Showing all articles tagged: innovation

Characteristics of an Innovation

  • Relative advantage
    • Perceived superiority of innovation over current solution
  • Compatibility
    • Perceived fit of an innovation to adopter’s existing practices, values, experiences
  • Complexity
    • Higher degree of perceived complexity, slower the rate of adoption
  • Trialability
    • Experience the innovation before adopting it
  • Observability
    • Extent to which better benefits of the innovation are visible to others within the population of potential adopters
  • Newness

Venture Map

Every venture (business, not-for-profit, company, et al) looks like this. Not every venture adequately addresses each of these elements, at their own peril!

From one perspective (of many!), all healthy business ventures look like this. They at least have all these elements in place, if not adequately addressed. So, while every healthy venture does look like this, unhealthy ventures look like this, too! The difference is that the healthy ventures have solid strategies in place for each of these areas ... unhealthy ventures do not.

There are two key activities crucial for creating and maintaining a healthy company ...

1] The core business operations focuses on the Transformation process ... transforming customer needs, wants and desires into products, services, and business methods that keep customers coming and satisfied.

2] There must also be a continual Innovation process in the venture, focusing on sustaining core competencies, solving current and future customer problems, building sustainable competitive advantages, and growing the business in ever-changing environments.

Innovation has a revolutionary reputation, but an evolutionary reality!

An innovation is (simply) something new and better. Some innovations are very complex, many are relatively simple incremental improvements of existing products, services, processes, methods, models, and positions.

Some times little improvements can make a big difference.

Glue that doesn't stick very well + a yellow piece of paper = Post-it Notes (3M) >>> billions of dollars in revenue!

(c) ... 1.04

Innovation "Hot Spots"

While innovation is often associated with new products, new gizmogadgets, a broader perspective shows innovation occurring in many areas of a business and often has little or nothing to do with products.

Here are some key areas of innovation opportunity for a business venture ...
  1. Products (yes, still high on the list, of course!)
  2. Services
  3. Processes
  4. Business methods
  5. Business model
  6. Revenue model
  7. Positioning (relative to the competition)
  8. Paradigm (a combination of several innovation areas)


Stimulating Creativity with SCAMPER ...

To create a new product, service, process, method or model, try applying "SCAMPER" to an old one. SCAMPER is an acronym for Substitute; Combine; Adapt; Modify, Minimize, Magnify; Put to Another Use; Eliminate, Elaborate; Rearrange, Reverse ...

  1. Substitute ... What can you substitute? What can be used instead? Who else instead? What other ingredients? Other material? Other process? Other power? Other place? Other approach? Other sounds? Other forces? ... "Instead of ... I can ..."
  2. Combine ... What can you combine or bring together somehow? How about a blend, an alloy, an assortment, an ensemble? Combine units? Combine purposes? Combine appeals? Combine ideas? ... "I can bring together ... and ... to ..."
  3. Adapt ... What can you adapt for use as a solution? What else is like this? What other idea does this suggest? Does past offer a parallel? What could I copy? Who could I emulate? ... "I can adapt ... in this way ... to ..."
  4. Modify, Minimize, Magnify ... Can you change the item in some way? Change meaning, color, motion, sound, smell, form, shape? Other changes? ... Also: 'Minify': What can you remove? Smaller? Condensed? Miniature? Lower? Shorter? Lighter? Omit? Streamline? Split up? Understate? ... Also: Magnify: What can you add? More time? Greater frequency? Stronger? Higher? Longer? Thicker? Extra value? Plus ingredient? Duplicate? Multiply? Exaggerate? ... "I can modify/minimize/magnify.. in this way ... to .."
  5. Put to Another Use ... How can you put the thing to different or other uses? New ways to use as is? Other uses if it is modified? ... "I can reuse ... in this way ... by ..."
  6. Eliminate, elaborate ... What can you eliminate? Remove something? Eliminate waste? Reduce time? Reduce effort? Cut costs? ... "I can eliminate ... by ..."
  7. Rearrange, reverse ... What can be rearranged in some way? Interchange components? Other pattern? Other layout? Other sequence? Transpose cause and effect? Change pace? Change schedule? ... "I can rearrange ... like this ... such that ..."

[Attribution: Robert Eberle, Alex Osborn]


Money is Made in the "Sweet Spot"!

Something: Product, Service, Process, Method or Model, or combination ... if an innovation has all four elements, it may well be on a path to becoming a paradigm innovation!

Method: a new way of doing business
Model: a new way of capturing value in a business, ie an innovative business model ... (c) Jim Jindrick, all rights reserved ... 1.06

Types of Innovation in Business ...

Innovation has a revolutionary reputation, but an evolutionary reality! An innovation is (simply) something new and better. [New: didn't exist before in this market space. Better: desireable benefits, a lower price, or both ... compared to the available alternatives.]

