Whether Innovation is gradual (and incremental) or radical (and
disruptive), it typically starts with ideas or catalysts that can be
thought of as a "spark." The spark might be a person, an idea, a
creation, an invention ... but that's just the beginning ... it isn't
what actually produces innovation.
Innovation can only be said to occur when the spark "ignites" and
produces a positive result for an organization or for society.
In not-for-profit and public sectors, innovation is usually the result
of a new or improved service or an internal process that optimizes
viability, increases demand, and/or maximizes long-term survival.
In the private sector, innovation might maximize long-term survival, but it also typically results
in profitability through a new product or service--or one that does something better
or faster, facilitates expanded use, or is able to command a higher
In all sectors, innovation can create a foundation for continued
growth, expansion, viability, and improvements in efficiency and/or
Once ideas are
generated, organizations need to select the ones that show the most
promise or fit best with their organizations' missions, goals, and
When ideas are implemented or commercialized, products and
services or improved processes must be continually enhanced to ensure ongoing differentiation and competitive advantage.
Organizations need to also be willing to terminate projects that fail
to show promise or fall outside of established
parameters or resources. Well designed stage-gate processes can ensure that progress is continually evaluated so that ongoing investment is validated--or not.
Innovative approaches and ideas must continually be balanced by
effective portfolio management systems and practices that support both value creation and value preservation.
Copyright 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 Marilyn J. Blocker. All rights reserved. Innovation Outcomes* is a trademark of Marilyn J. Blocker.