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Managing Innovation

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Managing Innovation

PART I
Managing Innovation
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Chapter 1
Innovation – What it
is and Why it Matters
‘A slow sort of country’ said the Red Queen. ‘Now here, you see, it takes all the running you can
do to keep in the same place. If you want to get somewhere else, you must run at least twice as
fast as that!’
– Lewis Carroll, Alice Through the Looking Glass
Go online to access your interactive e-book and additional resources for this chapter at
www.innovation-portal.info
1.1 Introduction
‘We always eat elephants . . .’ is a surprising claim made by Carlos Broens, founder and head
of a successful toolmaking and precision engineering  rm in Australia with an enviable growth
record. Broens Industries is a small/medium-sized company of 130 employees which survives in
a highly competitive world by exporting over 70% of its products and services to technologically
demanding  rms in aerospace, medical and other advanced markets. The quote doesn’t refer to
strange dietary habits but to their con dence in ‘taking on the challenges normally seen as impos-
sible for  rms of our size’ – a capability which is grounded in a culture of innovation in products
and the processes which go to produce them.
At the other end of the scale Kumba Resources is a large South African mining company
which makes another dramatic claim – ‘We move mountains’. In their case the mountains con-
tain iron ore and their huge operations require large-scale excavation – and restitution of the
landscape afterwards. Much of their business involves complex large-scale machinery – and their
ability to keep it running and productive depends on a workforce able to contribute their innova-
tive ideas on a continuing basis.
1
The Innovation Portal provides a case study describing Kumba
Resources’ high involvement innovation activities.
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Part I Managing Innovation
4
Innovation is driven by the ability to see connections, to spot opportunities and to take
advantage of them. When the Tasman Bridge collapsed in Hobart, Tasmania, in 1975, Robert
Clifford was running a small ferry company and saw an opportunity to capitalize on the increased
demand for ferries – and to differentiate his offering by selling drinks to thirsty cross-city com-
muters. The same entrepreneurial  air later helped him build a company – Incat – which pio-
neered the wave-piercing design which helped them capture over half the world market for fast
catamaran ferries. Continuing investment in innovation has helped this company from a relatively
isolated island build a key niche in highly competitive international military and civilian markets
(www.incat.com.au/).
But innovation is not just about opening up new markets – it can also offer new ways of
serving established and mature ones. Despite a global shift in textile and clothing manufacture
towards developing countries the Spanish company, Inditex (through its retail outlets under
various names including Zara) have pioneered a highly  exible, fast turnaround clothing opera-
tion with over 2000 outlets in 52 countries. It was founded by Amancio Ortega Gaona who
set up a small operation in the west of Spain in La Coruna – a region not previously noted for
textile production – and the  rst store opened there in 1975. They now have over 5000 stores
worldwide and are now the biggest clothing retailer;
signi cantly, they are also the only manufacturer to
offer speci c collections for northern and southern
hemisphere markets. Central to the Inditex philoso-
phy is close linkage between design, manufacture and
retailing, and their network of stores constantly feeds
back information about trends which are used to generate new designs. They also experiment
with new ideas directly on the public, trying samples of cloth or design and quickly getting back
indications of what is going to catch on. Despite their global orientation, most manufacturing
is still done in Spain, and they have managed to reduce the turnaround time between a trigger
signal for an innovation and responding to it to around 15 days.
Of course, technology often plays a key role in enabling radical new options. Magink is a
company set up in 2000 by a group of Israeli engineers and now part of the giant Mitsubishi con-
cern. Its business is in exploiting the emerging  eld of digital ink technology – essentially enabling
paper-like display technology for indoor and outdoor displays. These have a number of advan-
tages over other displays such as liquid crystal – low-cost, high viewing angles and high visibility
even in full sunlight. One of their major new lines of development is in advertising billboards – a
market worth $5bn in the USA alone – where the prospect of ‘programmable hoardings’ is now
opened up. Magink enables high resolution images which can be changed much more frequently
than conventional paper advertising, and permit billboard site owners to offer variable price time
slots, much as television does at present.
2
At the other end of the technological scale there is scope for improvement on an old product,
often using old technologies in new ways. People have always needed arti cial limbs and the
demand has, sadly, signi cantly increased as a result of high technology weaponry such as mines.
The problem is compounded by the fact that many of those requiring new limbs are also in the
poorest regions of the world and unable to afford expensive prosthetics. The chance meeting of
a young surgeon, Dr Pramod Karan Sethi, and a sculptor Ram Chandra in the hospital in Jaipur,
India, has led to the development of a solution to this problem – the Jaipur foot. This arti cial
limb was developed using Chandra’s skill as a sculptor and Sethi’s expertise and is so effective
that those who wear it can run, climb trees and pedal bicycles. It was designed to make use of low
tech materials and be simple to assemble – for example, in Afghanistan craftsmen hammer the
Case Study on Zara is available
in your interactive e-book at
www.innovation-portal.info
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Chapter 1 Innovation – What it is and Why it Matters
5
foot together out of spent artillery shells whilst in Cambodia part of the foot’s rubber components
are scavenged from truck tyres. Perhaps the greatest achievement has been to do all of this for a
low cost – the Jaipur foot costs only $28 in India. Since 1975, nearly 1 million people worldwide
have been  tted for the Jaipur limb and the design is being developed and re ned – for example,
using advanced new materials.
3
Innovation is of course not con ned to manufactured products; plenty of examples of
growth through innovation can be found in services.
4–6
(In fact the world’s  rst business com-
puter was used to support bakery planning and logistics for the UK catering services company
J. Lyons and Co). In banking the UK First Direct organization became the most competitive
bank, attracting around 10 000 new customers each month by offering a telephone bank-
ing service backed up by sophisticated IT – a model which eventually became the industry
standard. A similar approach to the insurance business – Direct Line – radically changed the
basis of that market and led to widespread imitation by all the major players in the sector.
7, 8
Internet-based retailers such as Amazon.com have changed the ways in which products as
diverse as books, music and travel are sold, whilst  rms like eBay have brought the auction
house into many living rooms.
Public services like healthcare, education and social security may not generate pro ts but
they do affect the quality of life for millions of people. Bright ideas well-implemented can lead
to valued new services and the ef cient delivery of existing ones – at a time when pressure
on national purse strings is becoming ever tighter.
9
New ideas – whether wind-up radios in
Tanzania or micro-credit  nancing schemes in Bangladesh – have the potential to change the
quality of life and the availability of opportunity for people in some of the poorest regions of
the world. There’s plenty of scope for innovation and entrepreneurship – and at the limit we
are talking here about real matters of life and death. For example, the Karolinska Hospital in
Stockholm has managed to make radical improvements in the speed, quality and effectiveness
of its care services – such as cutting waiting lists by 75% and cancellations by 80% – through
innovation.
10
Similar dramatic gains have been made in a variety of Indian healthcare opera-
tions. Public sector innovations have included the postage stamp, the National Health Service
in the UK, and much of the early development work behind technologies like  bre optics, radar
and the Internet.
1.2 Why Innovation Matters
Box 1.1 highlights some quotes about innovation. What these organizations have in common is
that their success derives in large measure from innovation. Whilst competitive advantage can
come from size, or possession of assets, and so on, the pattern is increasingly coming to favour
those organizations which can mobilize knowledge and technological skills and experience to
create novelty in their offerings (product/service) and the ways in which they create and deliver
those offerings.
Innovation matters, not only at the level of the individual enterprise, but increasingly as
the wellspring for national economic growth. The economist William Baumol pointed out that
‘virtually all of the economic growth that has occurred since the eighteenth century is ultimately
attributable to innovation’.
11
In their regular survey of ‘innovation leaders’ in 25 sectors of
the economy, the consultancy Innovaro report that these companies not only outpace their
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Part I Managing Innovation
6
competitors on a year by year basis but also that this has a marked effect on their share price.
Over the past 10 years they have regularly outperformed the average share price index on the
NASDAQ, Dow Jones and FTSE markets and in 2009, when other companies’ share prices
grew on average by between 40 and 70%, the Innovation Leaders average growth was 130%.
(Source: Innovation Brie ng, ‘Innovation Leaders 2008’, www.innovaro.com). Tim Jones and
colleagues have made an extensive study of the practices in such companies and their book and
associated website – www.growthagenda.org – contains cases of leading innovative businesses
from around the world, including newcomers like Tata and Narayana Hospitals alongside
Apple, Google, Amazon and Rolls-Royce.
12
Importantly, innovation and competitive success is not simply about high technology com-
panies; for example, the German  rm of Wurth is the largest maker of screws (and other
fastenings such as nuts and bolts) in the world with a turnover of £7.5bn. Despite low cost
competition from China the company has managed to stay ahead through an emphasis on
product and process innovation across a supplier network similar to the model used by Dell
in computers (Financial Times, 5/3/2008). In similar fashion the UK Dairy Crest business has
built up a turnover of nearly £250m through offering a stream of product innovations includ-
ing resealable packaging, novel formats and new varieties of cheese and related dairy products,
supported by manufacturing and logistics process innovations (The Times, 26/9/2011).
Innovation is becoming a central plank in national economic policy – for example, the UK
Of ce of Science and Innovation sees it as ‘the motor of the modern economy, turning ideas and
knowledge into products and services’.
13
An Australian government website puts the case equally
Innovation – Everybody’s Talking About it
BOX 1.1
‘We have the strongest innovation program that I can remember in my 30-year career at P&G, and
we are investing behind it to drive growth across our business.’ – Bob McDonald, CEO, Procter
& Gamble
‘We believe in making a difference. Virgin stands for value for money, quality, innovation, fun
and a sense of competitive challenge. We deliver a quality service by empowering our employees
and we facilitate and monitor customer feedback to continually improve the customer’s experience
through innovation.’ – Richard Branson, Virgin
‘Adi Dassler had a clear, simple, and unwavering passion for sport. Which is why with the bene t
of 50 years of relentless innovation created in his spirit, we continue to stay at the forefront of
technology.’ – Adidas about its future (www.adidas.com)
‘Innovation is our lifeblood’ – Siemens about innovation (www.siemens.com)
‘We’re measuring GE’s top leaders on how imaginative they are. Imaginative leaders are the ones
who have the courage to fund new ideas, lead teams to discover better ideas, and lead people to
take more educated risks.’ – J. Immelt, Chairman & CEO, General Electric
‘Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.’ – Steve Jobs, Apple
‘John Deere’s ability to keep inventing new products that are useful to customers is still the key to
the company’s growth.’ – Robert Lane, CEO, John Deere
‘Only the paranoid survive!’ – Andy Grove, Intel
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Chapter 1 Innovation – What it is and Why it Matters
7
RESEARCH NOTE 1.1
Hidden Innovation
In 2006 the UK organization NESTA published a report on ‘The Innovation Gap’ in the UK, and
laid particular emphasis on ‘hidden innovation’ – innovation activities that are not reected in
traditional indicators such as investments in formal R&D or patents awarded. In research focusing
on six widely different sectors which were not perceived to be innovative, they argued that innova-
tion of this kind is increasingly important, especially in services, and in a subsequent study looked
in detail at six ‘hidden innovation’ sectors – oil production, retail banking, construction, legal aid
services, education and the rehabilitation of offenders. The study identi ed four types of hidden
innovation:
Type I: Innovation that is identical or similar to activities that are measured by traditional indica-
tors, but which is excluded from measurement. For example, the development of new technologies
in oil exploration.
Type II: Innovation without a major scientic and technological basis, such as innovation in
organizational forms or business models. For example, the development of new contractual
relationships between suppliers and clients on major construction projects.
Type III: Innovation created from the novel combination of existing technologies and processes.
For example, the way in which banks have integrated their various back ofce IT systems to
deliver innovative customer services such as Internet banking.
Type IV: Locally-developed, small-scale innovations that take place ‘under the radar’, not only
of traditional indicators but often also of many of the organizations and individuals working in
a sector. For example, the everyday innovation that occurs in classrooms and multidisciplinary
construction teams.
Source: Based on National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts (NESTA), 2006, The Innovation
Gap and 2007, Hidden Innovation, www.nesta.org
strongly – ‘Companies that do not invest in innovation put their future at risk. Their business is
unlikely to prosper, and they are unlikely to be able to compete if they do not seek innovative
solutions to emerging problems’. According to Statistics Canada (2006), the following factors
characterize successful small and medium-sized enterprises:
Innovation is consistently found to be the most important characteristic associated with
success.
Innovative enterprises typically achieve stronger growth or are more successful than those
that do not innovate.
Enterprises that gain market share and increasing pro tability are those that are innovative.
Not surprisingly this rationale underpins a growing set of policy measures designed to
encourage and nurture innovation at regional and national level.
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Part I Managing Innovation
8
1.3 Innovation and Entrepreneurship
The survival/growth question poses a problem for established players, but a huge opportunity for
newcomers to rewrite the rules of the game. One person’s problem is another’s opportunity and
the nature of innovation is that it is fundamentally about entrepreneurship – a potent mixture of
vision, passion, energy, enthusiasm, insight, judgement and plain hard work which enables good
ideas to become a reality. As the famous management writer Peter Drucker put it:
Innovation is the speci c tool of entrepreneurs, the means by which they exploit change as an
opportunity for a different business or service. It is capable of being presented as a discipline,
capable of being learned, capable of being practised.
– P. Drucker, (1985). Innovation and Entrepreneurship.
New York, Harper and Row.
Entrepreneurship is a human characteristic which mixes structure with passion, planning with
vision, tools with the wisdom to use them, strategy with the energy to execute it and judgement with
the propensity to take risks. It’s possible to create structures within organizations – departments,
teams, specialist groups, and so on – with the resources and responsibility for taking innovation
forward, but effective change won’t happen without the ‘animal spirits’ of the entrepreneur.
Of course entrepreneurship plays out on different stages in practice. One obvious example
is the new start-up venture in which the lone entrepreneur takes a calculated risk to bring some-
thing new into the world. But entrepreneurship matters just as much to the established organiza-
tion which needs to renew itself in what it offers and how it creates and delivers that offering.
Internal entrepreneurs – often labelled as intrapreneurs or working in corporate entrepreneurship
or corporate venture departments – provide the drive, energy and vision to take risky new ideas
forward inside that context. And of course the passion to change things may not be around creat-
ing commercial value but rather in improving conditions or enabling change in the wider social
sphere or in the direction of environmental sustainability – a  eld which has become known as
social entrepreneurship.
RESEARCH NOTE 1.2
Joseph Schumpeter – The ‘Godfather’ of Innovation Studies
One of the most signi cant gures in this area of economic theory was Joseph Schumpeter who
wrote extensively on the subject. He had a distinguished career as an economist and served as
Minister for Finance in the Austrian government. His argument was simple; entrepreneurs will seek
to use technological innovation – a new product/service or a new process for making it – to get
strategic advantage. For a while this may be the only example of the innovation so the entrepreneur
can expect to make a lot of money – what Schumpeter calls ‘monopoly pro ts’. But of course other
entrepreneurs will see what he has done and try to imitate it – with the result that other innova-
tions emerge, and the resulting ‘swarm’ of new ideas chips away at the monopoly pro ts until an
equilibrium is reached. At this point the cycle repeats itself – our original entrepreneur or someone
(continued)
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Chapter 1 Innovation – What it is and Why it Matters
9
1.4 How Innovation Matters
Innovation contributes in several ways. For example, research evidence suggests a strong cor-
relation between market performance and new products.
