The four types of innovative firms

Safe, linear, bold or long-term; which innovation type is your company?

Four types of innovators2

One way of using the Strategic Innovation Canvas is mapping out your type(s) of innovation work. In this example, we use four types of innovative firms

Safe – staying in the safe-zone they know
These firms keep it in the safe-zone. They have a deep-seated view of “this is how things are done around here”. They don’t drive change; they resist it. While they might believe they are innovating and changing, the world around them is changing so much faster.

They might have budget posts allocated to innovation, but it will be highly incremental innovations and only minor change. These firms will have an ample number of idea killers and Dinosaurs in their management ranks.
Simply put, they stay in the safe-zone they know.

Examples: Kodak, SAS and most of the firms you see crumbling around you.

Linear ¬– growth strategies without the zest
Following a logical, linear development track, these firms innovative and develop at a slow and steady pace. They will never become an Apple or Google, but they develop a steady stream of new improvements. Often, these firms will focus on product innovation. Their innovation efforts can work well in stable environments. Yet, these firms are often the victims of disruptive innovations.

Examples firms: Blockbuster, Borders….and most firms operating today.

Bold – creative and courageous
These are the crazy ones. They leap forward. Their innovation drive make them develop a series of highly experimental bets. They dare to try what most firms are unable to think of. These blazing pioneers can frequently disrupt existing industries and shape new ones.

What would you do if you weren’t afraid? That’s these guys. That quote is also part of Facebook’s recruiting campaign. Only fitting…

Example firms include Red Bull, Spotify, Haier, Moods of Norway, Facebook, Twitter and of course, Google.

Long-term – patient, business model and industry innovators
These firms take the long view. A ten year horizon is nothing special. They look at the long-term effects of today’s developments, and are determined to be driving change for the future. They want to create the future, not get shaped by it.
They’ve built operating principles, processes, culture and people for long-term innovation. They develop, test and refine a portfolio of business models. Norwegian firm Telenor has expanded its innovation center in recent years and is testing wildly new business models in Asia. Novo Nordisk has over 100 growth teams, all tasked with coming up with future innovations. These teams often work with business cases with 20 – 25 year perspectives. Amazon is “leaning into the future”, to quote CEO Jeff Bezos and trying to reshape global shopping habits along the way.

Example firms include Amazon, Statoil, Telenor, Novo Nordisk and IBM.

Yet, a mix?
A combination of the four types can, in theory, be fully possible. Yet, in practice, one typology will emerge and drive the dominant logic in each company. Let’s say one firm has a wildly innovative R&D unit, but the overall management logic prevents these from getting the funding and support required to develop. Hence, one typology should emerge as dominant.

Where is your firm?
Can you recognize your company among the four types?

Want to change your innovation type?
Download and go to work on the Strategic Innovation Canvas. It is the natural starting point for any innovation effort. Learn more

Strategic Innovation Canvas

The four types of innovative firms

Joining the MIX

Welcome to the MIX. The global Management Innovation Exchange.
Mission: reinvent manangement

Today is the final day of entering this round of the global innovation competition; Innovating Innovation Challenge. Set forth by Harvard Business Review, McKinsey and the MIX, the competiton gathers global thinkers and doers around innovation for mutual learning and inspirations. Among Norwegian firms, Statoil has been duly noted in 2012. This year, and our client Peanuts have both entered the MIX. We’re proud and delighted to see more Norwegian firms entering this global innovation network.
We’re also delighted to share that Strategy Tools for the Next Generation is now featured as one of the “Hacks”. Read more.


Joining the MIX

Boost! @Startup Weekend

Asked to give a talk to ”boost the energy and drive” for the Startup Weekend partcipants. Mix a bit of energy and a selection of strategy tools. This presentation introduce the participants to the Strategic Innovation Canvas, Innovation Thinking Modes, the Innovation Pyramid and the well-established Business Model Canvas. All tools can be downloaded in high resolution .pdf for use by the crowds at Startup Weekend. Good luck, people

Stay tuned, as we lauch Strategytoolsforthenextgeneration next week…

Boost! @Startup Weekend

Strategic Innovation Canvas 0.1

The Strategic Innovation Canvas is taken from the forthcoming book
‘’Strategy Tools for the Next Generation’’ (2014).  It is one of 32  strategy, innovation and management tools. We call them tools for the future.

The canvas is deeply inspired by emerging trends, research
and recent work done in the fields of strategy and innovation.
We build on many others. We hope others will build on ours.

Today we work with the strategic innovation canvas across a multitude of companies. Executives across industries are learning to solve their strategic challenges using it. For every case, we learn more, we develop it further.  We share as we go, inviting others to learn too.

Only days after first posting the Norwegian language version on Slideshare we got inspiring requests for an english language version. We are only happy to help. We fundementally believe in sharing and open-source. That’s why all our work is done under the CC – Creative Commons philosophy. We hope it can be helpful.

Strategy Tools for the next Generation is now live. Have a look. Catch some of the tools we’re developing. Download and test for yourself.Share your stories.In short. Welcome.

On the site you are welcome to download all the tools, as we develop them. You’ll find high quality PDF and JPG files. Enjoy.

Strategic Innovation Canvas 0.1