VadiK teachings Vadim Kotelnikov

Radical vs. Incremental Innovation

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

Vadim Kotelnikov, founder of 1000ventures - personal logo VadiK

Inventor Business e-Coach

Author Innoball

Founder Innompic Games icon



There is practical value in understanding the patterns in and the differences between evolutionary incremental innovation projects and revolutionary radical innovation projects.




Vadim Kotelnikov inspirational speaker creative problem solving

If you create something unseen before,
prepare to address challenges unmet earlier


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.




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 and Blue-Ocean strategies, especially at early stages.

  Radical Innovation vs. Incremental Innovation project management


Vadim Kotelnikov

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

Vadim Kotelnikov, founder of 1000ventures - personal logo VadiK

Inventor Business e-Coach

Author Innoball

Founder Innompic Games icon




Incremental vs. 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



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Synergize Radical and Incremental Innovations

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







Innompic Games radical innovations

Innompic Games
is the largest combination of radical and incremental innovations




Miss Innovation World

Ksenya Kotelnikova

radical innovation success story




Evaluating Radical Ideas

Innovation leaders must both stimulate radical idea generation and select the most promising ones for implementation.

The criteria used to evaluate a radical idea and concept should differ from those applied to evaluating incremental innovations and incremental improvements.

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 authors of Radical Innovation.





Balanced Innovation Portfolio




Types of InnovationL PDR, Platform, Derivative, Incremental, Radical, Disruptive, Breakthrough  

Balance the introduction of revolutionary products with incremental improvements in others so as to maintain a steady flow... More

Portfolio of Technological Projects









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.



Radical Innovation

Innovation Strategy

Surprise to Win

Ask Learning SWOT Questions





"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


Blue Ocean Strategies

Blue Ocean vs. Red Ocean Strategies

KoRe Examples

9 Maxims of Venturing

How To Address











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






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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.






PowerPoints for sale

for Teachers

Innovation Success 360






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


Business e-Coach KoRe 10 Innovative Thinking Tools (10 KITT)

10 KITT 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




Traditional Strategy vs. Strategic Innovation

Traditional approaches to business strategy formulation focus on incremental innovation.

Strategic Innovation approach seeks breakthrough, disruptive innovation while continuing to build the core... More

Technology Management

Technology Strategy


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