The Art and Discipline of
Strategic Innovation is the creation of
new product categories, services or
models that change
the game and generate significant
new value for customers
and the corporation.
Creating Customer Value: 9 Questions
Many organizations reply on serendipitous acts
Others take an ad hoc unstructured approach, which often results in
uninspired incremental improvements or poor implementation.
Strategic innovation is a holistic systematic
approach focused on generating beyond incremental,
discontinuous innovations. Innovation becomes "strategic" when it is an
intentional repeatable process that creates a significant difference in
the value delivered to consumers, customers, partners and the
corporation. A Strategic Innovation initiative generates a portfolio of
breakthrough business growth opportunities using a
Jazz of Innovation: 11 Practice Tips
This paper describes a
multidisciplinary framework that enables organizations to take a
strategic approach to innovation.
The framework combines non-traditional,
creative approaches to
business innovation with conventional
strategy development models. It
brings together perspectives from several disciplines: the non-traditional
approaches to innovation found in the business creativity movement;
traditional strategy consulting; the
new product development
perspective of industrial design firms; qualitative consumer/customer
research; futures research found in think tanks and traditional scenario
planning; and organizational development (OD) practices that examine the
effectiveness of an
processes and structures.
Innovation: 7 Areas
The framework consists of a cohesive set of
practices that inspire imaginative teams to
look beyond the obvious, explore a broad range of possibilities,
identify significant opportunities, make informed decisions about the
most promising paths to pursue, create a
shared vision for growth, define pragmatic action plans that “bridge
from the future back to the present” and align the organization around the
requirements for success.
Strategic Innovation takes the road less
traveled – it challenges an organization to look beyond its established
business boundaries and mental models and to participate in an open-minded,
creative exploration of the realm of possibilities.
Some organizations may feel that seeking
is too grandiose a goal, and that they would be content with “simply growing
the business”. Experience shows, however, that focusing on the short-term
typically yields only short-term results – while teams aspiring to seek
significant breakthroughs will both identify “big ideas” and also generate
closer-in, incremental ideas.
Blue Ocean vs. Red Ocean Strategy
Strategic Innovation is not characterized by
mundane, incremental product extensions, the “me-too” business models of
close followers, or band-aids for inefficient processes. It does not consist
of simple “facilitated creativity sessions and
new ideas”. It is not based on the linear principles of traditional
which extrapolate the past in an attempt to predict the future. It does not
result in “pure blue sky”. Instead, it spans a journey of inquiry and
activity – from creative inspiration at the ambiguous “fuzzy
front end” through the detailed requirements of successful execution
that lead to business impact.
Strategic Innovation calls for a holistic
approach that operates on multiple levels. First, it blends non-traditional
and traditional approaches to
deploying the practices of “Industry Foresight”, “Consumer/Customer Insight”
and “Strategic Alignment” as a foundation, and supplementing them with
conventional consulting models. Second, it combines two seemingly
paradoxical mindsets: expansive, visionary thinking that imaginatively
explores long-term possibilities; and pragmatic, down-to-earth
implementation activities that lead to short-term, measurable business
7 Dimensions of
The Strategic Innovation framework weaves
together seven dimensions to produce a range of outcomes that drive growth.
Innovation Process lies at the core of
the approach. By facilitating the interplay between external perspectives
and an organization's internal
/ practices – and by
looking beyond the obvious – it is possible to inspire the corporate
imagination to explore a diverse array of new possibilities.
The process is designed and managed to create
Alignment – the enthusiastic internal support among key
stakeholders required to galvanize an organization around shared
Industry Foresight provides a "top-down"
perspective that seeks to understand the complex forces driving change,
including emerging and converging
trends, new technologies, competitive dynamics, potential dislocations
and alternative scenarios.
Consumer/Customer Insight provides a
"bottom-up" perspective, a deep understanding of both articulated
(explicitly stated) and unarticulated (latent or unrecognized) needs of
existing and potential consumers/customers.
Core Technologies and
Competencies is the set of
capabilities, organizational competencies and assets that could
potentially be leveraged to deliver
value to customers,
including technologies, intellectual property,
brand equity and
Organizational Readiness may drive or
inhibit its ability to act upon and
implement new ideas
strategies, and to successfully manage operational, political,
cultural and financial demands that
Lastly, success will be enabled or limited by
an organization's capacity for effective, Disciplined Implementation.
An organization moves beyond an ad hoc approach
to innovation when it begins develop and
a cultural mindset and a set of
Sustainable Innovation. This then
becomes a foundation for ongoing