15, 16
New products help capture and
retain market shares, and increase pro tability in those markets. In the case of more mature and
established products, competitive sales growth comes not simply from being able to offer low
prices but also from a variety of non-price factors – design, customization and quality. And in
a world of shortening product life cycles – where, for example, the life of a particular model of
television set or computer is measured in months, and even complex products like motor cars
now take only a couple of years to develop – being able to replace products frequently with better
versions is increasingly important.
17
Competing in time re ects a growing pressure on  rms not
just to introduce new products but to do so faster than competitors.
18
At the same time new product development is an important capability because the environ-
ment is constantly changing. Shifts in the socio-economic  eld (in what people believe, expect,
want and earn) create opportunities and constraints. Legislation may open up new pathways,
or close down others – for example, increasing the requirements for environmentally friendly
products. Competitors may introduce new products which represent a major threat to exist-
ing market positions. In all these ways  rms need the capability to respond through product
innovation.
Whilst new products are often seen as the cutting edge of innovation in the marketplace,
process innovation plays just as important a strategic role. Being able to make something no
one else can, or to do so in ways which are better than anyone else is a powerful source of
advantage. For example, the Japanese dominance in the late twentieth century across several
sectors – cars, motorcycles, shipbuilding, consumer electronics – owed a great deal to superior
abilities in manufacturing – something which resulted from a consistent pattern of process
innovation. The Toyota production system and its equivalent in Honda and Nissan led to per-
formance advantages of around two to one over average car makers across a range of quality
and productivity indicators.
19
One of the main reasons for the ability of relatively small  rms
like Oxford Instruments or Incat to survive in highly competitive global markets is the sheer
complexity of what they make and the huge dif culties a new entrant would encounter in trying
to learn and master their technologies.
Similarly, being able to offer better service – faster, cheaper, higher quality – has long been
seen as a source of competitive edge. Citibank was the  rst bank to offer an automated telling
machinery (ATM) service and developed a strong market position as a technology leader on the
back of this process innovation. Benetton is one of the world’s most successful retailers, largely
else looks for the next innovation which will rewrite the rules of the game, and off we go again.
Schumpeter talks of a process of ‘creative destruction’ where there is a constant search to create
something new which simultaneously destroys the old rules and established new ones – all driven by
the search for new sources of pro ts.
14
In his view ‘[What counts is] competition from the new commodity, the new technology, the new
source of supply, the new type of organization . . . competition which . . . strikes not at the margins
of the pro ts and the outputs of the existing  rms but at their foundations and their very lives’.
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Part I Managing Innovation
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due to its sophisticated IT-led production network, which it innovated over a 10-year period,
20
and the same model has been used to great effect by the Spanish  rm Zara. Southwest Airlines
achieved an enviable position as the most effective airline in the USA despite being much smaller
than its rivals; its success was due to process innovation in areas like reducing airport turnaround
times.
21
This model has subsequently become the template for a whole new generation of low-
cost airlines whose efforts have revolutionized the once-cosy world of air travel.
Importantly we need to remember that the advantages which  ow from these innovative
steps gradually get competed away as others imitate. Unless an organization is able to move
into further innovation, it risks being left behind as
others take the lead in changing their offerings, their
operational processes or the underlying models which
drive their business. For example, leadership in bank-
ing has passed to others, particularly those who were
able to capitalize early on the boom in information and
communications technologies; in particular many of the lucrative  nancial services like securi-
ties and share dealing have been dominated by players with radical new models like Charles
Schwab.
22
The UK  rm Marshalls has been in existence for over 100 years and shows how
constant innovation has been central to its survival and growth.
Case Study describing Marshalls is
available in your interactive e-book at
www.innovation-portal.info
The Innovation Imperative
BOX 1.2
In the mid-1980s a study by Shell suggested that the average corporate survival rate for large
companies was only about half as long as that of a human being. Since then the pressures on
rms have increased enormously from all directions – with the inevitable result that life expect-
ancy is reduced still further. Many studies look at the changing composition of key indices and
draw attention to the demise of what were often major  rms and in their time key innovators.
For example, Foster and Kaplan point out that of the 500 companies originally making up the
Standard and Poor 500 list in 1857, only 74 remained on the list through to 1997.
22
Of the top
12 companies which made up the Dow Jones index in 1900 only one – General Electric – survives
today. Even apparently robust giants like IBM, GM or Kodak can suddenly display worrying
signs of mortality, whilst for small  rms the picture is often considerably worse since they lack
the protection of a large resource base.
Some  rms have had to change dramatically to stay in business. For example, a company
founded in the early nineteenth century, which had Wellington boots and toilet paper amongst its
product range, is now one of the largest and most successful in the world in the telecommunications
business. Nokia began life as a lumber company, making the equipment and supplies needed to cut
down forests in Finland. It moved through into paper and from there into the ‘paperless of ce’ world
of IT – and from there into mobile telephones.
Another mobile phone player – Vodafone Airtouch – grew to its huge size by merging with a
rm called Mannesman which, since its birth in the 1870s, has been more commonly associated
with the invention and production of steel tubes! Tui is the company which now owns Thomson,
the UK travel group, and is the largest European travel and tourism services company. Its origins,
however, lie in the mines of old Prussia where it was established as a public sector state lead mining
and smelting company!
23
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Chapter 1 Innovation – What it is and Why it Matters
11
CASE STUDY 1.1
The Changing Nature of the Music Industry
1st April 2006. Apart from being a traditional day for playing practical jokes, this was the day on
which another landmark in the rapidly changing world of music was reached. ‘Crazy’ – a track by
Gnarls Barkley – made pop history as the UK’s  rst song to top the charts based on download sales
alone. Commenting on the fact that the song had been downloaded more than 31 000 times but was
only released for sale in the shops on 3rd April, Gennaro Castaldo, spokesman for retailer HMV,
said: ‘This not only represents a watershed in how the charts are compiled, but shows that legal
downloads have come of age . . . if physical copies  y off the shelves at the same rate it could vie for
a place as the year’s biggest seller’.
One of the less visible but highly challenging aspects of the Internet is the impact it has had – and
is having – on the entertainment business. This is particularly the case with music. At one level its
impacts could be assumed to be con ned to providing new ‘e-tailing’ channels through which you
can obtain the latest CD of your preference – for example from Amazon.com or CD-Now or 100
other websites. These innovations increase the choice and tailoring of the music purchasing service
and demonstrate some of the ‘richness/reach’ economic shifts of the new Internet game.
But beneath this updating of essentially the same transaction lies a more fundamental shift – in
the ways in which music is created and distributed and in the business model on which the whole
music industry is currently predicated. In essence the old model involved a complex network in which
songwriters and artists depended on A&R (artists and repertoire) to select a few acts, production
staff who would record in complex and expensive studios, other production staff who would oversee
the manufacture of physical discs, tapes and CDs, and marketing and distribution staff who would
ensure the product was publicized and disseminated to an increasingly global market.
Several key changes have undermined this structure and brought with it signi cant disruption to
the industry: Old competencies may no longer be relevant whilst acquiring new ones becomes a matter
of urgency. Even well-established names like Sony  nd it dif cult to stay ahead whilst new entrants are
able to exploit the economics of the Internet. At the heart of the change is the potential for creating,
storing and distributing music in digital format – a problem which many researchers have worked on
for some time. One solution, developed by one of the Fraunhofer Institutes in Germany, is a standard
based on the Motion Picture Experts Group (MPEG) level 3 protocol – MP3. MP3 offers a powerful
algorithm for managing one of the big problems in transmitting music  les – that of compression.
Normal audio  les cover a wide range of frequencies and are thus very large and not suitable for
fast transfer across the Internet – especially with a population who may only be using relatively slow
modems. With MP3 effective compression is achieved by cutting out those frequencies which the
human ear cannot detect – with the result that the  les to be transferred are much smaller.
As a result MP3  les can be moved across the Internet quickly and shared widely. Various programs
exist for transferring normal audio  les and inputs – such as CDs – into MP3 and back again.
What does this mean for the music business? In the  rst instance aspiring musicians no longer
need to depend on being picked up by A&R staff from major companies who can bear the costs of
recording and production of a physical CD. Instead they can use home recording software and either
produce a CD themselves or else go straight to MP3 – and then distribute the product globally via
newsgroups, chatrooms, and so on. In the process they effectively create a parallel and much more
direct music industry which leaves existing players and artists on the sidelines.
(continued )
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Part I Managing Innovation
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Such changes are not necessarily threatening. For many people the lowering of entry barriers has
opened up the possibility of participating in the music business – for example, by making and sharing
music without the complexities and costs of a formal recording contract and the resources of a major
record company. There is also scope for innovation around the periphery – for example in the music
publishing sector where sheet music and lyrics are also susceptible to lowering of barriers through the
application of digital technology. Journalism and related activities become increasingly open – now
music reviews and other forms of commentary become possible via specialist user groups and chan-
nels on the web whereas before they were the province of a few magazine titles. Compiling popularity
charts – and the related advertising – is also opened up as the medium switches from physical CDs
and tapes distributed and sold via established channels to new media such as MP3 distributed via
the Internet.
As if this were not enough the industry is also challenged from another source – the sharing of
music between different people connected via the Internet. Although technically illegal this practice
of sharing between people’s record collections has always taken place – but not on the scale which
the Internet threatens to facilitate. Much of the established music industry is concerned with legal
issues – how to protect copyright and how to ensure that royalties are paid in the right proportions
to those who participate in production and distribution. But when people can share music in MP3
format and distribute it globally the potential for policing the system and collecting royalties becomes
extremely dif cult to sustain.
It has been made much more so by another technological development – that of person-to-
person or P2P networking. Shawn Fanning, an 18-year-old student with the nickname ‘the Napster’,
was intrigued by the challenge of being able to enable his friends to ‘see’ and share between their
own personal record collections. He argued that if they held these in MP3 format then it should be
possible to set up some kind of central exchange program which facilitated their sharing.
The result – the Napster.com site – offered sophisticated software which enabled P2P transactions.
The Napster server did not actually hold any music on its  les – but every day millions of swaps were
made by people around the world exchanging their music collections. Needless to say this posed a huge
threat to the established music business since it involved no payment of royalties. A number of high-
pro le lawsuits followed but whilst Napster’s activities have been curbed the problem did not go away.
There are now many other sites emulating and extending what Napster started – sites such as Gnutella,
Kazaa, Limewire took the P2P idea further and enabled exchange of many different  le formats – text,
video, and so on. In Napster’s own case the phenomenally successful site concluded a deal with enter-
tainment giant Bertelsman which paved the way for subscription-based services which provide some
revenue stream to deal with the royalty issue.
Expectations that legal protection would limit the impact of this revolution have been dampened
by a US Court of Appeal ruling which rejected claims that P2P violated copyright law. Their judgment
said, ‘History has shown that time and market forces often provide equilibrium in balancing interests,
whether the new technology be a player piano, a copier, a tape recorder, a video recorder, a PC, a
karaoke machine or an MP3 player’ (Personal Computer World, November 2004, p. 32).
Signi cantly the new opportunities opened up by this were seized not by music industry  rms
but by computer companies, especially Apple. In parallel with the launch of their successful iPod
personal MP3 player they opened a site called iTunes which offered users a choice of thousands of
tracks for download at ¢99 each. In its  rst weeks of operation it recorded 1 million hits in Febru-
ary 2006, the billionth song, (‘Speed of Sound’,) was purchased as part of Coldplay’s X&Y album
by Alex Ostrovsky from West Bloom eld, Michigan. ‘I hope that every customer, artist, and music
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13
company executive takes a moment today to re ect on what we’ve achieved together during the past
three years,’ said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. ‘Over one billion songs have now been legally purchased
and downloaded around the globe, representing a major force against music piracy and the future of
music distribution as we move from CDs to the Internet.’
This has been a dramatic shift, reaching the point where more singles were bought as downloads
in 2005 than as CDs, and where new players are coming to dominate the game – for example, Tesco
and Microsoft. And the changes don’t stop there. In February 2006 the Arctic Monkeys topped the
UK album charts and walked off with a  stful of awards from the music business – yet their rise to
prominence had been entirely via ‘viral marketing’ across the Internet rather than by conventional
advertising and promotion. Playing gigs around the northern English town of Shef eld, the band
simply gave away CDs of their early songs to their fans, who then obligingly spread them around
on the Internet. ‘They came to the attention of the public via the Internet, and you had chat rooms,
everyone talking about them,’ says a slightly worried Gennaro Castaldo of HMV Records. David
Sinclair, a rock journalist suggests that ‘It’s a big wakeup call to all the record companies, the estab-
lishment, if you like. . . This lot caught them all napping . . . We are living in a completely different
era, which the Arctic Monkeys have done an awful lot to bring about.’
Subsequent developments have shown an acceleration in the pace of change and an explosion
in the variety of new business models better adapted to create and capture value from the industry.
For example, the US music download business has become dominated by Apple and Amazon (with
70% and 10% respectively of the market) – two companies which have their roots in very different
worlds. Whilst the volume of downloads has increased signi cantly there is now competition from
alternative business models; for example streaming services like Spotify allow users to rent access to
millions of music and other audio titles without having to ‘own’ any of them. And behind the music
business the same pattern is playing out in  lms and entertainment, computer games and other areas.
With the advent of 3D printing and low cost design it becomes possible to make similar models work
in the sphere of physical products as well.
With the rise of the Internet the scope for service innovation has grown enormously – not for
nothing is it sometimes called ‘a solution looking for problems’. As Evans and Wurster point out,
the traditional picture of services being either offered as a standard to a large market (high ‘reach’
in their terms) or else highly specialized and customized to a particular individual able to pay a
high price (high ‘richness’) is ‘blown to bits’ by the opportunities of web-based technology. Now
it becomes possible to offer both richness and reach at the same time – and thus to create totally
new markets and disrupt radically those which exist in any information-related businesses.
24
The challenge that the Internet poses is not only one for the major banks and retail companies,
although those are the stories which hit the headlines. It is also an issue – and quite possibly a sur-
vival one – for thousands of small businesses. Think about the local travel agent and the cosy way
in which it used to operate. Racks full of glossy brochures through which people could browse,
desks at which helpful sales assistants sort out the details of selecting and booking a holiday,
procuring the tickets, arranging insurance and so on. And then think about how all of this can
be accomplished at the click of a mouse from the comfort of home – and that it can potentially
bedone with more choice and at lower cost. Not surprisingly, one of the biggest growth areas in
dot.com start-ups was the travel sector and whilst many disappeared when the bubble burst,
others like lastminute.com and Expedia have established themselves as mainstream players.
Of course, not everyone wants to shop online and there will continue to be scope for the
high-street travel agent in some form – specializing in personal service, acting as a gateway to
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Part I Managing Innovation
14
the Internet-based services for those who are uncomfortable with computers, and so on. And, as
we have seen, the early euphoria around the dot.com bubble has given rise to a much more cau-
tious advance in Internet-based business. The point is that whatever the dominant technological,
social or market conditions, the key to creating – and
sustaining competitive advantage is likely to lie with
those organizations which continually innovate.
