Rapid innovation requires an effective innovation process.

Virtuous Spiral

The process of innovation is a rhythm of proactive inside-out invention  and outside-in adaptation, search and selection, simulation and experimentation, exploration and synthesis, cycles of loose-tight leadership − divergent thinking followed by convergence.

  INNOVATION PROCESS: Traditional and Flexible Model





Holistic Approach to Innovation

In today's era of systemic innovation, you must design your firm's innovation process holistically.

Holistic innovation (HI) is a visionary big-picture systems approach to inventing, synergizing, designing, harmonizing, producing and delivering complex innovative value.

Innovation is the key driver of competitive advantage, growth, and profitability. There are many parts of the whole field of innovation: invention, business design, business model, strategy innovation, new product development, creative approaches to problem solving, idea management, suggestion systems, etc. All of these components are important in their own right. Yet approaching them separately will bring local results only. These seemingly disparate issues must be approached holistically, synergized and integrated into a single overarching strategy if they are to be mobilized in the quest for growth.




Publicly Defined Innovation Process

In any socio-technical system the people in the system work better when they understand how they fit into the system as a whole. Road-mapping provides strategic aligning, a common language for innovation, and builds bridges between technologists and business managers within your corporation, and with your major suppliers and customers... More



The Traditional Phase-Gate Model

The traditional phase-gate model has many weaknesses and works well only when:

▪ the time required to innovate is shorter than the rate of change in the business environment

the quality, reliability, and safety requirements are critical

a company has never had a defined innovation process and can use the phase-gate paradigm as a good first step to stabilize innovation before trying to speed it up.



The Jazz of Innovation

The improvisation-driven model for innovation project management doesn’t discard structure, just as there is a clear structure to good jazz.

In innovation, this structure is created through roadmaps, guiding principles, business processes, systems and organizational charts. Strategic-planning and road-mapping processes cannot guarantee brilliant flashes of creative insight, but they can prepare minds and increase the odds that such flashes occur in real time. Thus structure, as chords do in jazz, serves as a basis for improvisation, experimentations, discoveries and innovation... More



Radical vs. Incremental Innovation

Incremental innovation projects, due to low levels of uncertainties, are usually follow the orderly phase-gate process.

Radical innovation projects, due to high levels of uncertainties, use the flexible model. "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," say HBS authors of Radical Innovation... More