Innovation Management


Innovation vs. Operations

Different approaches to high performance

Vadim Kotelnikov

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




Vadim Kotelnikov innovation quotes managers vs innovators

Innovation is about Love.
Operating is about discipline.

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.

Do you want to manage innovation? The traditional management skills don't work. They will kill innovation quickly.




Vadim Koelnikov personal logo

Smart & Fast

Innovation Success 360








Operating vs. Innovating



Creating today's revenue

Creating tomorrow's revenue

Managers are in charge

Leaders are in change

Following rules

Breaking rules

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

Failures are punished

Noble failures are permitted

Reworking is waste

Reworking is a part of learning and moving forward

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

Scientific forecasting possible

Scientific forecasting impossible,

simulation games are used instead

Short cycle time

Long cycle time

Many common causes

Many special causes

Traditional players & roles

New players & roles

Doing things right

Doing right things



Vadim Koelnikov personal logo

Smart & Fast

Innovation Success 360





Vadim Kotelnikov advice quotes

In innovation doing things right is often wrong.

It's managers who succeed by following the rules.
Innovators succeed by breaking rules.

Vadim Kotelnikov

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



Different Strategies and Routes to Success

When managing daily operations, you know:

When managing innovation you have to:

what results should be

what steps are required to achieve them

who should do what along the way

rely on your intuition because you always have too little information available to make choices

pursue not a single clear goal, but multiple and unclear goals

explore various routes towards your goals





The Jazz of Innovation


Innovation is a learning process, the product of which is new applied knowledge. Operations is an established process driven by existing knowledge.

What makes innovation unique as a business process is that a structure and improvisation are intertwined throughout the process. The routine tasks have little value by themselves however; the purpose of the structure is to streamline the discovery and innovation process.

Innovation Jazz Innompic Anthem Planet of Loving Creators



Vadim Koelnikov personal logo

Smart & Fast

Innovation Success 360







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".

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".


"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



Jack Welch advice business quotes

Shun the incremental and go for the leap.

Jack Welch




Vadim Koelnikov personal logo

Smart & Fast

Innovation Success 360