Table 1.1 indicates some of the ways in which
enterprises can obtain strategic advantage through
innovation.
Activity applying strategic advantage
through innovation is available in
your interactive e-book at
www.innovation-portal.info
TABLE 1.1 Strategic advantages through innovation
Mechanism Strategic advantage Examples
Novelty in product
or service offering
Offering something no one
else can
Introducing the  rst . . . Walkman, mobile
phone, fountain pen, camera, dishwasher,
telephone bank, on-line retailer, etc. . . . to
the world
Novelty in process Offering it in ways others
cannot match – faster, lower
cost, more customized, etc.
Pilkington’s  oat glass process, Bessemer’s
steel process, Internet banking, on-line
bookselling, etc.
Complexity Offering something which
others  nd it dif cult to
master
Rolls-Royce and aircraft engines – only
a handful of competitors can master the
complex machining and metallurgy involved
Legal protection
of intellectual
property
Offering something which
others cannot do unless they
pay a licence or other fee
Blockbuster drugs like Zantac, Prozac,
Viagra, etc.
Add/extend range
of competitive
factors
Move basis of competition –
e.g. from price of product to
price and quality, or price,
quality, choice, etc.
Japanese car manufacturing, which systematically
moved the competitive agenda from price to
quality, to  exibility and choice, to shorter times
between launch of new models, and so on – each
time not trading these off against each other but
offering them all
Timing First-mover advantage –
being  rst can be worth
signi cant market share in
new product  elds
Amazon.com, Google – others can follow,
but the advantage ‘sticks’ to the early movers
Fast follower advantage –
sometimes being  rst
means you encounter
many unexpected teething
problems, and it makes
better sense to watch
someone else make the
early mistakes and move
fast into a follow-up product
Personal digital assistants (PDAs), which
captured a huge and growing share of the
market and then found their functionality
absorbed into mobile phones and tablet
devices. In fact the concept and design
was articulated in Apple’s ill-fated Newton
product some  ve years earlier – but
problems with software and especially
handwriting recognition meant it  opped
(continued )
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15
TABLE 1.1 (Continued )
Mechanism Strategic advantage Examples
Robust /platform
design
Offering something which
provides the platform on
which other variations and
generations can be built
Walkman architecture – through minidisk,
CD, DVD, MP3 . . .
Boeing 737 – over 50 years old, the design is
still being adapted and con gured to suit different
users – one of the most successful aircraft in the
world in terms of sales
Intel and AMD with different variants of their
microprocessor families
Rewriting the rules Offering something which
represents a completely
new product or process
concept– a different way of
doing things—and makes
the old ones redundant
Typewriters vs. computer word processing,
ice vs. refrigerators, electric vs. gas or
oil lamps
Recon guring
the parts of the
process
Rethinking the way in which
bits of the system work
together – e.g. building more
effective networks, out-
sourcing and co-ordination
of a virtual company, etc.
Zara, Benetton in clothing, Dell in computers,
Toyota in its supply chain management
Transferring
across different
application
contexts
Recombining established
elements for different
markets
Polycarbonate wheels transferred from
application market like rolling luggage into
children’s toys – lightweight micro-scooters
Others? Innovation is all about  nding
new ways to do things and to
obtain strategic advantage –
so there will be room for new
ways of gaining and retaining
advantage
Napster. This  rm began by writing software
which would enable music fans to swap their
favourite pieces via peer-to-peer (P2P) networking
across the Internet. Although Napster suffered
from legal issues followers developed a huge
industry based on downloading and  le sharing.
The experiences of one of these  rms – Kazaa –
provided the platform for successful high volume
internet telephony and the company established
with this knowledge – Skype – was sold to eBay
for $2.6bn and eventually to Microsoft
for $8.5bn.
1.5 Old Question, New Context
Constant revolutionizing of production, uninterrupted disturbance of all social conditions, everlast-
ing uncertainty . . . all old-established national industries have been destroyed or are daily being
destroyed. They are dislodged by new industries . . . whose products are consumed not only at home
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Part I Managing Innovation
16
but in every quarter of the globe. In place of old wants satis ed by the production of the country,
we  nd new wants . . . the intellectual creativity of individual nations become common property.
This quote does not come from a contemporary journalist or politician but from the
Communist Manifesto, published by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels in 1848! But it serves to
remind us that the innovation challenge isn’t new – organizations have always had to think
about changing what they offer the world and the ways they create and deliver that offering
if they are to survive and grow. The trouble is that innovation involves a moving target – not
only is there competition amongst players in the game but the overall context in which the
game is played out keeps shifting. And whilst many organizations have some tried and tested
recipes for playing the game there is always the risk that the rules will change and leave them
vulnerable. Changes along several core environmental dimensions mean that the incidence
of discontinuities is likely to rise – for example, in response to a massive increase in the rate
of knowledge production and the consequent increase in the potential for technology-linked
instabilities. But there is also a higher level of interactivity amongst these environmental
elements – complexity – which leads to unpredictable emergence. (For example, the rapidly
growing  eld of VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) communications is not developing along
established trajectories towards a well-de ned end-point. Instead it is a process of emergence.
The broad parameters are visible – the rise of demand
for global communication, increasing availability of
broadband, multiple peer-to-peer networking models,
growing technological literacy amongst users – and
the stakes are high, both for established  xed-line
players (who have much to lose) and new entrants
(such as Skype). The dominant design isn’t visible yet – instead there is a rich fermenting soup
of technological possibilities, business models and potential players from which it will gradu-
ally emerge).
Table 1.2 summarizes some of the key changes in the context within which the current inno-
vation game is being played out.
The dif culties of a  rm like Kodak illustrate the problem. Founded around 100 years ago the basis
of the business was the production and processing of  lm and the sales and service associated with
mass-market photography. Whilst the latter set of competencies is still highly relevant (even though
camera technology has shifted) the move away from wet physical chemistry conducted in the dark
(coating emulsions onto  lms and paper) to digital imaging represented a profound change for the
rm. It needed – across a global operation and a workforce of thousands – to let go of old com-
petencies which are unlikely to be needed in the future whilst at the same time to rapidly acquire
and absorb cutting edge new technologies in electronics and communication. Although they made
strenuous efforts to shift from being a manufacturer of  lm to becoming a key player in the digital
imaging industry and beyond, they found the transition very dif cult and in 2012 they  led for
Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
Signi cantly this was not the end of the company; instead it regrouped around other core
technologies and developed new directions for innovation led growth in  elds like high speed, high
volume printing.
CASE STUDY 1.2
Case Study describing Kodak is
available in your interactive e-book at
www.innovation-portal.info
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Chapter 1 Innovation – What it is and Why it Matters
17
TABLE 1.2 Changing context for innovation (based on
25
)
Context change Indicative examples
Acceleration of knowledge
production
OECD estimates that around $750bn is spent each year
(public and private sector) in creating new knowledge – and
hence extending the frontier along which ‘breakthrough’
technological developments may happen
Global distribution of
knowledge production
Knowledge production is increasingly involving new players
especially in emerging market  elds like the BRIC (Brazil, Russia,
India, China) nations – so the need to search for innovation
opportunities across a much wider space. One consequence of
this is that ‘knowledge workers’ are now much more widely
distributed and concentrated in new locations – for example,
Microsoft’s third largest R&D Centre employing thousands of
scientists and engineers is now in Shanghai.
Market expansion Traditionally much of the world of business has focused on the
needs of around 1 billion people since they represent wealthy
enough consumers. But the world’s population has just passed
the 7 billion mark and population – and by extension market –
growth is increasingly concentrated in non-traditional areas like
rural Asia, Latin America and Africa. Understanding the needs
and constraints of this ‘new’ population represents a signi cant
challenge in terms of market knowledge.
Market fragmentation Globalization has massively increased the range of markets and
segments so that these are now widely dispersed and locally
varied – putting pressure on innovation search activity to cover
much more territory, often far from ‘traditional’ experiences –
such as the ‘bottom of the pyramid’ conditions in many emerging
markets.
3
or along the so-called long tail – the large number
of individuals or small target markets with highly differentiated
needs and expectations.
Market virtualization The emergence of large-scale social networks in cyberspace
pose challenges in market research approaches – for example,
Facebook with 800 million members is technically the third
largest country in the world by population. Further challenges
arise in the emergence of parallel world communities – for
example, Second Life now has over 6 million ‘residents’, whilst
World of Warcraft has over 10 million players.
Rise of active users Although users have long been recognized as a source of
innovation there has been an acceleration in the ways in which
this is now taking place – for example, the growth of Linux has
been a user-led open community development.
26
In sectors like
media the line between consumers and creators is increasingly
blurred – for example, YouTube has around 100 million videos
viewed each day but also has over 70 000 new videos uploaded
every day from its user base.
(continued )
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Part I Managing Innovation
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1.6 What is Innovation?
One of America’s most successful innovators was Thomas Alva Edison who during his life
registered over 1000 patents. Products for which his organization was responsible include the
light bulb, 35mm cinema  lm and even the electric chair. Edison appreciated better than most
that the real challenge in innovation was not invention – coming up with good ideas – but
in making them work technically and commercially. His skill in doing this created a business
empire worth, in 1920, around $21.6bn. He put to good use an understanding of the interac-
tive nature of innovation, realizing that both technology push (which he systematized in one of
the world’s  rst organized R&D laboratories) and demand pull need to be mobilized.
His work on electricity provides a good example of this; Edison recognized that although
the electric light bulb was a good idea it had little practical relevance in a world where there was
no power point to plug it into. Consequently, his team set about building up an entire electricity
generation and distribution infrastructure, including designing lamp stands, switches and wiring.
In 1882 he switched on the power from the  rst electric power generation plant in Manhattan
and was able to light up 800 bulbs in the area. In the years that followed he built over 300 plants
all over the world.
29
As Edison realized, innovation is more than simply coming up with good ideas; it is the process
of growing them into practical use.
30
De nitions of innovation may vary in their wording, but they
all stress the need to complete the development and exploitation aspects of new knowledge, not just
its invention. Some examples are given in Research Note 1.3.
If we only understand part of the innovation process, then the behaviours we use in managing
it are also likely to be only partially helpful – even if well intentioned and executed. For example,
innovation is often confused with invention – but the latter is only the  rst step in a long process
of bringing a good idea to widespread and effective use. Being a good inventor is – to contradict
Growing concern with
sustainability issues
Major shifts in resource and energy availability prompting search for
new alternatives and reduced consumption. Increasing awareness
of impact of pollution and other negative consequences of high
and unsustainable growth. Concern over climate change. Major
population growth and worries over ability to sustain living standards
and manage expectations. Increasing regulation on areas like
emissions, carbon footprint.
Development of technological
and social infrastructure
Increasing linkages enabled by information and communications
technologies around the Internet and broadband have enabled and
reinforced alternative social networking possibilities. At the same
time the increasing availability of simulation and prototyping tools
have reduced the separation between users and producers
27, 28
Source: Based on J. Bessant and T. Venables (2008) Creating Wealth from Knowledge: Meeting the Innovation
Challenge, Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.
TABLE 1.2 (Continued )
Context change Indicative examples
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Chapter 1 Innovation – What it is and Why it Matters
19
RESEARCH NOTE 1.3
What is Innovation?
One of the problems in managing innovation is variation in what people understand by the term, often
confusing it with invention. In its broadest sense the term comes from the Latin – innovare – meaning
‘to make something new’. Our view, shared by the following writers, assumes that innovation is a
process of turning opportunity into new ideas and of putting these into widely used practice.
‘Innovation is the successful exploitation of new ideas’
– Innovation Unit, UK Department of Trade and Industry (2004).
‘Industrial innovation includes the technical, design, manufacturing, management and
commercial activities involved in the marketing of a new (or improved) product or the  rst
commercial use of a new (or improved) process or equipment’
– Chris Freeman (1982) The Economics of Industrial Innovation,
2nd edn. Frances Pinter, London.
‘. . . Innovation does not necessarily imply the commercialization of only a major advance in
the technological state of the art (a radical innovation) but it includes also the utilization of even
small-scale changes in technological know-how (an improvement or incremental innovation)’
– Roy Rothwell and Paul Gardiner (1985) ‘Invention, innovation,
re-innovation and the role of the user’, Technovation, 3, 168.
‘Innovation is the speci c tool of entrepreneurs, the means by which they exploit change
as an opportunity for a different business or service. It is capable of being presented as a
discipline, capable of being learned, capable of being practised’
– Peter Drucker (1985), Innovation and Entrepreneurship.
Harper & Row, New York.
‘Companies achieve competitive advantage through acts of innovation. They approach inno-
vation in its broadest sense, including both new technologies and new ways of doing things’
– Michael Porter (1990) The Competitive Advantage of Nations.
Macmillan, London.
‘An innovative business is one which lives and breathes ‘outside the box’. It is not just good
ideas, it is a combination of good ideas, motivated staff and an instinctive understanding
of what your customer wants’
– Richard Branson (1998) DTI Innovation Lecture.
Emerson* – no guarantee of commercial success and no matter how good the better mousetrap
idea, the world will only beat a path to the door if attention is also paid to project management,
market development,  nancial management, organizational behaviour and so on. Case Study 1.3
gives some examples which highlight the difference between invention and innovation.
*‘If a man has good corn, or wood, or boards, or pigs to sell, or can make better chairs or knives, crucibles or church
organs than anybody else, you will  nd a broad-beaten road to his home, though it be in the woods.’ (Entry in his journal
1855, Ralph Waldo Emerson)
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Part I Managing Innovation
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Invention and Innovation
In fact, some of the most famous inventions of the nineteenth century came from men whose names
are forgotten; the names which we associate with them are of the entrepreneurs who brought them
into commercial use. For example, the vacuum cleaner was invented by one J. Murray Spengler and
originally called an ‘electric suction sweeper’. He approached a leather goods maker in the town
who knew nothing about vacuum cleaners but had a good idea of how to market and sell them – a
certain W.H. Hoover. Similarly, a Boston man called Elias Howe produced the world’s  rst sewing
machine in 1846. Unable to sell his ideas despite travelling to England and trying there, he returned
to the USA to  nd one Isaac Singer had stolen the patent and built a successful business from it.
Although Singer was eventually forced to pay Howe a royalty on all machines made, the name which
most people now associate with sewing machines is Singer not Howe. And Samuel Morse, widely
credited as the father of modern telegraphy, actually invented only the code which bears his name;
all the other inventions came from others. What Morse brought was enormous energy and a vision
of what could be accomplished; to realize this he combined marketing and political skills to secure
state funding for development work, and to spread the concept of something which for the  rst time
would link up people separated by vast distances on the continent of America. Within  ve years of
demonstrating the principle there were over 5000 miles of telegraph wire in the USA and Morse was
regarded as ‘the greatest man of his generation’.
