Innovation Management:

Venture Strategies

Radical Innovation

The Key Driver of Growth, Profitability, and Competitive Advantage

By: Vadim Kotelnikov

Founder, Ten3 Business e-Coach – Inspiration and Innovation Unlimited!



"If you want to succeed, you have to forge new paths and avoid borrowed ones." ~ John Rockefeller

More Innovation Quotes

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Radical Innovation New-To-the-World Product Development Radical Project Management Radical Innovation and Radical Project Management


10 Commandments of Innovation

  • Be different. Strive to change the name of the game – introduce radical innovations... More

Yin-Yang of Value Innovation


Steve Jobs' 12 Rules of Success

  1. Innovate. Innovation distinguishes a leader from a follower. Delegate, let other top executives do 50% of your routine work to be able to spend 50% your time on the new stuff. Say no to 1,000 things make sure you don't get on the wrong track or try to do too much. Concentrate on really important creations and radical innovation. Hire people who want to make the best things in the world... More

3 Strategies of Market Leaders

Competitive Strategies

Survival Strategies

Market Leadership Strategies

Incremental Innovation

Radical innovation & Venture strategies

... More

3 Primary Criteria to Assess Your Innovation Portfolio

Besides assessing each initiative individually for risk, investment, return, and timing, assess your total portfolio to ensure that you have the right initiatives in it:

  1. Stretch and strategic fit. How much does your portfolio push the industry frontiers, and how well does it fit with your business goals and strategy? ... More

Traditional Strategy versus Strategic Innovation

Traditional approaches

Strategic Innovation approach

Focus on incremental innovation

Assumes a rule-breaker (revolutionary) posture


Corporate Strategy: 2 Logics

Distinctive Features of Radical Innovation Projects1

  • produce an entirely new set of performance features


  • produce improvements in known performance features of five times or greater


  • produce a significant (30% or greater) reduction in cost

High and Multidimensional Uncertainties that Must Be Resolved

  1. Technical uncertainties – issues related to completeness and correctness of the underlying scientific knowledge and the technical specifications

  2. Market uncertainties – issues related to customer needs and wants

  3. Organizational uncertainties – organization resistance that stems from a fundamental conflict between the mainstream organization and the radical innovation team

  4. Resource uncertainties – project discontinuities influence the project's funding, staffing, and management requirements.

For radical projects to mature, uncertainty must be reduced on all four dimensions.

"At the same time, if you try to eliminate all uncertainty and control every risk, you'll find yourself frozen in place, never doing anything new."4


Incremental versus Radical Innovation1





Cost or feature improvements in existing products and/or processes

Development of new businesses, products and/or processes


Exploitation of existing technology

Exploration of new technology





Linear and continuous

Sporadic and discontinuous


The Art of Innovation: 9 Truths

By: Guy Kawasaki

  • Jump to the next curve. Too many companies duke it out on the same curve. If they were daisy wheel printer companies, they think innovation means adding Helvetica in 24 points. Instead, they should invent laser printing. True innovation happens when a company jumps to the next curve – or better still, invents the next curve, so set your goals high... More

What is Radical Innovation?

Long-term corporate success linked to the ability to innovate. Although corporate investment in improvements to existing products and processes does bring growth, it is new game changing breakthroughs that will launch company into new markets, enable rapid growth, and create high return on investment.

Creating Customer Value: 9 Questions To Answer


Radical innovation, concerned with exploration of new technology, is fundamentally different from incremental innovation that is concerned with exploitation of existing technology. "Radical innovation is a product, process, or service with either unprecedented performance features or familiar features that offer potential for significant improvements in performance and cost."1 It creates such a dramatic change in processes, products, or services that they transform existing markets or industries, or create new ones.

Inspirational Business Plan: Successful Innovation

Market Analysis: "My experience has been that creating a compelling new technology is so much harder than you think it will be that you're almost dead when you get to the other shore." – Steve Jobs... More

Traditional Management Approaches Do Not Fit

High levels of uncertainties – technical, market, organizational, and resources – create extraordinary challenges for project management. "The problem of multiple dimensions of uncertainty is complicated by the fact that the uncertainties interact with one another."1

New competencies are required to address the challenge of radical innovation project management. These challenges include:

  • Motivating radical idea generation and capturing promising ideas in the "fuzzy front end"

  • Managing sporadic, nonlinear, stochastic, and context-dependent radical innovation projects

  • Engaging individual initiative – upper managers, project team, and key individuals

