Innovation isn't Working! Is it Time to Innovate How we Innovate?

Gwen Ishmael's picture
Chat Date: 
Thu, May 26, 2011

Graham Hill (@GrahamHill) will moderate this week's Innochat - you know it'll be a good one! Framing is below - see everyone on Thursday at noon EDT.

Gwen

 

This house believes that traditional approaches to innovation are not working and that it is time to INNOVATE how we innovate. Discuss

For:

Innovation has a long and inglorious history of failure. According to common wisdom, over 80% of products fail on introduction into the market. And 60% of them fail again on re-introduction. But the problem isn’t the products, it’s the way we innovate. There has to be a better way. Our current innovation models were created for simple and complicated markets. Where understanding what customers need and plugging that into a linear innovation model was enough to drive winning innovation. Today’s markets are different. They are complex and increasingly, chaotic. The linear innovation model is no longer fit for purpose. We need to innovate how we innovate.

Further Information:

Cognitive Edge Blog
Dave Snowden on... Moving from Robustness to Resilience
http://www.cognitive-edge.com/blogs/news/2011/05/moving_from_robustness_to_resi.php

Against:

Innovation has a long and inglorious history of failure. According to common wisdom, over 80% of products fail on introduction into the market. And 60% of them fail again on re-introduction. But the problem isn’t our innovation model per se, it’s that we are not following it! There has to be a better way. There is. And it is staring us in the face. It is simply using the innovation models we already have better. Whether closed, lead-user or open, there is already an innovation model to fit all circumstances. We are just not following them properly. We don’t need to innovate how we innovate. We just need to do it right!

 

Further Information:

Stage-Gate International
Robert Cooper on... How Companies are Re-inventing their Idea-to-Launch Methodologies
http://www.stage-gate.net/downloads/working_papers/wp_38.pdf

 

Questions:

1. There is no question that our current rates of winning innovation are very low! An 80% failure rate is absolutely appalling. People normally get fired for such low levels of success. Why is innovation so difficult?

2. If innovation has such a high failure rate, is it because we aren’t following our innovation models properly, is it a failure in our innovation models, or is there something else behind it? What causes these high failure rates?

3. Our current innovation models were designed for simple and complicated markets. Where winning was about understanding what the market wanted and innovating ways to give it to the market. Are these models adequate for complex and chaotic markets?

4. We have seen the rise of radical new models of innovation. Verganti talks about Design-driven Innovation. Abbing talks about Brand-driven Innovation. And Snowden talks about ‘safe-fail’ as a new innovation model. Are these innovation models the way forward? Will they reverse the appalling record of innovation? If they won’t, what will?

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