29
CASE STUDY 1.3
(continued )
Although innovation is increasingly seen as a powerful way of securing competitive advantage and
a more secure approach to defending strategic positions, success is by no means guaranteed. The
history of product and process innovations is littered with examples of apparently good ideas which
failed – in some cases with spectacular consequences. For example:
In 1952 Ford engineers began working on a new car to counter the mid-size models offered by
GM and Chrysler – the ‘E’ car. After an exhaustive search for a name involving some 20 000 sug-
gestions the car was  nally named after Edsel Ford, Henry Ford’s only son. It was not a success;
when the  rst Edsels came off the production line Ford had to spend an average of $10 000 per
car (twice the vehicle’s cost) to get them roadworthy. A publicity plan was to have 75 Edsels drive
out on the same day to local dealers; in the event the  rm only managed to get 68 to go, whilst in
another live TV slot the car failed to start. Nor were these just teething troubles; by 1958 consumer
indifference to the design and concern about its reputation led the company to abandon the car – at
a cost of $450m and 110 847 Edsels.
29
During the latter part of the World War II it became increasingly clear that there would be a
bigmarket for long-distance airliners, especially on the trans-Atlantic route. One UK contender
Innovation isn’t Easy . . .
BOX 1.3
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Chapter 1 Innovation – What it is and Why it Matters
21
was the Bristol Brabazon, based on a design for a giant long-range bomber which was approved
by the Ministry of Aviation for development in 1943. Consultation with BOAC, the major
customer for the new airliner, was ‘to associate itself closely with the layout of the aircraft and
its equipment’ but not to comment on issues like size, range and payload! The budget rapidly
escalated, with the construction of new facilities to accommodate such a large plane and, at one
stage, the demolition of an entire village in order to extend the runway at Filton, near Bristol.
Project control was weak and many unnecessary features were included – for example, the mock-
up contained ‘a most magni cent ladies’ powder room with wooden aluminium-painted mirrors
and even receptacles for the various lotions and powders used by the modern young lady’. The
prototype took six and a half years to build and involved major technical crises with wings and
engine design; although it  ew well in tests the character of the post-war aircraft market was
very different from that envisaged by the technologists. Consequently in 1952, after  ying less
than 1000 miles, the project was abandoned at considerable cost to the taxpayer. The parallels
with the Concorde project, developed by the same company on the same site a decade later, are
hard to escape.
During the late 1990s revolutionary changes were going on in mobile communications involv-
ing many successful innovations – but even experienced players can get their  ngers burned.
Motorola launched an ambitious venture which aimed to offer mobile communications from
literally anywhere on the planet – including the middle of the Sahara Desert or the top of Mount
Everest! Achieving this involved a $7bn project to put 88 satellites into orbit, but despite the costs
Iridium – as the venture was known – received investment funds from major backers and the
network was established. The trouble was that, once the novelty had worn off, most people real-
ized that they did not need to make many calls from remote islands or at the North Pole and that
their needs were generally well met with less exotic mobile networks based around large cities and
populated regions. Worse, the handsets for Iridium were large and clumsy because of the complex
electronics and wireless equipment they had to contain – and the cost of these hi-tech bricks was a
staggering $3000! Call charges were similarly highly priced. Despite the incredible technological
achievement which this represented the take-up of the system never happened, and in 1999 the
company  led for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Its problems were not over – the cost of maintain-
ing the satellites safely in orbit was around $2m per month. Motorola who had to assume the
responsibility had hoped that other telecoms  rms might take advantage of these satellites, but
after no interest was shown they had to look at a further price tag of $50m. to bring them out of
orbit and destroy them safely! Even then the plans to allow them to drift out of orbit and burn up
in the atmosphere were criticized by NASA for the risk they might pose in starting a nuclear war,
since any pieces which fell to earth would be large enough to trigger Russian anti-missile defences
since they might appear not as satellite chunks but Moscow-bound missiles!
1.7 A Process View of Innovation
In this book we will make use of a simple model of innovation as the process of turning ideas
into reality and capturing value from them. We will explain the model in more detail in the next
chapter but it’s worth introducing it here. There are four key phases, each of which requires
dealing with particular challenges – and only if we can manage the whole process is innovation
likely to be successful.
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Part I Managing Innovation
22
Phase one involves the question of search. To take a biological metaphor, we need to
generate variety in our gene pool – and we do this by bringing new ideas to the system. These
can come from R&D, ‘Eureka’ moments, copying, market signals, regulations, competitor
behaviour – the list is huge but the underlying challenge is the same – how do we organize
an effective search process to ensure a steady  ow of ‘genetic variety’ which gives us a better
chance of surviving and thriving?
But simply generating variety isn’t enough – we need to select from that set of options the
variants most likely to help us grow and develop. Unlike natural selection where the process
is random we are concerned here with some form of strategic choice – out of all the things
we could do, what are we going to do – and why? This process needs to take into account
competitive differentiation – which choices give us the best chance of standing out from the
crowd? – and previous capabilities – can we build on what we already have or is this a step
into the unknown . . .?
Generating and selecting still leaves us with the huge problem of actually making it happen –
committing our scarce resources and energies to doing something different. This is the challenge of
implementation – converting ideas into reality. The task is essentially one of managing a growing
commitment of resources – time, energy, money and above all mobilizing knowledge of different
kinds – against a background of uncertainty. Unlike conventional project management the innova-
tion challenge is about developing something which may never have been done before – and the
only way we know whether or not we will succeed is by trying it out.
Here the biological metaphor comes back into play – it is a risky business. We are betting –
taking calculated risks rather than random throws of the dice but nonetheless gambling – that
we can make this new thing happen (manage the complex project through to successful comple-
tion) and that it will deliver us the calculated value which exceeds or at least equals what we
put into it. If it is a new product or service – the market will rush to our stall to buy what we
are offering, or if it is a new process, our internal market will buy into the new way of doing
things and we will become more effective as a result. If it is a social innovation, can we manage
to make the world a better place in ways which justify the investment we put in?
Finally we need to consider the challenge of capturing value from our innovative efforts.
How will we ensure that the efforts have been justi ed – in commercial terms or in terms of cre-
ating social value? How will we protect the gains from appropriation by others? And how might
we learn from the experience and capture useful leanring about how to improve the innovation
process in the future?
Viewed in this way the innovation task looks deceptively simple. The big question is, of
course, how to make it happen? This has been the subject of intensive study for a long period
of time – plenty of practitioners have not only left us their innovations but also some of their
accumulated wisdom, lessons about managing the process which they have learned the hard way.
And a growing academic community has been working on trying to understand in a systematic
fashion questions about not only the core process but also the conditions under which it is
likely to succeed or fail. This includes knowledge about the kind of things which in uence and
help/hinder the process – essentially boiling down to having a clear and focused direction (the
underpinning ‘why’ of the selection stage) and creating the organizational conditions to allow
focused creativity.
The end effect is that we have a rich – and convergent – set of recipes which go a long way
towards helping answer the practising manager’s question when confronted with the problem of
organizing and managing innovation – ‘what do I do on Monday morning?’. Exploring this in
greater detail provides the basis for the rest of the book.
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Chapter 1 Innovation – What it is and Why it Matters
23
1.8 Scope for/Types of Innovation
If innovation is a process we need to consider the output of that process. In what ways can we
innovate – what kinds of opportunities exist for use to create something different and capture
value from bringing those ideas into the world?
Sometimes it is about completely new possibilities – for example, by exploiting radical break-
throughs in technology. For example, new drugs based on genetic manipulation have opened
a major new front in the war against disease. Mobile phones, PDAs and other devices have
‘There is nothing more dif cult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct, or more uncer-
tain in its success, than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things.’
– Niccolo Machiavelli, The Prince, 1532
‘Anything that won’t sell, I don’t want to invent. Its sale is proof of utility, and utility is
success.’
‘Everything comes to him who hustles while he waits.’
‘Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration.’
‘I never did anything by accident, nor did any of my inventions come by accident; they
came by work.’
‘Make it a practice to keep on the lookout for novel and interesting ideas that others have
used successfully. Your idea has to be original only in its adaptation to the problem you
are working on.’
– Thomas A. Edison
‘Managing and innovation did not always  t comfortably together. That’s not surprising.
Managers are people who like order. They like forecasts to come out as planned. In fact,
managers are often judged on how much order they produce. Innovation, on the other
hand, is often a disorderly process. Many times, perhaps most times, innovation does not
turn out as planned. As a result, there is tension between managers and innovation.’
– Lewis Lehro, about the  rst years at 3M
‘In the past, innovation was de ned largely by creativity and the development of new ideas.
Today the term encompasses coordinated projects directed toward honing these ideas and
converting them into developments that boost the bottom line.’
– Howard Smith, Computer Sciences Corporation
‘To turn really interesting ideas and  edgling technologies into a company that can continue
to innovate for years, it requires a lot of disciplines.’
– Steve Jobs
VIEWS FROM THE FRONT LINE 1.1
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Part I Managing Innovation
24
revolutionized where and when we communicate. Even the humble window pane is the result of
radical technological innovation – almost all the window glass in the world is made these days
by the Pilkington  oat glass process which moved the industry away from the time consuming
process of grinding and polishing to get a  at surface.
Equally important is the ability to spot where and how new markets can be created and
grown. Alexander Bell’s invention of the telephone didn’t lead to an overnight revolution in
communications – that depended on developing the market for person-to-person communica-
tions. Henry Ford may not have invented the motor car but in making the Model T – ‘a car for
Everyman’ at a price most people could afford – he grew the mass market for personal transpor-
tation. And eBay justi es its multi-billion dollar price tag not because of the technology behind
its on-line auction idea but because it created and grew the market.
Innovation isn’t just about opening up new markets – it can also offer new ways of serving
established and mature ones. Low-cost airlines are still about transportation – but the innovations
which  rms like Southwest Airlines, Easyjet and Ryanair have introduced have revolutionized
air travel and grown the market in the process. One challenging new area for innovation lies in
the previously underserved markets of the developing world – the 4 billion people who earn less
than $2/day. The potential for developing radically different innovative products and services
aimed at meeting the needs of this vast population at what C.K. Prahalad calls ‘the bottom of the
pyramid’ is huge – and the lessons learned may impact on established markets in the developed
world as well.
And it isn’t just about manufactured products; in most economies the service sector
accounts for the vast majority of activity so there is likely to be plenty of scope. Lower capital
costs often mean that the opportunities for new entrants and radical change are greatest in
the service sector. On-line banking and insurance have become commonplace, but they have
radically transformed the ef ciencies with which those sectors work and the range of services
they can provide. New entrants riding the Internet wave have rewritten the rule book for a
wide range of industrial games – for example, Amazon in retailing, eBay in market trading
and auctions, Google in advertising, Skype in telephony. Others have used the web to help
them transform business models around things like low-cost airlines, on-line shopping and the
music business.
31
Four Dimensions of Innovation Space
Essentially we are talking about change, and this can take several forms; for the purposes of this
book we will focus on four broad categories:
‘product innovation’ – changes in the things (products/services) which an organization offers;
‘process innovation’ – changes in the ways in which they are created and delivered;
‘position innovation’ – changes in the context in which the products/services are introduced;
‘paradigm innovation’ – changes in the underlying mental models which frame what the
organization does.
Figure 1.1 shows how these ‘4Ps’ provide the frame-
work for a map of the innovation space available to
any organization
32
and one example is the framework
applied to looking at a small  sh and chip shop business.
Video Clip showing Finnegan’s
Fish Bar is available in your
interactive e-book at
www.innovation-portal.info
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Chapter 1 Innovation – What it is and Why it Matters
25
For example, a new design of car, a new insurance package for accident-prone babies and
a new home entertainment system would all be examples of product innovation. And change in
the manufacturing methods and equipment used to produce the car or the home entertainment
system, or in the of ce procedures and sequencing in the insurance case, would be examples of
process innovation.
Sometimes the dividing line is somewhat blurred – for example, a new jet-powered sea ferry
is both a product and a process innovation. Services represent a particular case of this where the
product and process aspects often merge – for example, is a new holiday package a product or
process change?
Innovation can also take place by repositioning the perception of an established product
or process in a particular user context. For example, an old-established product in the UK is
Lucozade – originally developed in 1927 as a glucose-based drink to help children and inva-
lids in convalescence. These associations with sickness were abandoned by the brand owners,
Beechams (now part of GSK), when they relaunched the product as a health drink aimed at the
growing  tness market where it is now presented as a performance-enhancing aid to healthy
exercise. This shift is a good example of ‘position’ innovation. In similar fashion Haagen Dazs
were able to give a new and pro table lease of life to an old-established product (ice cream)
made with well-known processes. Their strategy was to target a different market segment and
to reposition their product as a sensual pleasure to be enjoyed by adults – essentially telling an
‘ice cream for grown ups’ story.
‘PARADIGM’
(MENTAL MODEL)
PROCESS
PRODUCT
(SERVICE)
POSITION
(incremental... radical)(incremental... radical)
(incremental... radical)
(incremental... radical)
INNOVATION
FIGURE 1.1 The 4Ps of innovation space
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Part I Managing Innovation
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Sometimes opportunities for innovation emerge when we reframe the way we look at some-
thing. Henry Ford fundamentally changed the face of transportation not because he invented the
motor car (he was a comparative latecomer to the new industry) nor because he developed the
manufacturing process to put one together (as a craft-based specialist industry car-making had
been established for around 20 years). His contribution
was to change the underlying model from one which
offered a handmade specialist product to a few wealthy
customers to one which offered a car for Everyman at
a price they could afford. The ensuing shift from craft
to mass production was nothing short of a revolution
in the way cars (and later countless other products and services) were created and delivered. Of
course making the new approach work in practice also required extensive product and process
innovation – for example, in component design, in machinery building, in factory layout and
particularly in the social system around which work was organized.
Recent examples of ‘paradigm’ innovation – changes in mental models – include the shift to
low-cost airlines, the provision of on-line insurance and other  nancial services, and the reposi-
tioning of drinks like coffee and fruit juice as premium ‘designer’ products. Although in its later
days Enron became infamous for  nancial malpractice it originally came to prominence as a
small gas pipeline contractor which realized the potential in paradigm innovation in the utilities
business. In a climate of deregulation and with global interconnection through grid distribution
systems energy and other utilities like telecommunications bandwidth increasingly became com-
modities which could be traded much as sugar or cocoa futures.
33
In their book Wikinomics Tapscott and Williams highlight the wave of innovation which follows
the paradigm change to ‘mass collaboration’ via the Internet which built on social networks and
communities. Companies like Lego and Adidas are rein-
venting themselves by engaging their users as designers
and builders rather than as passive consumers, whilst
others are exploring the potential of virtual worlds like
‘Second Life’.
31
Concerns about global warming and
sustainability of key resources like energy and materials
are, arguably, setting the stage for some signi cant paradigm innovation across many sectors as
rms struggle to rede ne themselves and their offerings to match these major social issues. The
Innovation Portal provides additional material describing case studies for Threadless and Adidas.
Table 1.3 provides some examples of innovations mapped on to the 4P framework.
Case Study describing the
Model T Ford is available in your
interactive e-book at
www.innovation-portal.info
Case Study describing Lego is
available in your interactive e-book at
www.innovation-portal.info
TABLE 1.3 Some examples of innovations mapped on to the 4Ps model
Innovation type Incremental – do what we do
but better
Radical – do something different
‘Product’ – what
we offer the
world
Windows 7 and 8 replacing Vista and
XP – essentially improving on existing
software idea
New versions of established car
models – e.g. the VW Golf essentially
improving on established car design
New to the world software – for
example the  rst speech recognition
program
Toyota Prius – bringing a new
concept – hybrid engines. Tesla –
high performance electric car.
