition," "participant," and "wealth."

Mark Turrell

We have done a lot of work in this area - in particular I would highlight the Innovation Pipeline approach that is now being followed by several medium to large organizations -- Click here:

The underlying premises are:

- innovation is more than just product development
- innovation is about a flow or series of activities, rather than a fortunate one-time winner
- innovation starts with corporate strategy
- good innovation processes are different from project management and require special processes & tools
- companies need to actively manage the overall innovation process as a pipeline to ensure success this year and into the future

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