XT … A Framework for Strategic Innovation

Blending strategy and creative exploration to discover future business opportunities

by InnovationPoint

Strategic Innovation is the creation of growth strategies, new product categories, services or business models that change the game and generate significant new value for consumers, customers and the corporation.

This paper describes a holistic, multidisciplinary framework that enables organizations to take a strategic approach to innovation.

The framework combines non-traditional, creative approaches to business innovation with conventional strategy development models. It brings together perspectives from a number of complementary disciplines: the non-traditional approaches to innovation found in the business creativity movement; traditional strategy consulting; the new product development perspective of industrial design firms; qualitative consumer/customer research; futures research found in think tanks and traditional scenario planning; and organizational development (OD) practices that examine the effectiveness of an organization’s culture, processes and structures.

The framework consists of a cohesive set of practices that inspire imaginative teams to look beyond the obvious, explore a broad range of possibilities, identify significant opportunities, make informed decisions about the most promising paths to pursue, create a shared vision for growth, define pragmatic action plans that “bridge from the future back to the present” and align the organization around the requirements for success.

Traditional approaches

Strategic Innovation approach

• Adopt a “present to future” orientation – takes today as the starting point

• “Starts with the end in mind” – identifies long-term opportunities and then “bridges back to the present”

• Assume a rule-maker/taker (defensive/follower) posture

• Assumes a rule-breaker (revolutionary) posture

• Accept established business boundaries/ product categories

• Seeks to create new competitive space/ playing fields

• Focus on incremental innovation

• Seeks breakthrough, disruptive innovation – while continuing to build the core

• Follow traditional, linear business planning models

• Marries process discipline with creative inspiration

• Seek input from obvious, traditional sources

• Seeks inspiration from unconventional sources

• Seek articulated consumer needs

• Seeks unarticulated consumer needs

• Are technology-driven (seek consumer satisfaction)

• Is consumer-inspired (seeks consumer delight)

• May have a “one-size-fits-all” organizational model

• May experiment with entrepreneurial “new venture” or other organizational structures

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