(continued )
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Chapter 1 Innovation – What it is and Why it Matters
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TABLE 1.3 (Continued )
Innovation type Incremental – do what we do
but better
Radical – do something different
Improved performance incandescent light
bulbs
CDs replacing vinyl records – essentially
improving on the storage technology
LED-based lighting, using completely
different and more energy ef cient
principles
Spotify and other music streaming
services – changing the pattern from
owning your own collection to renting
a vast library of music
Process – how
we create and
deliver that
offering
Improved  xed line telephone services
Extended range of stock broking services
Improved auction house operations
Improved factory operations ef ciency
through upgraded equipment
Improved range of banking services
delivered at branch banks
Improved retailing logistics
Skype and other VoIP systems
On-line share trading
eBay
Toyota Production System and other
‘lean’ approaches
Online banking and now mobile
banking in Kenya, Philippines –
using phones as an alternative to
banking systems
On-line shopping
Position –
where we target
that offering
and the story
we tell about it
Haagen Dazs changing the target market
for ice cream from children to consenting
adults
Airlines segmenting service offering for
different passenger groups – Virgin Upper
Class, BA Premium Economy, etc.
Dell and others segmenting and
customizing computer con guration for
individual users
On line support for traditional higher
education courses
Banking services targeted at key
segments – students, retired people, etc.
Addressing underserved markets –
for example the Tata Nano aimed at
emerging but relatively poor Indian
market with car priced around $2000.
Low-cost airlines opening up air
travel to those previously unable to
afford it – create new market and
also disrupt existing one
Variations on the ‘One laptop per
child’ project – e.g. Indian government
$20 computer for schools
University of Phoenix and others,
building large education businesses
via online approaches to reach
different markets
‘Bottom of the pyramid’ approaches
using a similar principle but tapping
into huge and very different high
volume/low margin markets –
Aravind eye care, Cemex
construction products
(continued )
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Part I Managing Innovation
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TABLE 1.3 (Continued )
Innovation type Incremental – do what we do
but better
Radical – do something different
Paradigm – how
we frame what
we do
Bausch and Lomb – moved from ‘eye
wear’ to ‘eye care’ as their business
model, effectively letting go of the old
business of spectacles, sunglasses
(Raybans) and contact lenses all of which
were becoming commodity businesses.
Instead they moved into newer high tech
elds like laser surgery equipment,
specialist optical devices and research
in arti cial eyesight
Dyson rede ning the home appliance
market in terms of high performance
engineered products
Rolls-Royce – from high quality aero
engines to becoming a service company
offering ‘power by the hour’
IBM from being a machine maker to a
service and solution company – selling off
its computer making and building up its
consultancy and service side.
Grameen Bank and other
micro nance models – rethinking
the assumptions about credit and
the poor
iTunes platform – a complete system
of personalized entertainment
Cirque de Soleil – rede ning the
circus experience
Amazon, Google, Skype – rede ning
industries like retailing, advertising
and telecoms through online models
Linux, Mozilla, Apache – moving
from passive users to active
communities of users co-creating
new products and services
Mapping Innovation Space
The area indicated by the circle in Figure 1.2 is the potential innovation space within which an
organization can operate. (Whether it actually explores and exploits all the space is a question
for innovation strategy and we will return to this theme later in Chapter 3).
We can use the model to look at where the organization currently has innovation projects –
and where it might move in the future. For example, if the emphasis has been on product and
process innovation there may be scope for exploring
more around position innovation – which new or under-
served markets might we play in? Or we may explore
around de ning a new paradigm, a new business model
with which to approach the marketplace.
We can also compare maps for different organi-
zations competing in the same market – and use the
tool as a way of identifying where there might be rela-
tively unexplored space which might offer signi cant
innovation opportunities. By looking at where other
organizations are clustering their efforts we can pick
up valuable clues about how to  nd relatively uncontested space and focus our efforts on these –
as the low-cost airlines did with targeting new and underserved markets for travel.
34
Activity with an interactive exercise
using the 4Ps approach is available
in your interactive e-book at
www.innovation-portal.info
Tool using the 4Ps to explore
innovation space is available in
your interactive e-book at
www.innovation-portal.info
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Chapter 1 Innovation – What it is and Why it Matters
29
RESEARCH NOTE 1.4
Mapping Innovation Space
Figure 1.2 shows how the 4Ps approach was applied in a company (R&P Ltd) making garden machinery.
The diamond diagram provides an indication of where and how they could construct a broad-ranging
‘innovation agenda’. Nine innovation activities were listed on the diamond chart, including:
Building totally customized products for customer’s individual orders (paradigm).
Using sensors in the next generation of lawn mowers to avoid roots and stones (product).
Repositioning the company’s products as female-friendly as more women are keen gardeners
(position).
Installing 3D design software in the R&D department (process).
The selection of just nine major innovation initiatives gave focus to R&P’s innovation manage-
ment: the  rm considered that ‘it is important not to try to do too much at once’. Some initiatives,
such as relaunching their trimmer as environmentally friendly, require both product and positional
innovation. Such interdependencies are clari ed by discussion on the placing of an initiative on the
diamond diagram. Also, the fact that the senior management group had the 4Ps on one sheet of paper
had the effect of enlarging choice – they saw completing the diagram as a tool for helping them think
in a systematic way about using the innovation capability of the  rm.
‘Paradigm’
Build totally
customized
products for
individual
customers
Sub-contract
trimmer
manufacture
to firm in
Czech
Republic
ProductProcess
Use sensors in
new lawn
mower
Install 3D design
software
Track lead users to see
what products they feel
add value
Involve
customers in
new product
design
Relaunch trimmer
as environmentally
friendly
Link gardening
to home-
making in
advertising
Re-position
products as
‘female friendly’
Position
FIGURE 1.2: Suggested innovations mapped on to the 4Ps framework
Source: based on Francis, D. and J. Bessant (2005) Targeting innovation and implications for capability
development. Technovation, 25 (3), 171–83.
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Part I Managing Innovation
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1.9 Exploring Different Aspects of Innovation
The overall innovation space provides a simple map of the table on which we might place our
innovation bets. But before making those bets we should consider some of the other character-
istics of innovation which might shape our strategic decisions about where and when to play.
These key aspects include:
Degree of novelty – incremental or radical innovation?
Platforms and families of innovations.
Discontinuous innovation – what happens when the rules of the game change?
Level of innovation – component or architecture?
Timing – the innovation life cycle.
We will explore these – and the challenges they pose for managing innovation – further in
the following section.
Incremental Innovation – Doing What We do but Better
A key issue in managing innovation relates to the degree of novelty involved in different places
across the innovation space. Clearly, updating the styling on our car is not the same as coming
up with a completely new concept car which has an electric engine and is made of new composite
materials as opposed to steel and glass. Similarly, increasing the speed and accuracy of a lathe is not
the same thing as replacing it with a computer-controlled laser forming process. There are degrees
of novelty in these, running from minor, incremental improvements right through to radical changes
which transform the way we think about and use them. Sometimes these changes are common to
a particular sector or activity, but sometimes they are so radical and far-reaching that they change
the basis of society – for example, the role played by steam power in the Industrial Revolution or
the ubiquitous changes resulting from today’s communications and computing technologies.
As far as managing the innovation process is concerned, these differences are important. The
ways in which we approach incremental, day-to-day change will differ from those used occasion-
ally to handle a radical step change in product or process. But we should also remember that it
is the perceived degree of novelty which matters; novelty is very much in the eye of the beholder.
For example, in a giant, technologically advanced organization like Shell or IBM advanced net-
worked information systems are commonplace, but for a small car dealership or food processor
even the use of a simple PC to connect to the Internet may still represent a major challenge.
The reality is that although innovation sometimes involves a discontinuous shift, most of the
time it takes place in incremental fashion. Essentially this is product/process improvement along
the lines of ‘doing what we do, but better’ – and there is plenty to commend this approach. For
example, the Bic ballpoint pen was originally developed in 1957 but remains a strong product
with daily sales of 14 million units worldwide. Although super cially the same shape, closer
inspection reveals a host of incremental changes that have taken place in materials, inks, ball
technology, safety features, and so on. Products are rarely ‘new to the world’, process innovation
is mainly about optimization and getting the bugs out of the system. (Ettlie suggests disruptive or
new to the world innovations are only 6% to 10% of all projects labelled innovation.)
35
Studies
of incremental process development (such as Hollander’s famous study of Du Pont rayon plants)
suggest that the cumulative gains in ef ciency are often much greater over time than those which
come from occasional radical changes.
36
Other examples include Tremblay’s studies of paper
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Chapter 1 Innovation – What it is and Why it Matters
31
mills, Enos on petroleum re ning and Figueredo’s of
steel plants.
37–39
The Innovation Portal provides addi-
tional case studies describing various examples of con-
tinuous improvement innovation – Hosiden Besson,
NPI, Kumba Resources and Forte’s Bakery.
Continuous improvement of this kind has received
considerable attention in recent years, originally as part of the ‘total quality management’ move-
ment in the late twentieth century, re ecting the signi cant gains which Japanese manufacturers
were able to make in improving quality and productivity through sustained incremental change.
40
But these ideas are not new – similar principles underpin the famous ‘learning curve’ effect where
productivity improves with increases in the scale of production; the reason for this lies in the
learning and continuous incremental problem-solving innovation which accompanies the intro-
duction of a new product or process.
41
More recent experience of deploying ‘lean’ thinking in
manufacturing and services and increasingly between, as well as within, enterprises underlines
further the huge scope for such continuous innovation.
42
The Innovation Portal provides addi-
tional tools and techniques – ‘lean toolbox’ and ‘continuous improvement’.
Platform Innovation
One way in which the continuous incremental innovation approach can be harnessed to good
effect is through the concept of ‘platforms’. This is a way of creating stretch and space around
an innovation and depends on being able to establish a strong basic platform or family which
can be extended. Boeing’s 737 airliner, for example, was a major breakthrough innovation
back in 1967 when it  rst ew – and it cost a great deal to develop. However, the robustness
and  exibility in the design means that many variants and improvements have been made over
the years and the plane is still being manufactured today, nearly 60 years later! Rothwell and
Gardiner call this kind of platform a ‘robust design’ and examples can be seen in many areas.
43
Aircraft engine makers like Rolls-Royce and General Electric work with families of core designs
which they stretch and adapt to suit different needs, while semiconductor manufacturers like
Intel and AMD spread the huge cost of developing new generations of chip across many product
variants – for example in the Pentium chipset.
44
Car makers produce models which, although
apparently different in style, make use of common components and  oor pans or chassis. And in
consumer products the ‘Walkman’ originally developed by Sony as a portable radio and cassette
system de ned a platform concept (personal entertainment systems) which continues to underpin
a wide range of offerings from all major manufacturers deploying technologies like minidisk,
CD, DVD and MP3 players.
In processes much has been made of the ability to enhance and improve performance over
many years from the original design concepts – in  elds like steel-making and chemicals, for
example. Service innovation offers other examples where a basic concept can be adapted and tai-
lored for a wide range of similar applications without undergoing the high initial design costs – as
is the case with different mortgage or insurance products. Sometimes platforms can be extended
across different sectors – for example, the original ideas behind ‘lean’ thinking originated in
rms like Toyota in the  eld of car manufacturing – but have subsequently been applied across
many other manufacturing sectors and into both public and private service applications including
hospitals, supermarkets and banks.
45
Platforms and families are powerful ways for companies to recoup their high initial investments
in R&D by deploying the technology across a number of market  elds. For example, Procter&
Gamble invested heavily in their cyclodextrin development for original application in detergents, but
Video Clip showing Veeder-Root is
available in your interactive e-book at
www.innovation-portal.info
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Part I Managing Innovation
32
then were able to use this technology or variants on it in a family of products including odour con-
trol (‘Febreze’), soaps and  ne fragrances (‘Olay’), off- avour food control, disinfectants, bleaches
and fabric softening (‘Tide’, ‘Bounce’, etc.). They were also able to license out the technology for
use in non-competing areas like industrial scale carpet care and in the pharmaceutical industry.
If we take the idea of ‘position’ innovation mentioned earlier then the role of brands can be
seen as establishing a strong platform association which can be extended beyond an initial prod-
uct or service. For example, Richard Branson’s Virgin brand has successfully provided a platform
for entry into a variety of new  elds including trains,  nancial services, telecommunications and
food, whilst Stelios Haji-Ioannou has done something similar with his ‘Easy’ brand, moving into
cinemas, car rental, cruises and hotels from the original base in low-cost  ying.
In their work on what they call ‘management innovation’ Julian Birkinshaw and Gary Hamel
highlight a number of core organizational innovations (such as ‘total quality management’ which
have diffused widely across sectors.
46
These are essentially paradigm innovations which rep-
resent concepts which can be shaped and stretched to  t a variety of different contexts – for
example, Henry Ford’s original ideas on mass produc-
tion became applied and adapted to a host of other
industries. McDonalds owed much of their inspiration
to him in designing their fast food business and in turn
they were a powerful in uence on the development of
the Aravind eye clinics in India which bring low-cost
eye surgery to the masses.
3
The Innovation Portal provides additional case studies describing
cross-sector diffusion – NHL Hospitals and Lifespring Hospitals.
Discontinuous Innovation – What Happens When the Game Changes?
Most of the time innovation takes place within a set of
rules which are clearly understood, and involves players
trying to innovate by doing what they have been doing
(product, process, position, etc.) but better. Some man-
age this more effectively than others but the ‘rules of the
game’ are accepted and do not change.
47
But occasionally something happens which dislocates this framework and changes the rules
of the game. By de nition these are not everyday events, but they have the capacity to rede ne
the space and the boundary conditions – they open up new opportunities, but also challenge
existing players to reframe what they are doing in the light of new conditions.
48, 49
This is a
central theme in Schumpeter’s original theory of innovation which he saw as involving a process
of ‘creative destruction’.
14, 22
Case Study describing Aravind Eye
Clinics is available in your interactive
e-book at www.innovation-portal.info
Activity using patterns of
discontinuous innovation is available
in your interactive e-book at
www.innovation-portal.info
The Melting Ice Industry
Back in the 1880s there was a thriving industry in the north-eastern United States in the lucrative
business of selling ice. The business model was deceptively simple – work hard to cut chunks of ice
out of the frozen northern wastes, wrap the harvest quickly and ship it as quickly as possible to the
CASE STUDY 1.4
(continued )
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33
Change of this kind can come through the emergence of a new technology – like the ice
industry example (see Case Study 1.4). Or it can come through the emergence of a completely
new market with new characteristics and expectations. In his famous studies of the computer
disk drive, steel and hydraulic excavator industries Christensen highlights the problems which
arise under these conditions. For example, the disk drive industry was a thriving sector in which
the voracious demands of a growing range of customer industries meant there was a booming
market for disk drive storage units. Around 120 players populated what had become an industry
worth $18bn by 1995 – and like their predecessors in ice harvesting – it was a richly innova-
tive industry. Firms worked closely with their customers, understanding the particular needs and
demands for more storage capacity, faster access times, smaller footprints, and so on. But just
like our ice industry, the virtuous circle around the original computer industry was broken – in
this case not by a radical technological shift, but by the emergence of a new market with very
different needs and expectations.