  • Learning about and forecasting markets for radical innovation

  • Reducing uncertainty in the business model

  • Bridging resource and competency gap

The Jazz of Innovation: 11 Practice Tips

Radical Innovation vs. Incremental Innovation

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

High level of uncertainty is a hallmark a radical innovation projects, especially at early stages. The criteria used to evaluate a radical idea and concept should differ from those applied to evaluating incremental innovations. 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... More

Radical Innovation by Cross-Functional Individuals


"Here is the paradox: You need a great team of people with diverse skills to perform a symphony well, but no team has ever written a great symphony!".1

While cross-functional teams are key players in defining and implementing incremental innovation projects, cross-functional disruptive individuals tend to be key players in defining radical innovation projects. Individuals who are likely to excel in a radical innovation project, besides having superior technical capabilities, should be goal-oriented, broadly educated, creative, extremely bright, not afraid to be different, integrative, flexible, passionate, entrepreneurial, aggressive, eager to learn business, able to take risks, and inquisitive.1

10 Roles of an Inspirational Leader

  1. Build teams and promote and teamwork, leverage diversity. Teamwork is essential for competing in today's global arena. Build a star team, not a team of stars. Diversity of thought, perception, background and experience enhance the creativity and innovation. A team should not just be diverse; it has to make the most of it. Involve everyone, facilitate cross-pollination of ideas, build and empower cross-functional teams if you wish to harness the power of diversity. Challenge people from different disciplines and cultures to come up with something better together and achieve creative breakthroughs... More

 Joke  "Three Legged Chicken"

This joke reveals unforeseen technical uncertainties of a radical innovation project.

A man was driving along a freeway when he noticed a chicken running along side his car. He was amazed to see the chicken keeping up with him because he was doing 50 MPH. He accelerated to 60 and the chicken stayed right next to him. He speeded up to 75 MPH and the chicken passed him up. The man noticed the chicken had three legs. So, he followed to chicken down a road and ended up at a farm. He got out of his car and saw that all the chickens had three legs.

He asked the farmer "What's up with these chickens?"

The farmer said "Well, everybody likes chicken legs. I bred a three legged bird. I'm going to be a millionaire." The man asked him how they tasted.

The farmer said "Don't know, haven't caught one yet." ... More Top Rated Jokes

 Lessons from Silicon Valley Firms  

Deciding If Your Innovation Portfolio Has Enough Stretch

Adapted from Relentless Growth, Christopher Meyer

  1. Balance between revolutionary and evolutionary initiatives. First, Silicon Valley companies assess the overall balance between revolutionary and evolutionary projects. The ultimate arbitrator of portfolio stretch if the innovation leaders’ judgment, experience, intuition, and luck... More

Blue Ocean Strategy: 6 Principles

Blue Ocean Strategy is about revolutionary value innovation.

The six principles drive the successful formulation and execution of Blue Ocean Strategy. These principles attenuate the six risks... More


 Discover much more in the


Technology Commercialization – Venture Pathways...

Fuzzy Front End...


Different Role of Prototyping...

Market Learning through Experimentation...

Two Categories of Approaches to Stimulate Radical Idea Generation...

Steps to Bridging the Conversion Gap between the Firm's Knowledge Base and Radical Innovation Projects...

Creative Leadership...

Thinking Outside-the-Box...

Specific Mindset and Skill Requirements...


 Case Studies  3M...

 Case in Point  Silicon Valley Firms...

 Case in Point  Thermo Electron...

 Case in Point  Corning...

 Case in Point  GE...

 Case in Point  Charles Schwab...

 Case in Point  Apple...

 Case in Point  VVV...






Best Innovation Site - Ten3 Business e-Coach by Vadim Kotelnikov



  1. Radical Innovation, Harvard Business School

  2. "Venture Catalyst", Donald L. Laurie

  3. "A Manager's Guide for the New Millennium:, Ken Matejka & Richard J. Dunsing

  4. Relentless Growth, Christopher Meyer

  5. "Developing Products in Half the Time", Donald Reinertson and Preston Smith

  6. The Art of Innovation, Tom Kelley

  7. Innovation Management Techniques (IMTs)

  8. 12 Recommendations for Stimulating Radical Idea Generation, Vadim Kotelnikov

  9. Are Breakthroughs a Matter of Luck?, Ted Santos

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Innovation Football

Innovation process as a football game!

 View an innovation case study presented as a football game