Vadim Kotelnikov    

Innovation vs. Operations

Different Approaches to Management


Business e-Coach     


Vadim Kotelnikov innovation quotes managers vs innovators




Operating versus Innovating



Creating today's revenue

Creating tomorrow's revenue

Steps are pre-defined

Steps are undefined

Steps are mostly linear

Steps are mostly non-linear

Single route and result

Multiple routes and results

Driven by functional teams

Driven by cross-functional teams

Reworking is waste

Reworking is part of learning

Clear, shared goals

Unclear, often conflicting goals

Clear front end

Fuzzy front end

Easy to measure

Tough to measure

Rich historical data

Poor historical data

Forecasting possible

Forecasting almost impossible

Short cycle time

Long cycle time

Many common causes

Many special causes

Traditional players & roles

New players & roles

Doing things right

Doing right things


  Leadership vs. Management



How To Lead Creative People

By: Max DePree

  Loose-Tight Leadership


Inspirational Business Plan: Successful Innovation

Market Analysis: "Managing and innovation did not always fit comfortably together. That's not surprising. Managers are people who like order. They like forecasts to come out as planned. In fact, managers are often judged on how much order they produce. Innovation, on the other hand, is often a disorderly process. Many times, perhaps most times, innovation does not turn out as planned. As a result, there is tension between managers and innovation." Lewis Lehro..

Innovation Management Team: "Mangers succeed by following the rules. Innovators succeed by breaking the rules."... More

Primary Difference between Innovation and Operations

Innovation is a learning process, the product of which is new applied knowledge. Operations is an established process driven by existing knowledge. Operations generate today's value, while innovation creates tomorrow's opportunities. The primary difference between operations and innovation is uncertainty. It eludes planning, prediction and containment.

"What makes innovation unique as a business process is that creativity and routine are intertwined throughout the process". The routine tasks have little value by themselves however; their purpose is to support the knowledge discovery process.

Operating is about discipline. Innovation is about Love.

"Not only do the traditional management skills not work,
they'll smoother innovation quicker than you can say."  
~ Dr. Kevorkian

Value Innovation: Yin-Yang Strategies Download PowerPoint presentation, pdf e-book



Different Management Tools and Thinking

Managing innovation requires specific approaches. "If you try to manage the uncertainty inherent in innovation with tools and thinking designed for the relative certainty of operations, you'll run into trouble... You'll be continuously surprised as your assumptions prove false".

The most effective way to deal with uncertainty inherent in innovation is to have a learning process that "systematically confronts the unknown with new hypotheses, tests them, and eventually creates a new knowledge".

Learning SWOT Questions

When innovating, you cannot figure it all out and ahead of time and stick to one plan; so, don't wait ‒ just go for it, learn and adjust as you go. That's why "successful innovators get used to moving forward, backing up, going sidewise, chasing parallel paths for a while, consolidating, and then going forward again".  >>>

Different Strategies and Routes to Success

When managing daily operations, you know:

  • what results should be

  • what steps are required to achieve them, and

  • who should do what along the way.

Managing innovation is quite different from managing operations as:

  • you always have less information available to make choices than you'd like

  • innovation has not a single goal, but multiple and unclear goals, and

  • each of these goals can be reached through multiple routes.

The Jazz of Innovation: 11 Guiding Principles Download PowerPoint presentation, pdf e-book