51
The key point about this sector was that disruption happened not once but several times,
involving different generations of technologies, markets and participating  rms. For example,
whilst the emphasis in the mini-computer world of the mid-1970s was on high performance and
the requirement for storage units correspondingly technologically sophisticated, the emerging
market for personal computers had a very different shape. These were much less clever machines,
capable of running much simpler software and with massively inferior performance – but at a
price which a very different set of people could afford. Importantly although simpler they were
warmer southern states – and increasingly overseas – where it could be used to preserve food. In its
heyday this was a big industry – in 1886 the record harvest ran to 25 million tons – and it employed
thousands of people in cutting, storing and shipping the product. And it was an industry with strong
commitment to innovation – developments in ice cutting, snow ploughs, insulation techniques and
logistics underpinned the industry’s strong growth. The impact of these innovations was signi cant
they enabled, for example, an expansion of markets to far- ung locations like Hong Kong, Bombay
and Rio de Janeiro where, despite the distance and journey times, suf cient ice remained of cargoes
originally loaded in ports like Boston to make the venture highly pro table.
50
But at the same time as this highly ef cient system was growing researchers like the young Carl
von Linde were working in their laboratories on the emerging problems of refrigeration. It wasn’t
long before arti cial ice-making became a reality – Joseph Perkins had demonstrated that vaporizing
and condensing a volatile liquid in a closed system would do the job and in doing so outlined the
basic architecture which underpins today’s refrigerators. In 1870 Linde published his research and by
1873 a patented commercial refrigeration system was on the market. In the years which followed the
industry grew – in 1879 there were 35 plants and 10 years later 222 making arti cial ice. Effectively
this development sounded the death knell for the ice harvesting industry – although it took a long
time to go under. For a while both industries grew alongside each other, learning and innovating
along their different pathways and expanding the overall market for ice – for example, by feeding the
growing urban demand to  ll domestic ‘ice boxes’. But inevitably the new technology took over as the
old harvesting model reached the limits of what it could achieve in terms of technological ef ciencies.
Signi cantly most of the established ice harvesters were too locked in to the old model to make the
transition and so went under – to be replaced by the new refrigeration industry dominated by new
entrant  rms.
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Part I Managing Innovation
34
capable of doing most of the basic tasks which a much wider market was interested in – simple
arithmetical calculations, word processing and basic graphics. As the market grew so learning
effects meant that these capabilities improved but from a much lower cost base. The result was,
in the end, just like that of Linde and his contemporaries on the ice industry – but from a differ-
ent direction. Of the major manufacturers in the disk drive industry serving the mini-computer
market only a handful survived – and leadership in the new industry shifted to new entrant  rms
working with a very different model.
51
Technological Excellence May Not be Enough . . .
In the 1970s Xerox was the dominant player in photocopiers, having built the industry from its early
days when it was founded on the radical technology pioneered by Chester Carlsen and the Battelle
Institute. But despite their prowess in the core technologies and continuing investment in maintaining
an edge it found itself seriously threatened by a new generation of small copiers developed by new
entrants including several Japanese players. Despite the fact that Xerox had enormous experience
in the industry and a deep understanding of the core technology it took them almost eight years of
mishaps and false starts to introduce a competitive product. In that time Xerox lost around half its
market share and suffered severe  nancial problems. As Henderson and Clark put it, in describing this
case, ‘apparently modest changes to the existing technology . . . have quite dramatic consequences’.
52
In similar fashion in the 1950s the electronics giant RCA developed a prototype portable
transistor-based radio using technologies which it had come to understand well. However, it saw
little reason to promote such an apparently inferior technology and continued to develop and build
its high range devices. By contrast Sony used it to gain access to the consumer market and to build
a whole generation of portable consumer devices – and in the process acquired considerable tech-
nological experience which enabled them to enter and compete successfully in higher value more
complex markets.
53
CASE STUDY 1.5
Discontinuity can also come about by reframing the way we think about an industry – changing
the dominant business model and hence the ‘rules of the game’. Think about the revolution in  y-
ing which the low-cost carriers have brought about. Here the challenge came via a new business
model rather than technology – based on the premise that if prices could bekept low a large new
market could be opened up. The power of the new way of framing the business was that it opened
up a new – and very different – trajectory along which all sorts of innovations began to happen.
In order to make low prices pay a number of problems needed solving – keeping load factors high,
cutting administration costs, enabling rapid turnaround times at terminals – but once the model
began to work it attracted not only new customers but increasingly established  yers who saw the
advantages of lower prices.
What these – and many other examples – have in common is that they represent the challenge
of discontinuous innovation. None of the industries were lacking in innovation or a commitment
to further change. But the ice harvesters, mini-computer disk companies or the established airlines
all carried on their innovation on a stage covered with a relatively predictable carpet. The trouble
was that shifts in technology, in new market emergence or in new business models pulled this
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Chapter 1 Innovation – What it is and Why it Matters
35
carpet out from under the  rms – and created a new set of conditions on which a new game would
be played out. Under such conditions, it is the new players who tend to do better because they
don’t have to wrestle with learning new tricks and letting go of their old ones. Established players
often do badly – in part because the natural response is to press even harder on the pedal driving
the existing ways of organizing and managing innovation. In the ice industry example the problem
was not that the major players weren’t interested in R&D – on the contrary they worked really
hard at keeping a technological edge in insulation, harvesting and other tools. But they were blind-
sided by technological changes coming from a different  eld altogether – and when they woke up
to the threat posed by mechanical ice-making their response was to work even harder at improving
their own ice harvesting and shipping technologies. It is here that the so-called ‘sailing ship’ effect
can often be observed, in which a mature technology accelerates in its rate of improvement as a
response to a competing new alternative – as was the case with the development of sailing ships
in competition with newly-emerging steamship technology.
54
In similar fashion the problem for the  rms in the disk drive industry wasn’t that they didn’t
listen to customers but rather that they listened too well. They built a virtuous circle of demand-
ing customers in their existing marketplace with whom they developed a stream of improvement
innovations – continuously stretching their products and processes to do what they were doing
better and better. The trouble was that they were getting close to the wrong customers – the dis-
continuity which got them into trouble was the emergence of a completely different set of users
with very different needs and values.
Table 1.4 gives some examples of such triggers for discontinuity. Common to these from an
innovation management point of view is the need to recognize that under discontinuous condi-
tions (which thankfully don’t emerge every day) we need different approaches to organizing and
managing innovation. If we try and use established models which work under steady state condi-
tions we  nd – as is the reported experience of many – we are increasingly out of our depth and
risk being upstaged by new and more agile players.
(continued )
Triggers/sources
of discontinuity
Explanation Problems posed Examples (of good and
bad experiences)
New market
emerges
Most markets evolve
through a process of
gradual expansion but
at certain times
completely new markets
emerge which cannot be
analysed or predicted
in advance or explored
through using
conventional market
research/analytical tech-
niques
Established players
don’t see it because
they are focused on their
existing markets
May discount it as being
too small or not
representing their
preferred target market –
fringe/cranks dismissal
Originators of new
product may not see
potential in new markets
and may ignore them,
e.g. text messaging
Disk drives, excavators,
mini-mills
51
Mobile phone/SMS
where market which
actually emerged was
not the one expected
or predicted by
originators
TABLE 1.4 Sources of discontinuity
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Part I Managing Innovation
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Triggers/sources
of discontinuity
Explanation Problems posed Examples (of good and
bad experiences)
New technology
emerges
Step change takes place
in product or process
technology – may result
from convergence and
maturing of several
streams (e.g. industrial
automation, mobile
phones) or as a result of
a single breakthrough
(e.g. LED as white light
source)
Don’t see it because
beyond the periphery of
technology search
environment.
Not an extension of
current areas but
completely new  eld or
approach
Tipping point may not
be a single breakthrough
but convergence and
maturing of established
technological streams,
whose combined effect
is underestimated
Not invented here
effect – new technology
represents a different
basis for delivering
value – e.g. telephone
vs. telegraphy
Ice harvesting to cold
storage
50
Valves to solid state
electronics
55
Photos to digital images
New political
rules emerge
Political conditions which
shape the economic
and social rules may
shift dramatically – for
example, the collapse of
communism meant an
alternative model –
capitalist, competition –
as opposed to central
planning – and many
ex-state  rms couldn’t
adapt their ways of
thinking
Old mindset about how
business is done, rules
of the game, etc. are
challenged and
established  rms fail
to understand or learn
new rules
Centrally planned to
market economy e.g.
former Soviet Union
Apartheid to
post-apartheid South
Africa – inward and
insular to externally
linked
56
Free trade/globalization
results in dismantling
protective tariff and
other barriers and new
competition basis
emerges
56, 57
Running out of
road
Firms in mature
industries may need to
escape the constraints
of diminishing space for
product and process
Current system is built
around a particular tra-
jectory and embedded
in a steady-state set of
innovation routines
Coloplast
58
Kodak, Polaroid
Encyclopaedia
Britannica
24
TABLE 1.4 (Continued )
(continued )
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Chapter 1 Innovation – What it is and Why it Matters
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TABLE 1.4 (Continued )
Triggers/sources
of discontinuity
Explanation Problems posed Examples (of good and
bad experiences)
innovation and the
increasing competition of
industry structures
by either exit or by
radical reorientation
of their business
which militate against
widespread search or
risk taking experiments
Preussag
59
Sea change in
market sentiment
or behaviour
Public opinion or
behaviour shifts slowly
and then tips over into a
new model – for
example, the music
industry is in the midst of
a (technology-
enabled) revolution in
delivery systems from
buying records, tapes
and CDs to direct
download of tracks in
MP3 and related
formats.
Don’t pick up on it or
persist in alternative
explanations – cognitive
dissonance – until it may
be too late
Apple, Napster, Dell,
Microsoft vs. traditional
music industry
60
Deregulation/
shifts in regula-
tory regime
Political and market
pressures lead to shifts in
the regulatory
framework and enable
the emergence of a new
set of rules – e.g.
liberalization,
privatization or
deregulation
New rules of the game
but old mindsets persist
and existing player
unable to move fast
enough or see new
opportunities opened up
Old monopoly positions
in  elds like
telecommunications and
energy were dismantled
and new players/
combinations of
enterprises emerged.
In particular, energy
and bandwidth become
increasingly viewed as
commodities.
Innovations include
skills in trading and
distribution – a factor
behind the considerable
success of Enron in the
late 1990s as it emerged
from a small gas
pipeline business to
becoming a major
energy trade
61
unquanti able chances
may need to be taken.
(continued )
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Part I Managing Innovation
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TABLE 1.4 (Continued )
Triggers/sources
of discontinuity
Explanation Problems posed Examples (of good and
bad experiences)
Fractures along
‘fault lines’
Long-standing issues
of concern to a minority
accumulate momentum
(sometimes through
the action of pressure
groups) and suddenly
the system switches/tips
over – for example, social
attitudes to
smoking or health
concerns about obesity
levels and fast-foods
Rules of the game
suddenly shift and
then new pattern
gathers rapid momen-
tum wrong-footing
existing players working
with old assumptions.
Other players who have
been working in the
background developing
parallel alternatives may
suddenly come into the
limelight as new
conditions favour them
McDonalds and obesity
Tobacco companies and
smoking bans
Oil/energy and others
and global warming
Opportunity for new
energy sources like
wind-power – c.f. Danish
dominance
62
Unthinkable
events
Unimagined and
therefore not prepared
for events which –
sometimes literally –
change the world and set
up new rules of the game.
New rules may
disempower existing
players or render
competencies
unnecessary
9/11
Business model
innovation
Established business
models are challenged
by a reframing, usually
by a new entrant who
rede nes/reframes the
problem and the
consequent ‘rules of
the game’
New entrants see
opportunity to deliver
product/service via new
business model and
rewrite rules – existing
players have at best to
be fast followers
Amazon.com
Charles Schwab
Southwest and other
low-cost airlines
24, 63
Architectural
innovation
Changes at the level of
the system architecture
rewrite the rules of the
game for those involved
at component level
Established players
develop particular ways
of seeing and frame
their interactions – for
example, who they talk
to in acquiring and using
knowledge to drive
innovation – according
to this set of views.
Architectural shifts may
involve reframing but at
the component level it
is dif cult to pick up
the need for doing so –
and thus new entrants
Photo-lithography in
chip manufacture
64
(continued )
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Chapter 1 Innovation – What it is and Why it Matters
39
TABLE 1.4 (Continued )
Triggers/sources
of discontinuity
Explanation Problems posed Examples (of good and
bad experiences)
better able to work with
new architecture can
emerge.
Shifts in ‘techno-
economic
paradigm’ –
systemic
changes which
impact whole
sectors or even
whole societies
Change takes place at
system level, involving
technology and market
shifts. This involves the
convergence of a number
of trends which result in
a ‘paradigm shift’ where
the old order is replaced.
Hard to see where
new paradigm begins
until rules become
established. Existing
players tend to reinforce
their commitment to old
model, reinforced by
‘sailing ship’ effects.
Industrial
Revolution
65–67
Mass production
Component/Architecture Innovation and
the Importance of Knowledge
Another important lens through which to view innovation opportunities is as components within
larger systems. Rather like Russian dolls we can think of innovations which change things at the
level of components or those which involve change in a whole system. For example, we can put
a faster transistor on a microchip on a circuit board for the graphics display in a computer. Or
we can change the way several boards are put together into the computer to give it particular
capabilities – a games box, an e-book, a media PC. Or we can link the computers into a network
to drive a small business or of ce. Or we can link the networks to others into the Internet. There’s
scope for innovation at each level – but changes in the higher level systems often have implica-
tions for lower down. For example, if cars – as a complex assembly – were suddenly designed to
be made out of plastic instead of metal it would still leave scope for car assemblers – but would
pose some sleepless nights for producers of metal components!
Innovation is about knowledge – creating new possibilities through combining different
knowledge sets. These can be in the form of knowledge about what is technically possible or
what particular con guration of this would meet an articulated or latent need. Such knowledge
may already exist in our experience, based on something we have seen or done before. Or it could
result from a process of search – research into technologies, markets, competitor actions, and so
on. And it could be in explicit form, codi ed in such a way that others can access it, discuss it,
transfer it, and so on – or it can be in tacit form, known about but not actually put into words
or formulae.
68
The process of weaving these different knowledge sets together into a successful innovation
is one which takes place under highly uncertain conditions. We don’t know about what the  nal
innovation con guration will look like (and we don’t know how we will get there). Managing
innovation is about turning these uncertainties into knowledge – but we can do so only by com-
mitting resources to reduce the uncertainty – effectively a balancing act. Figure 1.3 illustrates this
process of increasing resource commitment whilst reducing uncertainty.
