Radical Innovation

Surprise to Win


Radical vs. Incremental Innovation

High-risk-high-return vs. low-risk-low-return projects

Vadim Kotelnikov

Vadim Kotelnikov, founder of 1000ventures - personal logo Vadim Kotelnikov




There is practical value in understanding the patterns in and the differences between evolutionary incremental innovation projects and revolutionary radical innovation projects. This understanding can help you apply right management practices to different types of innovation projects and make the course of radical innovation shorter, less sporadic, less expensive, and less uncertain.



Vadim Kotelnikov advice quotes

Radical innovation should be followed by a chain of incremental innovations to stay competitive. →  Example

Vadim Kotelnikov

Vadim Kotelnikov, founder of 1000ventures - personal logo    Business e-Coach    Innompic Games icon



3 Types of Innovation  >>>

Radical innovation creates radical changes in business, capabilities or markets

Platform innovation enables significant extensions to current business

Derivative innovation is evolutionary progress or a rapid response to new challenges




3 Levels of Radical Innovations  >>>

Breakthrough innovation provides a solution of a pressing problem

Disruptive innovation creates a new big market niche

Game-changing innovation transforms the market and the society → Example




Incremental versus Radical Innovation  >>>





Functional innovator

Holistic innovator, proactive rule-breaker, venturepreneur




Business Case

Detailed business case and plan can be developed at the beginning of the innovation process

Business model evolves through  entrepreneurial simulation games, experimentation, and discovery-based market learning

Key Players

Formal cross-functional innovation teams

Disruptive innopreneurs, cross-functional individuals, synergistic teams


Formal, phase-gate model

Informal, flexible, jazz-like improvisation model, especially at early stages due to fuzzy front end and high uncertainties

Project Leader

Managerial leader

Entrepreneurial leader




Two Different Patterns

Incremental innovation has incremental impact on growth: little ventured, little gained.

High level of uncertainty is a hallmark a radical innovation projects, especially at early stages. The criteria used to evaluate a radical idea and concept should differ from those applied to evaluating incremental innovations. Viewing radical ideas associated with high uncertainties from the perspective of the mainstream business and applying traditional evaluation methods and criteria to them is inappropriate and counterproductive. Either these methods give a false sense of security, or they lead to premature rejection of good ideas. "It is easier to say "no" or to require more detailed information than to defend a decision to invest resources in the absence of "hard data.,"" say researchers from Harvard Business School, the author of Radical Innovation.



Business Incubation best training Innoball simulation game Vadim Kotelnikov Innovation Football Brainball win wisely  


Entrepreneurial simulation game
 INNOBALL can strengthen radical project team and key parts of the business case of an innovation project, especially a radical innovation project, significantly, and ultimately, achieve far beyond initial aspirations.


Innompic Games    NPD Co.




Blue Ocean vs. Red Ocean Strategy

Synergize Radical and Incrfemental Innovation Market Leadership Strategies Innovation Portfolio Sustainable Growth Strategies Radical vs. Incremental Innovation Radical Innovation Vadim Kotelnikov Blue Ocean Strategy Efficiency Improvement Sustainable Profits Venture Strategies Innovation Project Management: 2 Approaches



Traditional Strategy vs. Strategic Innovation

Kaizen vs. Radical Innovation

  • Kaizen is evolutionary.
    Radical innovation is revolutionary... More

Innovation Project Management: Two Approaches

Even though the radical innovation life cycle includes many of the same sets of activities and decision points, the reality of managing the process is strikingly different for radical versus incremental innovation.

Down the road, uncertainties influence the course of radical project development that requires flexibility and creativity in resource and competency acquisition, while incremental projects follow more formal and predictable route... More

Innovation Portfolio

The innovation portfolio provides visibility that allows your firm pace the introduction of new products and services, proactive and reactive innovations. You should balance the introduction of revolutionary products with incremental improvements in others so as to maintain a steady flow. By having a comprehensive view of your initiatives over time, you can avoid either overwhelming or underwhelming the marketplace... More

Surprise To Win: 3 Strategies

3 Strategies of Market Leaders

Synergize Incremental and Radical Innovations

"Economic success comes not from doing what others do well, but from doing what others cannot do, or cannot do as well." ~ John Kay

Strike a synergistic balance in your innovation portfolio between the immediate and the future to achieve bottom-line results and top-line growth... More

Business e-Coach KoRe 10 Innovative Thinking Tools

Kore 10 Tools help innovators approach creation of entrepreneurial strategies and anticipation of opponents' moves more systematically. The KoRe 10 Tools help also  innovation leaders and radical project managers strengthen and synergize the most important areas of innovation... More

Case Studies Silicon Valley Firms

To decide if their innovation portfolio has enough stretch, Silicon Valley firms assess the overall balance between revolutionary and evolutionary initiatives. Corporate leaders continually ask, how much does the portfolio push the industry frontiers, and where the company will be positioned a year or two from now if it executes its innovation portfolio properly... More

Case Studies GE

"Shun the incremental, and look for the quantum leap," urged Jack Welch, the former legendary CEO of GE, other leaders at the company. Live productivity and quality, but also make surprise moves ‒ shock your rivals. Shake things up while other look on from the sidelines, sitting idly by while you knock your competitors for a loop. The three critical ingredients of the quantum leap are surprise, boldness, and shock... More





Vadim Kotelnikov, founder of 1000ventures - personal logo Coaching by Example


The first Olympic Games were a radical innovation.
Paralympics and Youth Olympics are incremental innovations.

Innompic Games is a radical innovation.
It a
civilizational breakthrough that cannot wait any longer!

Strategic simulation game "Innovation Football"
is a powerful success catalyst that helps you 
create radical innovationsmake big changes
pursue emerging opportunities  >>>

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  1. Radical Innovation, Harvard Business School

  2. Venture Catalyst, Donald L. Laurie

  3. A Manager's Guide for the New Millennium:, Ken Matejka & Richard J. Dunsing

  4. Relentless Growth, Christopher Meyer

  5. Driving Growth Through Innovation, Robert B. Tucker

  6. If Incremental Innovation Dominates then We Lose the Future, Paul Hobcraft