Principles of Innovation

Principles of Innovation

Innovation is the process of creating new ideas and turning them into new business value.

1. Innovation is essential to survival, and all innovation is strategic.

Through innovation organizations create their own futures,  Hence, the development of a highly productive innovation capability is one of the most important strategic priorities for any organization. At the same time, all innovation that is commercialisation  must be guided by strategic priorities and

2. There are four types of innovation: incremental improvements to products, technological, business and management processes and business models, breakthrough products & technologies, new business models, and new ventures.

Organizations have to make efforts in each of the four types in appropriate proportion.

3. The longer you wait to begin innovating, the worse things will get.

The lack of innovation can significantly diminish their future prospects. The competition isn’t
waiting, and if you are late, you are up against bigger barriers.

4. Innovation is a social art; it happens when people interact with one another.

People drive creative ideas, inventions and  innovations.  Hence they are the core of any innovation process. Their insights, concerns, and desires shape the pursuit of new ideas and the countless decisions to be made in the process of transforming these ideas into value. Consequently, managing innovation involves  managing people’s participation in creative idea generation, evaluation and development of prototypes. 

5. Innovation without methodology is just luck.

You have to develop and apply right  methodologies, to make the shift from luck to consistency, predictability, and sustainability. Without the right innovation methodology you’re risking far too much – you’re risking your future.

6. All four strategic innovation viewpoints are critical to success.

 The  innovation methodology has to leverage all four viewpoints: Top-down, Bottom-up, Outside-in, and Peer-to-peer.

7. Great innovations begin with great ideas; to find them, identify unknown and unmet needs.

There are dozens of tools that you can apply to come up with new ideas.

8. Ready, Aim, Aim, Aim, Fire.

Effective innovation requires very careful targeting. Why? Because there are so many possibilities to chase that you have to make sure you’re going after the right ones. Besides which, innovation is expensive both in terms of cash and time, and good aiming enables you to use your resources wisely.

9. Prototype rapidly to accelerate learning.

The goal of any innovation process is to come up with the best ideas and get them into market as quickly as possible. Innovation process has  learning component, and learning faster has enormous advantages. Prototyping effectively condenses the learning process. Rapid prototyping is therefore central to most forms of effective innovation methodology.

Prototyping is converting the verbal idea into more concrete form. It can even be a drawing to start with and can go up to a working model. It can be a pilot plant if it is a production system. Ideas mature as various levels of prototypes of being made. Many others also contribute their knowledge (information, theory and experience) in the process.

10. There is no innovation without leadership.

The organizational hierarchy has tremendous influence on the culture of any company, on its ways of working, and the results it achieves. Top managers can be powerful champions of innovation. It’s up to leaders to ensure that their words and their actions support and enhance innovation efforts and methods, and that at the same time they work diligently to eliminate the many obstacles that otherwise impede or even crush both creativity and innovation.

From Permanent Innovation – Langdon Morris

Permanent Innovation

The Definitive Guide to the Principles, Strategies, and Methods of  Successful Innovators

Langdon Morris

Langdon Morris is a co-founder and principal of InnovationLabs LLC and Senior Practice Scholar at the Ackoff Center of the University of Pennsylvania and Senior Fellow of the Economic Opportunities Program of the Aspen Institute.  You can download the book after giving your email from the page.

Some Additional Points on Innovation from the book  “Permanent Innovation”

Creativity is a behavioral or cognitive process whose outputs are ideas. Innovation is an entrepreneurial or managerial process whose outputs are products and services.

Ideas are the raw materials of innovation.

A study at Dupont showed that it took 3000 ideas to attain one new business idea that actually made an impact in the market place.






Marissa Mayer in 2008 with Google gave a similar but some different principles

Principles of Innovation – National Association for Healthcare Quality

1. Make innovation a part of the culture.
• Innovation has to be part of our culture. Organizations must encourge and make  continuous improvement and innovation a part of the routine.

2. Take risks.
• 96% of innovations fail (Doblin Group).
Organizations must be willing  take this high  risk and be ready to fail many time in order to
learn and come out with an innovation which ultimately leads to great success.

3. Be our own critic.
 • Be honest about what research/data reveal about your organization’s performance in various parameters.

4. Build the innovator group.
• Identify effective innovators in the organization and form groups with the freedom to do the thinking with special facilities.
• Encourage creativity and outside-the-box thinking. Acknowledge and encourage people who think

5. Limit constraints. Cultivate creativity.
• Ask “Why?” rather than ”Why not?” Accentuate the positive.
• Truly promote change and look for opportunities to change.
• Don’t establish too many constraints on innovation—allow and support wildly innovative ideas.

6. Awareness of future.
• Anticipate the future customer needs and quality issue that are likely to come up in delivering products and services.
• Learn from the past. Revisit what had value and why.

7. Diminish risk by allowing for adequate time.
• Move fast-selecting/implementing innovations. Time spent researching and vetting every possible
outcome can help reduce significant risk.

Criteria for Innovation Evaluation

1. Lead the customer to a superior alternative.
• Give them what they don’t yet know they need by anticipating future needs.

2. Maintain focus.
• Aim for depth (execute a few ideas for programs/products expertly) rather than breadth (attempting to accomplish too much, leading to ineffectiveness).
• Align innovations with strengths.

3. Add measurable value
• Consider and implement ideas that have the potential to produce revenue.
• New programs and products should increase participation and membership (value-added outcomes).

4. Think differently. Execute differently.
• Make minor or major changes to fit current needs.
• Consider new constructs and models not previously implemented in healthcare organizations. It can be a product, process, or program.

5. Keep the customer in mind. • Design programs and products with the voice of the customer in mind, making sure to include testing.

6. Strive to create win-win situation.
• Develop new ways to collaborate and cooperate with states or other associations while improving national products/programs while including key stakeholders early in the process.
• Create a win-win situation for NAHQ and its customers.

Innovation Related Articles in this blog

Innovation – Strategic Issues and Methodology

Idea Generation in Organizations

The Eureka Factor – Creative Insights and the Brain

John Kounios, Mark Beeman
Random House, 09-Apr-2015 – Psychology – 288 pages

Where do great ideas come from?
What actually happens in your brain during a ‘Eureka’ moment?
How can we have more of them?

John Kounios and Mark Beeman, leading experts on the neural bases of insight and creative thinking, have conducted pioneering neuroimaging research examining brain activity at and before these moments of clarity. In The Eureka Factor they reveal exactly how sudden insights are formed in the brain, how we can increase our chances of generating them, and how they impact our thinking.
Helping to unlock the mechanisms behind intuitive flashes and inspiration, this ground-breaking account not only explains the science of insight, but also describes the keys to innovation and creativity.

8 Pillars of Innovation – Article by Susan Wojcicki – VP Advertising of Google
July 2011

More articles on principles of innovation

Robert O’Keefe, (2013) “Applying Principles of Innovation to Curriculum Revision”, International Journal of Innovation Science, Vol. 5 Issue: 3, pp.173-178.

This paper expresses the  view that principles and concepts traditionally identified with Industrial Innovation can be productively applied to activities that are related to the creation of new courses and to the revisions of existing courses that comprise academic programs.

MBA Core Management Knowledge – One Year Revision Schedule

Updated  25 May 2019, 29 November 2017, 29 November 2014