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Part I Managing Innovation
40
Viewed in this way we can see that incremental innovation, whilst by no means risk-free –
is at least potentially manageable because we are starting from something we know about and
developing improvements in it. But as we move to more radical options, so uncertainty is higher
and at the limit we have no prior idea of what we are to develop or how to develop it! Again this
helps us understand why discontinuous innovation is so hard to deal with.
A key contribution to our understanding here comes from the work of Henderson and Clark
who looked closely at the kinds of knowledge involved in different kinds of innovation.
52
They
argue that innovation rarely involves dealing with a single technology or market, but rather a
bundle of knowledge which is brought together into a con guration. Successful innovation man-
agement requires that we can get hold of and use knowledge about components but also about
how those can be put together – what they termed the architecture of an innovation.
We can see this more clearly with an example. Change at the component level in building a
ying machine might involve switching to newer metallurgy or composite materials for the wing
construction or the use of  y-by-wire controls instead of control lines or hydraulics. But the
underlying knowledge about how to link aerofoil shapes, control systems, propulsion systems,
and so on at the system level is unchanged – and being successful at both requires a different and
higher order set of competencies.
One of the dif culties with this is that innovation knowledge  ows – and the structures
which evolve to support them – tend to re ect the nature of the innovation. So if it is at com-
ponent level then the relevant people with skills and knowledge around these components will
talk to each other – and when change takes place they can integrate new knowledge. But when
change takes place at the higher system level – ‘architectural innovation’ in Henderson and
Clark’s terms – then the existing channels and  ows may not be appropriate or suf cient to sup-
port the innovation and the  rm needs to develop new ones. This is another reason why existing
incumbents often fare badly when major system level change takes place – because they have the
twin dif culties of learning and con guring a new knowledge system and ‘unlearning’ an old
and established one.
High
Low
TIME
Commitment
and ‘lock-in’
Uncertainty
technological,
market, etc.
INCREASING RESOURCE COMMITMENT
FIGURE 1.3 Resource commitment and uncertainty in innovation
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Chapter 1 Innovation – What it is and Why it Matters
41
Figure 1.4 illustrates the range of choices, highlighting the point that such change can happen
at component or sub-system level or across the whole system.
A variation on this theme comes in the  eld of ‘technology fusion’, where different techno-
logical streams converge, such that products which used to have a discrete identity begin to merge
into new architectures. An example here is the home automation industry, where the fusion of
technologies like computing, telecommunications, industrial control and elementary robotics
is enabling a new generation of housing systems with integrated entertainment, environmental
control (heating, air conditioning, lighting, etc.) and communication possibilities.
69, 70
Similarly, in services a new addition to the range of  nancial services may represent a compo-
nent product innovation, but its impacts are likely to be less far-reaching (and the attendant risks
of its introduction lower) than a complete shift in the nature of the service package – for example,
the shift to direct-line systems instead of offering  nancial services through intermediaries.
Many businesses are now built on business models which stress integrated solutions – systems
of many components which together deliver value to end-users. These are often complex, multi-
organization networks – examples might include rail networks, mobile phone systems, major
construction projects or design and development of new aircraft like the Boeing Dreamliner or
the Airbus A-380. Managing innovation on this scale requires development of skills in what Mike
Hobday and colleagues call ‘the business of systems integration’.
71
Figure 1.5 highlights the issues for managing innovation. In Zone 1 the rules of the game
are clear – this is about steady-state improvement to products or processes and uses knowledge
accumulated around core components.
In Zone 2 there is signi cant change in one element but the overall architecture remains the
same. Here there is a need to learn new knowledge but within an established and clear frame-
work of sources and users – for example, moving to electronic ignition or direct injection in a car
engine, the use of new materials in airframe components, the use of IT systems instead of paper
processing in key  nancial or insurance transactions, and so on. None of these involve major
shifts or dislocations.
COMPONENT
LEVEL
LACIDARLATNEMERCNI
(‘new to
the world’)
(‘new to the
enterprise’)
(‘doing what
we do better’)
SYSTEM
LEVEL
New versions
of motor car,
aeroplane, TV
Improvements
to components
New components
for existing
systems
New generations
e.g. MP3 and
download vs.
CD and
cassette music
Steam power,
ICT ‘revolution’,
bio-technology
Advanced
materials to
improve
component
performance
FIGURE 1.4 Dimensions of innovation
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Part I Managing Innovation
42
In Zone 3 we have discontinuous innovation where neither the end state nor the ways in
which it can be achieved are known about – essentially the whole set of rules of the game changes
and there is scope for new entrants.
In Zone 4 we have the condition where new combinations – architectures – emerge, possibly
around the needs of different groups of users (as in the disruptive innovation case). Here the challenge
is in recon guring the knowledge sources and con gura-
tions. We may use existing knowledge and recombine it
in different ways or we may use a combination of new
and old. Examples might be low-cost airlines, direct line
insurance, others.
The Innovation Life Cycle – Different Emphasis Over Time
We also need to recognize that innovation opportunities change over time. In new industries –
like today’s biotech, Internet-software or nano materials – there is huge scope for experimenta-
tion around new product and service concepts. But more mature industries tend to focus more
around process innovation or position innovation, looking for ways of delivering products and
services more cheaply or  exibly, or for new market segments into which to sell them. In their
pioneering work on this theme Abernathy and Utterback developed a model describing the
pattern in terms of three distinct phases (see Figure 1.6).
Initially, under the discontinuous conditions which arise when completely new technol-
ogy and/or markets emerge, there is what they term a ‘ uid phase’ during which there is high
uncertainty along two dimensions:
The target – what will the new con guration be and who will want it?
The technical – how will we harness new technological knowledge to create and deliver this?
ZONE 2
– modular
innovation
ZONE 3
– discontinuous
innovation
ZONE 4
– architectural
innovation
ZONE 1
– incremental
innovation
Unchanged
LINKS BETWEEN KNOWLEDGE ELEMENTS
Changed
Overturned
CORE INNOVATION CONCEPTS
Reinforced
FIGURE 1.5 Component and architectural innovation
Source: Adapted from Abernathy, W. and J. Utterback (1978) Patterns of industrial innovation. Technology
Review, 80, 40–47.
Activity using architectural and
component innovation is available
in your interactive e-book at
www.innovation-portal.info
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Chapter 1 Innovation – What it is and Why it Matters
43
No one knows what the ‘right’ con guration of technological means and market needs will
be and so there is extensive experimentation (accompanied by many failures) and fast learning
by a range of players including many new entrepreneurial businesses.
Gradually these experiments begin to converge around what they call a ‘dominant design’ –
something which begins to set up the rules of the game. This represents a convergence around the
most popular (importantly not necessarily the most technologically sophisticated or elegant) solution
to the emerging con guration. At this point a ‘bandwagon’ begins to roll and innovation options
become increasingly channeled around a core set of possibilities – what Dosi calls a ‘technological
trajectory’.
65
It becomes increasingly dif cult to explore outside this space because entrepreneurial
interest and the resources which that brings increasingly focus on possibilities within the dominant
design corridor.
This can apply to products or processes; in both cases the key characteristics become stabi-
lized and experimentation moves to getting the bugs out and re ning the dominant design. For
example, the nineteenth-century chemical industry moved from making soda ash (an essential
ingredient in making soap, glass and a host of other products) from the earliest days where it
was produced by burning vegetable matter through to a sophisticated chemical reaction which
was carried out on a batch process (the Leblanc process) which was one of the drivers of the
Industrial Revolution. This process dominated for nearly a century but was in turn replaced by a
new generation of continuous processes which used electrolytic techniques and which originated
in Belgium where they were developed by the Solvay brothers. Moving to the Leblanc process
or the Solvay process did not happen overnight; it took decades of work to re ne and improve
each process, and to fully understand the chemistry and engineering required to get consistent
high quality and output.
A similar pattern can be seen in products. For example, the original design for a camera is
something which goes back to the early nineteenth century and – as a visit to any science museum
will show – involved all sorts of ingenious solutions. The dominant design gradually emerged
with an architecture which we would recognize – shutter and lens arrangement, focusing princi-
ples, back plate for  lm or plates, and so on. But this design was then modi ed still further – for
example, with different lenses, motorized drives,  ash technology – and, in the case of George
Product innovation
Stage 1 – Fluid
• Exploration
• Uncertainty
• Flexibility
Stage 2 – Transitional
• Dominant design
Stage 3 – Specific
• Standardization
• Integration
Emphasis of innovation
Process innovation
FIGURE 1.6 The innovation life cycle
73
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Part I Managing Innovation
44
Eastman’s work, to creating a simple and relatively ‘idiot-proof’ model camera (the Box Brownie)
which opened up photography to a mass market. More recent development has seen a similar
uid phase around digital imaging devices.
The period in which the dominant design emerges and emphasis shifts to imitation and
development around it is termed the ‘transitional phase’ in the Abernathy and Utterback model.
Activities move from radical concept development to more focused efforts geared around product
differentiation and to delivering it reliably, cheaply, with higher quality, extended functionality,
and so on.
As the concept matures still further so incremental innovation becomes more signi cant and
emphasis shifts to factors like cost – which means efforts within the industries which grow up
around these product areas tend to focus increasingly on rationalization, on scale economies and
on process innovation to drive out cost and improve productivity. Product innovation is increas-
ingly about differentiation through customization to meet the particular needs of speci c users.
Abernathy and Utterback term this the ‘speci c phase’.
Finally the stage is set for change – the scope for innovation becomes smaller and smaller
whilst outside – for example, in the laboratories and imaginations of research scientists – new
possibilities are emerging. Eventually a new technology emerges which has the potential to chal-
lenge all the by now well-established rules – and the game is disrupted. In the camera case, for
example, this is happening with the advent of digital photography which is having an impact on
cameras and the overall service package around how we get, keep and share our photographs.
In our chemical case this is happening with biotechnology and the emergence of the possibility
of no longer needing giant chemical plants but instead moving to small-scale operations using
live organisms genetically engineered to produce what we need.
The Innovation Portal provides
additional tools material – ‘brainstorming’ and ‘problem-solving’.
Table 1.5 sets out the main elements of this model.
TABLE 1.5 Stages in the innovation life cycle
Innovation characteristic Fluid pattern Transitional phase Specifi c phase
Competitive emphasis
placed on . . .
Functional product
performance
Product variation Cost reduction
Innovation stimulated
by . . .
Information on user
needs, technical
inputs
Opportunities created
by expanding internal
technical capability
Pressure to reduce
cost, improve
quality, etc.
Predominant type of
innovation
Frequent major
changes in products
Major process
innovations required
by rising volume
Incremental product
and process
innovation
Product line Diverse, often including
custom designs
Includes at least one
stable or dominant
design
Mostly
undifferentiated
standard products
Production processes Flexible and inef cient –
aim is to experiment and
make frequent changes
Becoming more rigid
and de ned
Ef cient, often
capital intensive and
relatively rigid
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Chapter 1 Innovation – What it is and Why it Matters
45
Although originally developed for manufactured products the model also works for services –
for example the early days of Internet banking were characterized by a typically  uid phase with
many options and models being offered. This gradually moved to a transitional phase, building
a dominant design consensus on the package of services offered, the levels and nature of security
and privacy support, the interactivity of website, and so on. The  eld has now become mature
with much of the competition shifting to marginal issues like relative interest rates. Similar
patterns can be seen in Internet VoIP telephony, on-line auctions like eBay and travel and enter-
tainment booking services like expedia.com.
We should also remember that there is a long term cycle involved – mature businesses which
have already gone through their  uid and transitional phases do not necessarily stay in the
mature phase for ever. Rather they become increasingly vulnerable to a new wave of change as
the cycle repeats itself – for example, the lighting industry is entering a new  uid phase based on
applications of solid-state LED technology but this comes after over 100 years of the incandes-
cent bulb developed by Swann, Edison and others. Their early experiments eventually converged
on a dominant product design after which emphasis shifted to process innovation around cost,
quality and other parameters – a trajectory which has characterized the industry and led to
increasing consolidation amongst a few big players. But – as the ‘dimming of the lightbulb’ case
on the Innovation Portal shows – that maturity has now given way to a new phase involving
different players, technologies and markets.
The pattern can be seen in many studies and its implications for innovation management are
important. In particular it helps us understand why established organizations often  nd it hard to
deal with the kind of discontinuous change discussed earlier. Organizations build capabilities around
a particular trajectory and those who may be strong in the later (speci c) phase of an established
trajectory often  nd it hard to move into the new one. (The example of the  rms which successfully
exploited the transistor in the early 1950s is a good case in point – many were new ventures, some-
times started by enthusiasts in their garage, yet they rose to challenge major players in the electronics
industry like Raytheon.
55
) This is partly a consequence of sunk costs and commitments to existing
technologies and markets and partly because of psychological and institutional barriers. They may
respond but in slow fashion – and they may make the mistake of giving responsibility for the new
development to those whose current activities would be threatened by a shift.
73
Importantly, the ‘ uid’ or ‘ferment’ phase is characterized by co-existence of old and new
technologies and by rapid improvements of both. (It is here that the so-called ‘sailing ship’ effect
which we mentioned earlier can often be observed, in which a mature technology accelerates in
its rate of improvement as a response to a competing new alternative.)
54
Whilst some research suggests existing incumbents do badly when discontinuous change trig-
gers a new  uid phase, we need to be careful here. Not all existing players do badly – many of
them are able to build on the new trajectory and deploy/leverage their accumulated knowledge,
networks, skills and  nancial assets to enhance their competence through building on the new
opportunity.
51
Equally whilst it is true that new entrants – often small entrepreneurial  rms
play a strong role in this early phase we should not forget that we see only the successful players.
We need to remember that there is a strong ecological pressure on new entrants which means
only the  ttest or luckiest survive.
It is more helpful to suggest that there is something about the ways in which innovation is man-
aged under these conditions which poses problems. Good practice of the ‘steady-state’ kind described
above is helpful in the mature phase but can actively militate against the entry and success in the  uid
phase of a new technology.
74
How do enterprises pick up signals about changes if they take place in
areas where they don’t normally do research? How do they understand the needs of a market which
doesn’t exist yet but which will shape the eventual package which becomes the dominant design? If
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Part I Managing Innovation
46
they talk to their existing customers the likelihood is that those customers will tend to ask for more
of the same, so which new users should they talk to – and how do they  nd them?
The challenge seems to be to develop ways of managing innovation not only under ‘steady-
state’ but also under the highly uncertain, rapidly evolving and changing conditions which result
from a dislocation or discontinuity. The kinds of organizational behaviour needed here will include
things like agility,  exibility, the ability to learn fast, the lack of preconceptions about the ways
in which things might evolve, and so on – and these are often associated with new small  rms.
There are ways in which large and established players can also exhibit this kind of behaviour but
it does often con ict with their normal ways of thinking and working.
Worryingly, the source of the discontinuity which destabilizes an industry – new technol-
ogy, emergence of a new market, rise of a new business model – often comes from outside that
industry. So even those large incumbent  rms which take time and resources to carry out research
to try and stay abreast of developments in their  eld may  nd that they are wrong-footed by
the entry of something which has been developed in a different  eld. The massive changes in
insurance and  nancial services which have characterized the shift to on-line and telephone pro-
vision were largely developed by IT professionals often working outside the original industry.
