Innovation Systems

Innovation systems provide a framework to help utilize the creative potential of employees, and convert innovators’ ideas into successful innovations. .

Many organizations develop a single system by which all innovations must prosper. Just as there is not a generic model for all businesses, there is not a single universal innovation system. Different types of innovation require different types of systems.

Types of Innovation Systems

  1. Originator Assisted and Office of Innovation™: Helps employees transform their ideas into business opportunities, secure sponsorship, and find funding. Creating, installing, and maintaining an Office of Innovation™ will bring about change to an organization’s culture.
  2. Targeted Innovation and Ideation: Develops solutions to meet a specific need.
  3. Internal Venturing: Helps launch new businesses that do not fit the company’s current lines of business.
  4. Continuous Improvement: Provides incremental improvements that lead to cost savings or increased quality.
  5. Strategic Transfer: Shifts technology or knowledge from one point to another for the purpose of leveraging capabilities.

Different innovation systems produce different results and attract different types of innovators. The innovation leader can optimize the systems for addressing evolutionary, expansionary, or revolutionary ideas. Depending on the organization’s needs, all five systems, or a combination of systems, may be necessary.

What we have found is that all successful innovation programs include one or more of these systems. It is essential to understand what type of system or hybrid system is most appropriate for the desired innovation focus. Also, to make the system visible so innovators may leverage it effectively.

Determining the right innovation systems requires an understanding of the:

  • Organization’s innovation priorities and goals
  • Types of problems being addressed
  • ISPI® of innovators
  • Stage of development relative to the product lifecycle continuum
  • Needs of innovators and key stakeholders