Ten Types of Innovation: The Discipline of Building Breakthroughs
August 31, 2013 Editor 0
By Larry Keeley, Helen Walters, Ryan Pikkel & Brian Quinn
It made it easier for chemists to understand the world and do hard things reliably. And it made us think about trying to create something similar for the world of innovation.
The Discovery Of The Ten Types Of Innovation
In 1998 we decided to see what, if anything, successful innovations had in common. In doing so, our goal was to see if we might create a version of the periodic table of the elements for innovation.
We gathered up nearly 2,000 examples of the then best innovations: Dell’s computer business; Toyota’s production system; Walt Disney’s character franchises; Gillette’s shaving business; oversized tennis racquets from Prince; the way you could step out of your Hertz rental car and get a receipt instantly from someone using a gizmo hanging from his belt; and many others. We even included historical successes, such as the Ford Model T and the US national highway system (yes, that was once innovative, not just snarled with traffic).
Then, we analyzed everything and broke down the innovations using pattern recognition and complexity management techniques. We worked to demystify our own work as innovators. And we labored to document our practices and their outcomes. In 2011, we undertook a similar effort to test and refresh our analysis, ensuring that our work was still valid in the very different business environment.
From all of this empirical analysis emerged the framework that forms the heart of this book. Some combination of the Ten Types of Innovation is reliably used in any successful offering, and the framework forms our version of the Periodic Table. The tactics we introduce to you later in the book are our chemical elements, which can be usefully combined to form winning innovation plays.
Our hope is that this is a framework that anyone can usefully employ, from chief executive to management trainee, from any industry, and from any company, large or small. It provides a way to understand the complexities of modern business, presented in what we hope you’ll find to be a simple and straightforward manner.
The Discipline Of Building Breakthroughs
At the heart of the book is our discovery: all great innovations, throughout history, comprise some combination of ten basic types organized within three categories. This is our Periodic Table.
Part Two will make the Ten Types come alive as we describe each one and share many practical and graphic examples of them in action. Part Three helps demonstrate our core philosophy: that innovation is about more than products, and using multiple types in parallel will help produce stronger, more defensible outcomes.
You can use the Ten Types to help your innovation efforts in many ways. It can be a diagnostic tool to assess how you’re approaching innovation internally, it can help you to analyze your competitive environment, and it can reveal gaps and potential opportunities for doing something different and upending the market.
Part Four shows you how to use the Ten Types to systematically spot opportunities for shifts.
Part Two: Ten Types of Innovation: The Building Blocks of Breakthroughs
At the heart of any new discipline there often lies a simple, organizing system — an underlying structure and order governing what works and what fails. This is what the Ten Types framework brings to innovation. Consciously understanding it makes innovation easier and more effective.
Chapter 2 — The Ten Types: An Overview
The Ten Types framework is simple and intuitive. It is a useful tool you can use both to diagnose and enrich an innovation you’re working on, or to analyze existing competition. It makes it especially easy to spot errors of omission — missing dimensions that will make a concept stronger.
The Ten Types framework is structured into three color-coded categories. The types on the left side of the framework are the most internally focused and distant from customers; as you move toward the right side, the types become increasingly apparent and obvious to end users. To use a theatrical metaphor, the left of the framework is backstage; the right
Several lessons will emerge from the Ten Types throughout this book — including how to use the framework as a way to identify opportunities, and how to use it to construct sophisticated, defensible innovations.
Excerpted with permission of the publisher, Wiley, from Ten Types of Innovation: The Discipline of Building Breakthroughs by Larry Keeley, Helen Walters, Ryan Pikkel and Brian Quinn. Copyright (c) 2013 by Deloitte Development LLC. All rights reserved. This book is available at all bookstores and online booksellers.
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