"Because much of the
taking place today is incremental, so is its impact on
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
projects and revolutionary
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
High level of uncertainty is a
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
Yin and Yang
Innovation Project Management: Two Approaches
Even though the
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...
vs. Red Ocean Strategy
Using an Innovation
provides visibility that allows your firm pace the introduction of new
products and services. You should
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...
Synergize Incremental and Radical Innovations
comes not from doing what others do well, but from doing what others cannot do,
or cannot do as well."
~ John Kay
innovation portfolio between the immediate and the future to achieve
bottom-line results and top-line growth...
To decide if their innovation portfolio has
firms assess the overall
and evolutionary initiatives.
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...
"Shun the incremental, and look for the
quantum leap," urged
the former legendary CEO of
leaders at the company. Live
but also make
‒ 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...