Project Management:

Radical Innovation

Radical Project Management (RPM)

New Experimental Approach for the Era of Rampant Change and Increasing Complexity

By: Vadim Kotelnikov

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


Managing chaotic radical innovation projects is more art than science. 

The Jazz of Innovation


Three Types of Radical Innovation Projects1

  1. Innovations within the technology / market domains of existing business units – strengthen a firm's position with familiar markets.

  2. Innovations in the "white spaces"  between a firm's existing businesses – serve markets that are new to the firm, but within the firm's current strategic context.

  3. Innovations outside a firm's current strategic context – open new and entirely unfamiliar markets.


Specific Skills of Radical Project Managers

DOs and DON'Ts of a Successful Innovator

By: Peter Drucker

DOs: Start small – try to do one specific thing...

DON'Ts: Don't undershoot, or you will simply create an opportunity for competition... More

10 Commandments of Innovation

Turning Failures To Opportunities

3 Steps

  • Get rid of all negative emotions – and lean: There is no failure, only feedback!... More


Why Radical Project Management (RPM)?

As radical innovation projects are characterized by higher levels of uncertainties – technical, market, and organizational, –  patterns of their journey to the marketplace are unlike those in incremental innovation projects.

3 Strategies of Market Leaders

Improvisation-driven Radical Project Management (RPM)


The improvisation-driven model is one approach to radical innovation project management. It works well when the unknowns are high and the players are seasoned.

This model doesn’t discard structure, just as there is a clear structure to good jazz. Rather than having it overlaid from the outside, though, the improvisational approach builds structure from the inside as it is needed. That’s why it requires a critical mass of experienced people to work.

The improvisational model is limited by three factors:

  1. It’s not effective for very large projects

  2. Passing on the learning from one initiative to another is difficult, because much of the required tacit knowledge is woven tightly into the experience of those participating.

  3. There is very little explicit knowledge available to teach others how to do it because the process is highly tacit.3

The Jazz of Innovation: 11 Practice Tips

Flexible Model

The flexible approach overlaps phases rather than functions. The power in the flexible model is that the development process and tools are explicitly designed to support this overlap. The requirements to make the flexible approach work are:

  • a multidisciplinary core of highly experienced “architects”

  • the use of frequent prototyping and simulation

  • high level of vendor and customer inclusion

  • focus.3

Leading a Radical Innovation Project

Radical project management requires:

  • Entrepreneurial Leadership: Entrepreneurial leadership involves instilling the confidence to think, behave and act with entrepreneurship in the interests of fully realizing the intended purpose of the organization to the beneficial growth of all stakeholders involved.

  • Creative Leadership: Creative leaders have a clear view of future needs and opportunities. They also understand the current problems and needs of the organization and find ways to include people in the vision.

  • Transformational leadership: Transformational leaders, by definition, seek to transform. When the organization does not need transforming and people are happy as they are, then such a leader will be frustrated. Like wartime leaders, however, given the right situation they come into their own and can be personally responsible for saving entire companies... More


Inspirational Business Plan: Successful Innovation

Financial Projections: "We are always saying to ourselves... we have to innovate. We got to come up with that breakthrough. So long as you are using your existing software... you don't pay us anything at all. So we're only paid for breakthroughs." Bill Gates... More


 Discover much more in the


7 Challenges in Managing Radical Innovation...

Fuzzy Frond End and Fuzzy Logic...

Keys to Effective Radical Innovation Project Management...

 Case in Point  Corning...

 Case in Point  Thermo Electron...

 Case in Point  Silicon Valley Firms...

 Case in Point  VVV...

 Case in Point  Fun4Biz...






  1. Radical Innovation, Harvard Business School

  2. "Strategic Project Management", Tony Grundy and Laura Brown

  3. Relentless Growth, Christopher Meyer

  4. "Transformational Leadership,"

  5. Managing Radical Innovation, Vadim Kotelnikov

  6. 3 Strategies of Market Leaders, Vadim Kotelnikov

  7. New Product – Fast!, Vadim Kotelnikov

  8. The Jazz of Innovation, Vadim Kotelnikov

  9. Venturepreneur, Vadim Kotelnikov

  10. Entrepreneurial Creativity, Vadim Kotelnikov


Free Micro-course

10 slides

Managing Radical Innovation


Free Micro-course

14 slides

Lessons from Silicon Valley Firms


Free Micro-course

10 slides

The Jazz of Innovation

New Product Development

Why New Products Fail?

New-To-The-World Product Development

Radical Innovation

Radical vs. Incremental Innovation

Managing Radical Innovation Through In-Company Ventures


7 Dimensions of Strategic Innovation

Entrepreneurial Creativity

Keeping Eyes Open for Inspiration

Trend Spotting Tips

10 Brainstorming Rules

Innovation Project Management Quotes

The Jazz of Innovation

11 Practicing Tips

Stupid Failure vs. Noble Failure

Innovation-friendly Organization

Organizing for Innovation: Organizational Models that Support Innovation

How To Transform Your Business Into an Innovative and Creative Culture

Guiding Principles To Liberate Employees from the Fear of Trying New Things

Smart Corporate Leader

3 Strategies of Market Leaders

Project Management


Discover a new revolutionary training game!

Innovation as a Football Game

See a radical innovation case study presented as a football game