Blue Ocean vs. Red Ocean Strategy

Incremental versus Radical Innovation1




Business Case

Detailed plan can be developed at the beginning of the process

Business model and plan evolves through discovery-based market learning

Key Players

Formal cross-functional teams

Cross-functional individuals, disruptive innopreneurs,
informal networks


Formal, phase-gate model

Informal, flexible model at early stages due to high uncertainties  formal at later stages after uncertainties have been reduced


Synergize Radical and Incrfemental Innovation Market Leadership Strategies Innovation Portfolio Sustainable Growth Strategies Radical vs. Incremental Innovation Radical Innovation Vadim Kotelnikov Blue Ocean Strategy Efficiency Improvement Sustainable Profits Venture Strategies Innovation Project Management: 2 Approaches



Traditional Strategy vs. Strategic Innovation

Kaizen vs. Radical Innovation

  • Kaizen is evolutionary.
    Radical innovation is revolutionary... More


Two Different Patterns

2 Basic Business Growth Strategies

Value Innovation: Yin-Yang Strategies

"Because much of the innovation taking place today is incremental, so is its impact on growth. Little ventured, little gained. Other firms, after years of incremental innovation, suddenly throw millions or even billions of dollars at ideas that are poorly conceived, poorly timed, and poorly executed, only to have near-catastrophic consequences," says Robert Tucker.5

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. "It is easier to say "no" or to require more detailed information than to defend a decision to invest resources in the absence of "hard data."1

Down the road, uncertainties influence the course of radical project development that requires flexibility and creativity in resource and competency acquisition, while incremental projects follow more formal and predictable route.

Entrepreneurial Creativity: Yin and Yang

Innovation Project Management: Two Approaches

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... More

Using an Innovation Portfolio

The innovation portfolio provides visibility that allows your firm pace the introduction of new products and services, proactive and reactive innovations. You should balance the introduction of revolutionary products with incremental improvements in others so as to maintain a steady flow. By having a comprehensive view of your initiatives over time, you can avoid either overwhelming or underwhelming the marketplace... More

Surprise To Win: 3 Strategies

3 Strategies of Market Leaders

Synergize Incremental and Radical Innovations

"Economic success comes not from doing what others do well, but from doing what others cannot do, or cannot do as well." ~ John Kay

Strike a synergistic balance in your innovation portfolio between the immediate and the future to achieve bottom-line results and top-line growth... More

Business e-Coach Kore 10 Innovative Thinking Tools

Kore 10 Tools help innovators approach creation of entrepreneurial strategies and anticipation of opponents' moves more systematically. The Kore 10 Tools help also  innovation leaders and radical project managers strengthen and synergize the most important areas of innovation... More

Case Studies Silicon Valley Firms

To decide if their innovation portfolio has enough stretch, Silicon Valley firms assess the overall balance between revolutionary and evolutionary initiatives. Corporate leaders continually ask, how much does the portfolio push the industry frontiers, and where the company will be positioned a year or two from now if it executes its innovation portfolio properly... More

Case Studies GE

"Shun the incremental, and look for the quantum leap," urged Jack Welch, the former legendary CEO of GE, other leaders at the company. Live productivity and quality, but also make surprise moves ‒ shock your rivals. Shake things up while other look on from the sidelines, sitting idly by while you knock your competitors for a loop. The three critical ingredients of the quantum leap are surprise, boldness, and shock... More





Vadim Kotelnikov, founder of 1000ventures - personal logo Coaching by Example


The first Olympic Games were a radical innovation.
Paralympics and Youth Olympics are incremental innovations.

Innompic Games is a radical innovation.
It a
civilizational breakthrough that cannot wait any longer!

Strategic simulation game "Innovation Football"
is a powerful success catalyst that helps you 
create radical innovationsmake big changes
pursue emerging opportunities  >>>

Innompic Games - Intellectual Internet Games for innovators, disruptive entrepreneurs, Innompics



  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. Driving Growth Through Innovation, Robert B. Tucker

  6. If Incremental Innovation Dominates then We Lose the Future, Paul Hobcraft