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Collaborative Innovation

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The “Why” and “What” of Innovation

Invariably growth and innovation are top-of-mind priorities for every CEO. Innovation is the critical difference between business success and failure; it’s one of the most important elements in creating wealth. But most senior executives struggle with two simple questions:

    • Is there a clear architecture/system to manage for innovation?
    • Precisely where do you expect growth and innovation to come from:
      organic growth, acquisitions, or alliances?
  • These questions typically fill the CEO with ambiguity; puzzled over realities of execution and concrete action. What’s needed is a coherent strategic system to transform innovation from the realm of the ephemeral into the firm grasp of the dedicated practitioner.

Clarifying the Meaning of Innovation:  Six Types

One of the biggest problems with innovation is its true meaning:

  • Fundamentally, invention is a sub-set of innovation; but all-too-often invention is confused with innovation resulting in both a mystification and exclusion of non-technical people from innovation.
  • Innovation is far broader, embracing six distinctive types of innovation powering the innovation engine, which can be used in combination with each other, to gain both strategic and operational advantage:

1. Market Extensions

4. Product Improvements

2. Technology Inventions

5. Process Improvements

3. System Solutions

6. Business Models

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The good news for business is that, with the exception of technology invention, an employee does not require an engineering degree -- making the majority of innovation available to everyone no matter what rank or educational level!

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