Discover 3 Important Innovation Models

Wondering how to give your company’s innovation a boost? Check out and experiment with these 3 important innovation models that have proven to be successful in today’s dynamic market!

Companies are facing increasingly fierce competition and new technological advancements that require novel innovation models. The good news is that there are now more ways to innovate than previously thought possible.

Explore 3 Highly Relevant Innovation Models

While there are a number of different innovation models out there, today, we will discuss three of the most important ones. Each model has its own pros and cons, but they all serve the same important purpose — helping your company move forward by incorporating new ideas into your business.

1. Stage-Gate Innovation Model

Stage gates are typically barriers or hurdles that a company must overcome before an idea can be moved forward with further testing. The stage gate model of innovation divides new ideas into smaller stages of development. This allows companies to speed up product development, identify problems earlier, and test solutions faster. A typical product development process involves a long period of planning and research before a product idea is brought to market. The stage gate model aims to shorten this process so companies can test their ideas and move on to the next stage faster.

Typical Five-Level Stage-Gate Model

  1. Ideation: At this stage, you need to identify and research customers and new product ideas.
  2. Research: The main aim at this stage is to test the viability of an idea by conducting research and validating its potential. This research can include market and feasibility studies.
  3. Development: Once an idea is deemed viable, it proceeds to the development stage. The core team of engineers and designers works to turn the initial idea into a product that the customers can test.
  4. Validation: Once the product is in production, it moves to the validation stage. The team looks for feedback from customers to identify any issues or difficulties they may be experiencing.
  5. Deployment: Now, the team contacts the customers and collects feedback, and analyzes them to determine the alterations required in the product.

So, the stage-gate innovation model is a creative process that allows you to generate new business ideas and explore new markets. However, you can also use it to create a new strategy or improve an existing one. For example, an existing product strategy might have proven to be successful, but managers might want to test it further to see if there is room for improvement. In this case, the stage gate model identifies any problems customers may be experiencing and you can test potential solutions.

2. Innovation Matrix for Disruptive Innovation

To successfully accelerate disruptive innovation ideas and get more traction, you need to adopt an innovation model that takes into account the four main axes of disruption: technology, customer experience (CX), partnerships and organization design.

Technology

To begin with, you need to decide on the technology your business will use to achieve its goals — from the upfront design to the long-term maintenance. You will also need to understand the consumer expectations around it. From what functions the technology should be able to perform to how it should look, feel, and sound. If you are developing software, you should assess whether consumers will want it to be mobile-friendly, to be easily accessible, and have tight data security. On the hardware end, you will need to understand how your product will look, feel, and work in its application.

Customer Experience

This axis is all about creating value for customers and driving the adoption of your product. Your innovation needs to resonate with your target audience, and the best way to achieve this is through exceptional customer experience. Innovations with outstanding customer experience are the ones that leave a lasting impression on consumers. You can build customer-centric experiences through several channels, including voice, visuals, products, delivery, and language.

Partnerships

Innovations with strong partnerships are the ones that have an extended network of stakeholders supporting them. This includes customers, partners, employees, as well as investors. Partnerships can take the form of alliances, mergers, collaborations, sponsorships, and more. These partnerships create value for your business and stakeholders by building stronger relationships with the customer base.

Organizational Design

Understanding the organizational design of your business is a critical factor for the successful adoption of an innovation strategy. Disruptive innovations are most successful when they are able to account for differences in people’s skills and create a structure that aligns them with their strengths.

To accelerate your growth, you need to identify and leverage opportunities with the potential to disrupt your market. However, taking a shortcut by implementing the innovation matrix will only leave you blind at the other end. This is why it is important to follow the steps highlighted above when implementing the innovation matrix for your business.

3. The Innovator’s Dilemma

The Innovator’s Dilemma is a theory used to explain how some companies lose out to more nimble competitors when they are forced to react to new technologies that disrupt their business. Harvard Business School professor Clayton Christensen originally explained this theory in his book by the same name. Innovation requires a constant push to come up with new ideas, solve problems, and find ways to improve business processes. But not all companies have the same appetite for risk, innovation, and change. There are some who thrive on it and there are others who struggle to handle these challenges.

Practical Tips to Manage Disruptive Innovations

Unconsciously, most people tend to stick with what they know instead of exploring unfamiliar territory. As a result, innovators usually stay away from laggards who fear change, failure, and rejection. And this is where the Innovator’s Dilemma comes into play. Explore some of the practical tips that would help you to apply this theory and use it to your advantage:

  • Keep a log of disruptions: Track recent disruptions in your industry or market that may impact your business. Logging these disrupters can help you identify the weak points in your company and take action to strengthen them.
  • Manage your stakeholders: Identify the stakeholders in your company who may be vulnerable to the new technologies disrupting your business. Try to stay informed of their concerns, needs, and expectations so you can address any concerns they may have.
  • Build partnerships: Partnering with other companies in your industry to build solutions or develop technologies can reduce your risk of being disrupted.
  • Identify new business opportunities: Business opportunities that arise from new technologies can help you expand your business and improve your core strengths. You may also be able to find new business opportunities from the disruption experienced by other companies.

Select the Right Innovation Model for Your Business

Corporate innovation can be an arduous process. The need to find new ways to stay relevant in a fast-changing world makes it even more challenging. However, with the right strategy, companies can successfully increase their rate of innovation. To boost your corporate innovation, you need to leverage the different types of innovation models available. By choosing the right one, you will be able to build a structure that supports and accelerates your business’s continuous improvement efforts. Now, you tell us — what other innovation models have you tried in your organization? Which one works the best for you? Get in touch & let us know!

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