Some types of innovation are pretty simple, pretty straight-forward. A new hot dog stand on a corner can be an example of "positioning" innovation ... simple, yet it does provide something new and better.

  1. Incremental … basic design concepts are reinforced, linkages between modules are unchanged
  2. Component or modular … basic design concepts are overturned, linkages between modules are unchanged
  3. Architectural … linkages between modules are changed, basic design concepts are reinforced
  4. Radical … basic design concepts are overturned, linkages between modules are changed
  5. Disruptive ... technological discontinuity
  6. Application ... technology application creates new market ... killer application
  7. Product ... improved performance, dominant design
  8. Process ... more efficient and/or effective processes
  9. Positioning ... establishing a venture in a new space
  10. Experiential ... improved customer experience
  11. Marketing ... improved marketing relationships
  12. Business model ... reframe the value proposition or value chain
  13. Structural ... responds to structural changes in the industry
  14. Service … give the same products but with much better service
  15. Paradigm ... good luck! If we want a paradigm shift, we'll need a solid combination of several simpler innovations!

[From Dorf/Byers, Technology Ventures with jj edits]

How to Kill Creativity ...

Creativity is such a fragile creature, easily wounded, often destroyed. A few of the weapons, simple phrases, or actions that can be used to kill creativity include the following:
  1. We don't take any risks around here ...
  2. We don't have time ...
  3. It would take too long ...
  4. We don't have resources ...
  5. Well, maybe tomorrow ...
  6. It's not my job ...
  7. It's not your job ...
  8. That's a dumb question ...
  9. The rules are ...
  10. You're going to fail ...
  11. It would cost too much ...
  12. It's impossible ...
  13. Why don't you write a report ...
  14. It's not your job ...
  15. That's been done before ...
  16. That's not how we do things around here ...
  17. Their ideas don't count ...
  18. Well, maybe next week ...
  19. That's a stupid idea ...
  20. Yes, but ...
  21. Well, maybe next year ...
  22. If it ain't broke, don't fix it...
  23. It's good enough already ...
  24. We don't have money ...
  25. It's never been done before ...
  26. We tried that and it didn't work ...
  27. I don't like it ...
  28. Our customers wouldn't like it ...
  29. That's not really creative ...
  30. That's crazy ...
  31. (Yawn) ...


REAL Brain ... Right Brain, Left Brain

You got two sides to your brain, use them both ... but not at the same time!

LEFT BRAIN characteristics … ANALYTICAL
  1. Logical
  2. Sequential
  3. Rational
  4. Objective
  5. Looks at parts
  6. Conventional
RIGHT BRAIN characteristics … CREATIVE
  1. Intuitive
  2. Holistic
  3. Synthesizing
  4. Subjective
  5. Looks at wholes
  6. Transformational
BTW: Roger Sperry won a Nobel Prize for his work on his split-brain theory.


Brainstorming ...

The best way to have a good idea is to have lots of ideas from which to choose!

  1. Brainstorming is a team sport ... support your team members!
  2. No criticism ... no "devil's advocates" allowed!
  3. Anything goes … wild, crazy, impractical, ingenious ideas encouraged!
  4. Go for quantity, not quality, of ideas!
  5. All ideas encouraged!
  6. Piggyback, improve, combine ideas ... be an "angel advocate"!
  7. Record all ideas so nothing gets lost!
  8. Filter ideas later, not during the brainstorming session! This is a right-brain exercise!
  9. Set a time limit for the session, then stick to it!

Variation ... brainwriting: the general process is that, in a group, ideas are recorded by each individual who thought of them ... they are then passed on to the next person who uses them as a trigger for their own ideas.

(c) 2017 Jindrick ... 1.08

Phases of Innovation ...

Innovation: something new and better
Something: product, service, process, method, position, solution, paradigm
New: did not exist before in our market space
Better: superior value compared to the competition

Creativity can exist in vacuum, innovation cannot.

  1. Preparation ... focus on the problem or opportunity, and who it affects
  2. Exploration ... identify current solutions, alternatives, and substitutes
  3. Stimulation ... use creativity techniques to trigger new ideas, concepts, and solutions
  4. Incubation ... give the new ideas some time and thought
  5. Illumination ... identify new ideas, concepts, and solutions
  6. Selection ... establish and use clear criteria for selecting the "best" concept
  7. Planning ... decide how to implement the concept
  8. Implementation ... put the plan and concept to work
  9. Evaluation ... determine if the new concept is working
  10. Iteration ... apply incremental improvement to the concept, or start over


Jim Jindrick

Some tips, tools, and rules of thumb for innovation commercialization! You can send Jim Jindrick a message here: Jim's books are available here:

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