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The Three Pillars of World-Class Corporate Innovation

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How to build and implement a repeatable innovation process within an enterprise. Here are the key concepts within the playbook.

More than 75% of executives report that innovation is a top three priority for their company. But, only 20% of executives indicate that your company is ready for large-scale innovation. This is a challenge for modern organizations. How to develop a world-class ecosystem that can drive repeatable innovation at scale.

This playbook describes three pillars of corporate innovation. Innovation Portfolio, Innovation Program, Culture of Innovation. Under each pillar, the playbook outlines three questions leaders and teams can ask to assess whether their company has the right innovation ecosystem.

Innovation Portfolio: What is your company’s portfolio of innovation projects?

  • Does your company’s innovation efforts explore or leverage business modes?
  • Does your company have a balanced portfolio of projects covering efficiency, sustainability and groundbreaking innovation?
  • What is the state of your innovation funnel or pipeline?

Expedition: Find new value propositions and business models by designing and testing new business ideas rather than executing them.

Exploit: Manage existing business models by growing emerging businesses, innovating declining businesses, and protecting successful businesses.


Innovation Program: How is your innovation program structured and managed?

  • Are your leaders excited about the wrong innovation program?
  • What are the results of your innovation program?
  • Are your company’s innovation programs strategically interconnected?

To close innovation capability gaps, companies can assess their own innovation programs.

  • Value creation: Creation of new products, services, value propositions and business models. These programs invest in and manage innovation projects that create value by generating new growth or cost savings.
  • Cultural change: Transform your company to establish a culture of innovation. This may include new processes, metrics, incentive systems, or organizational structure changes. These transformations help companies innovate in a consistent and repeatable way.

Innovation culture: What are your company’s innovation inhibitors and enablers?

  • How much time does your leadership spend on innovation?
  • Where is innovation in your organization and how powerful is it?
  • What is the kill rate for innovation projects?

To overcome the innovation capability gap, companies need to create a culture that enables the right actions to produce world-class, innovative results. A reliable indicator of the quality of an innovation culture is how the innovation team describes it.

  • Leadership Support: How can company leaders have the greatest impact on innovation in terms of time spent, strategic guidance, and resource allocation?
  • Organizational design: How to legitimize and empower innovation, the right incentives, and clear policies for collaboration with the core business.
  • Innovation practice: How to develop people’s innovation skills and experience and acquire the right innovation talent. How to test and adapt ideas with the right tools, processes and metrics to reduce risk.

Lesson learned

  • The three pillars of our innovation ecosystem:
    • innovation portfolio
    • innovation program
    • culture of innovation

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