7
In extreme cases we  nd what is often termed the ‘not invented here’ – NIH – effect, where a
rm  nds out about a technology but decides against following it up because it does not  t with
their perception of the industry or the likely rate and direction of its technological development.
Famous examples of this include Kodak’s rejection of the Polaroid process or Western Union’s
dismissal of Bell’s telephone invention. In a famous memo dated 1876 the board commented,
‘this ‘telephone’ has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a means of communica-
tion. The device is inherently of no value to us.’
1.10 Managing Innovation . . .
This chapter has begun to explore the challenges posed by innovation. It has looked at why inno-
vation matters and opened up some perspectives on what it involves. And it has raised the idea
of innovation as a core process which needs to be organized and managed in order to enable the
renewal of any organization. We talked about this a little earlier in the chapter and Figure 1.7
sets it out as a graphic which highlights the key questions around managing innovation.
We’ve seen that the scope for innovation is wide – in terms of overall innovation space
and in the many different ways this can be populated, with both incremental and more radical
options. At the limit we have the challenges posed when innovation moves into the territory of
discontinuous change and a whole new game begins. We’ve also looked brie y at concepts like
component and architecture innovation and the critical role which knowledge plays in managing
these different forms. Finally we’ve looked at the issue of timing and of understanding the nature
of different innovation types at different stages.
All that gives us a feel for what innovation is and why it matters. But what we now need to
do is understand how to organize the innovation process itself. That’s the focus of the rest of the
book, and we deal with it in the following fashion:
Chapter 2 looks at the process model in more detail and explores the ways in which this
generic model can be con gured for particular types of organization. It also looks at what we’ve
learned about success and failure in managing innovation – themes which are examined in greater
detail in the subsequent chapters.
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Chapter 1 Innovation – What it is and Why it Matters
47
Part II looks at the key contextual issues around successful innovation management. In
Chapter 3 we pick up the question, Do we have an innovative organization? and examine the role
which key concepts like leadership, structure, communication and motivation play in building
and sustaining a culture of focused creativity.
Chapter 4 looks at the question ‘do we have a clear innovation strategy? and explores this
theme in depth. Is there a clear sense of where and how innovation will take the organization
forward and is there a roadmap for this? Is the strategy shared and understood – and how can
we ensure alignment of the various different innovation efforts across the organization? What
tools and techniques can be used to develop and enable analysis, selection and implementation
of innovation?
Part III moves on to the  rst of the core elements in our process model – the ‘search’ ques-
tion. Chapter 5 explores the issues around the question of what triggers the innovation process
– the multiple sources which we need to be aware of and the challenges involved in searching
for and picking up signals from them. Chapter 6 takes up the complementary question – how do
we carry out this search activity? Which structures, tools and techniques are appropriate under
what conditions? How do we balance search around exploration of completely new territory
with exploiting what we already know in new forms? In particular it looks at the major challenge
of building and sustaining rich networks to enable what has become labelled ‘open innovation’.
Part IV moves into the area of selection in the core process model. Chapter 7 looks at how
the innovation decision process works – of all the possible options generated by effective search
which ones will we back – and why? Making decisions of this kind are not simple because of the
underlying uncertainty involved – so which approaches, tools and techniques can we bring to
bear? Chapter 8 picks up another core then – how to choose and implement innovation options
whilst building and capturing value from the intellectual effort involved? Managing intellec-
tual property becomes an increasingly signi cant issue in a world where knowledge production
approaches the $1bn/year mark worldwide and where the ability to generate knowledge may be
less signi cant than the ability to trade and use it effectively.
Do we have a clear innovation strategy?
Do we have an innovative organization?
Select – what are
we going to do –
and why?
Search – how can
we find
opportunities for
innovation?
Implement – how
are we going to
make it happen?
Capture – how are
we going to get the
benefits from it?
FIGURE 1.7 Simpli ed model of the innovation process
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Part I Managing Innovation
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Part V looks at the ‘implementation’ phase, where issues of how we move innovation ideas
into reality become central. Chapter 9 looks at the ways in which innovation projects of various
kinds are organized and managed and explores structures, tools and other support mechanisms to
help facilitate this. In Chapter 10 we explore in more detail how  rms use external relationships
with suppliers, users and partners to develop new technologies, products and businesses in the
context of ‘open innovation’. Chapter 11 picks up the issue of new ventures, both those arising
from within the existing organization (corporate entrepreneurship) and those which involve setting
up a new entrepreneurial venture outside.
Part VI looks at the last phase – how can we ensure that we capture value from our efforts
at innovation? Chapter 12 looks at questions of adoption and diffusion and the ways we can
develop and work with markets for innovation. It picks up on both commercially driven value
capture and also the question of ‘social entrepreneurship’ where concern is less about pro ts than
about creating sustainable social value.
Finally Chapter 13 looks at how we can assess the ways in which we organize and manage
innovation and use these to drive a learning process to enable us to do it better next time. The
concern here is not just to build a strong innovation management capability but to recognize that –
faced with the moving target which innovation represents in terms of technologies, markets,
competitors, regulators and so on – the challenge is to create a learning and adaptive approach
which constantly upgrades this capability. In other words we are concerned to build ‘dynamic
capability’.
(continued )
VIEWS FROM THE FRONT LINE 1.2
Where do You See the Top Three Challenges in Managing
Innovation?
1. Creating and sustaining a culture in which innovation can  ourish. This includes a physical and
organizational space where experimentation, evaluation and examination can take place. The
values and behaviours that facilitate innovation have to be developed and sustained.
2. Developing people who can  ourish in that environment; people who can question, challenge
and suggest ideas as part of a group with a common objective, unconstrained by the day-to-day
operational environment.
3. Managing innovation in the midst of a commercial enterprise that is focused on exploitation –
maximum bene t from the minimum of resource that requires repeatability and a right- rst-time
process approach.
– Patrick McLaughlin, Managing Director, Cerulean
1. The level at which long-term innovation activities are best conducted, without losing connected-
ness with the BUs at which the innovations should  nally be incubated and elaborated.
2. Having diverse types of individuals in the company motivated for spending time on innovation
related activities.
3. Having the right balance between application oriented innovation and more fundamental innovation.
– Wouter Zeeman, CRH Insulation Europe
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Chapter 1 Innovation – What it is and Why it Matters
49
1. Innovation is too often seen as a technically driven issue; in other words the preserve of those
strange ‘scienti c’ and ‘engineering’ people, so it’s for them not ‘us’ the wider community. The
challenge is in confronting this issue and hopefully inspiring and changing people’s perception so
that ‘innovation is OK for all of us’.
2. Raising awareness; coupled with the above, people do not fully understand what innovation is or
how it applies to their world.
3. Managing in my opinion is either the wrong word or the wrong thing to do; managing implies
command and control and whilst important it does not always  t well with the challenge of lead-
ing innovation which is far more about inspiring, building con dence and risk taking. Most senior
managers are risk averse therefore a solid management background is not always a best  t for the
challenge of leading innovation.
– John Tregaskes, Technical Specialist Manager, Serco
1. Culture – encouraging people to challenge the way we do things and generate creative ideas.
2. Balancing innovation with the levels of risk management and control required in a  nancial
services environment.
3. Ensuring that innovation in one area does not lead to sub-optimization and negative impact in another.
– John Gilbert, Head of Process Excellence, UBS
1. Alignment of expectations on innovation with senior management. A clear de nition of the nature
of innovation is required, that is, radical vs. incremental innovation and the 4Ps. What should be
the primary focus?
2. To drive a project portfolio of both incremental (do better) and radical (do different) innovation.
How do you get the right balance?
3. To get suf cient, dedicated, human and  nancial resources up-front.
– John Thesmer, Managing Director, Ictal Care, Denmark
1. Finding R&D money for far-sighted technology projects at a time when shareholders seem to
apply increasing amounts of pressure on companies to deliver short-term results. Every industry
needs to keep innovating to stay competitive in the future – and the rate of technological change
is accelerating. But companies are being forced to pursue these objectives for less and less money.
Managing this dif cult balance of ‘doing more with less’ is a major challenge in our industry, and
I am certain that we are not alone.
2. Building a corporate culture that doesn’t punish risk-takers. Managers in many organizations
seem to be judged almost exclusively according to how well they are performing according to
some fairly basic measurements, for example, sales or number of units. No one would disagree
that absorbing new technologies can potentially help to improve these statistics in the long term,
but new technologies can be a rather daunting obstacle in the short term. Sometimes technology
trials fail. An organization needs to recognize this, and has to lead its teams and managers in a
way that encourages a healthy amount of risk without losing control of the big picture.
3. Striking the right balance between in-house R&D and leveraging external innovations. The scope and
scale of innovation is growing at a pace that makes it all but unthinkable that any single company
can do it all themselves. But which elements should be retained internally vs. which ones can be out-
sourced? There’s never a shortage of people writing papers and books that attempt to address this very
topic, but managers in the  eld are hungrier than ever for useful and practical guidance on this issue.
– Rob Perrons, Shell Exploration, USA
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Part I Managing Innovation
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George Buckley, CEO of 3M, is a PhD chemical engineer by training. 3M has global sales of around
$23bn and historically has aimed to achieve a third of sales from products introduced in the past  ve
years. The famous company culture, the ‘3M Way’, includes a policy of allowing employees to spend
15% of their time on their own projects, and has been successfully emulated by other innovative
companies such as Google.
He argues that ‘Invention is by its very nature a disorderly process, you cannot say I’m going
to schedule myself for three good ideas on Wednesday and two on Friday. That’s not how creativity
works’. After a focus on improving ef ciency, quality and  nancial performance 2001–2006, under
its new CEO, 3M is now refocusing on its core innovation capability. Buckley believes that the com-
pany had become too dominated by formal quality and measurement processes, to the detriment of
innovation: ‘. . . you cannot create in that atmosphere of con nement or sameness, perhaps one of
the mistakes we have made as a company . . . is that when you value sameness more than you value
creativity, I think you potentially undermine the heart and soul of a company like 3M . . .’, and
since becoming CEO has signi cantly increased the spending on R&D from some $1bn to nearer to
$1.5bn, and is targeting the company’s 45 core technologies such as abrasives to nanotechnology, but
sold the non-core pharmaceutical business. (based on B. Hindo, ‘At 3M: a struggle between ef ciency
and creativity’, BusinessWeek, 11/6/2007, pp. 8-14).
VIEWS FROM THE FRONT LINE 1.3
RESEARCH NOTE 1.5
Twelve Ways to Innovate
Mohanbir Sawhney, Robert Wolcott and Inigo Arroniz from the Center for Research in Technology
and Innovation at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, USA, interviewed
innovation managers at a number of large  rms, including Boeing, DuPont, Microsoft, eBay, Motorola
and Sony, and from these developed a survey questionnaire which was sent to a further 19  rms, such as
General Electric, Merck and Siemens. Analysing these data, they derived an ‘innovation radar’ to repre-
sent 12 dimensions of business innovation they identi ed. Their de nition of ‘business innovation’ does
not focus on new things, but rather anything that creates new value for customers. Therefore creating
new things is neither necessary nor suf cient for such value creation. Instead they propose a systematic
approach to business innovation, which may take place in 12 different dimensions:
Offerings – new products or services.
Platform – derivative offerings based on recon guration of components.
Solutions – integrated offerings which customers value.
Customers – unmet needs or new market segments.
Customer experience – redesign of customer contact and interactions.
Value capture – rede ne the business model and how income is generated.
Processes – to improve ef ciency or effectiveness.
Organization – change scope or structures.
(continued )
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Chapter 1 Innovation – What it is and Why it Matters
51
Supply chain – changes in sourcing and order fu llment.
Presence – new distribution or sales channels.
Brand – leverage or reposition.
Networking – create integrated offerings using networks.
Source: Based on Sawnhey, M., Wolcott, R., and Arroniz, L. (2006) The 12 different ways for companies to
innovate’, MIT Sloan Management Review, Spring, pp. 75–81.
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Part I Managing Innovation
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Below is a complete list of the resources associated with
Chapter 1; those in blue are embedded in your e-book.
Access all this material via the Innovation Portal at
www.innovation-portal.info
Cases Media Tools Activities
Kumba Resources
• Zara
Freeplay Energy
Karolinska Hospital
Music industry
Model T Ford
• Kodak
• Lego
Adidas
Aravind Eye Clinics
Lifespring Hospitals
NHL Hospitals
Dimming of
lightbulb
Philips
NPI
Forte
Hosiden Besson
Cerulean
Ice industry
Public sector
innovation
Discontinuous
innovation
• Marshalls
Minimonos
Finnegan’s Fish Bar
Bill’s
Armin Rau, Sicap
Emma Taylor,
Denso
Catherina van
Delden, Innosabi
Patrick McLaughlin,
Cerulean
Girish Prabhu,
Srishti Labs
Simon Tucker,
Young Foundation
• Veeder-Root
Suzana Moreira,
moWoza
Francisco Pinheiro,
Atos
Victor Cui, One FC
Melissa
Clark-Reynolds,
Minimonos
4Ps approach to
explore innovation
space
Innovation  tness
test
4Ps framework for
innovation strategy
Discontinuous
innovation audit
Innovation life cycle
analysis
5 Forces for
strategic innovation
SWOT analysis
Competency
mapping
Lean toolbox
Continuous
improvement
Brainstorming
Problem solving
• Strategic advantage
through innovation
• 4Ps interactive
exercise
• Using patterns
of discontinuous
innovation
• Architectural/
component
innovation
Life cycle analysis
Forces for strategic
innovation
Competence
enhancing and
competence
destroying
innovation
(continued)
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Chapter 1 Innovation – What it is and Why it Matters
53
Summary and Further Reading
Few other texts cover the technological, market and organizational aspects of innovation in an
integrated fashion. Peter Drucker’s Innovation and Entrepreneurship (Harper and Row, 1985)
provides a more accessible introduction to the subject, but perhaps relies more on intuition and
experience than on empirical research. Since we published the  rst edition in 1997, a number of
interesting texts have been published. Paul Trott’s Innovation Management and New Product
Development (now in its  fth edition, Prentice Hall, 2010)), particularly focuses on the man-
agement of product development. Books by Bettina von Stamm (Managing Innovation, Design
and Creativity (2nd edition), John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, 2008) and Margaret Bruce (Design in
Business’, Pearson Education, 2001) have a strong design emphasis and Tim Jones’ Innovating
at the Edge (Butterworth Heinemann, 2002) targets practitioners in particular. David Gann,
Mark Dodgson and Ammon Salter’s book (The Management of Technological Innovation,
Oxford University Press, 2008) looks particularly at innovation strategy and the ‘new innova-
tion toolkit’, whilst Gof n and Mitchell (Innovation Management (2nd edition, Pearson, 2010)
also look particularly from a management tools perspective. Brockhoff et al. (The Dynamics
of Innovation, Springer, 1999) and Sundbo and Fugelsang (Innovation as Strategic Re exiv-
ity, Routledge 2002) provide some largely European views while Melissa Schilling’s (Strategic
Management of Technological Innovation McGraw-Hill, 2005) is largely based on the experi-
ence of American  rms. A few books explore the implications for a wider developing country
context, notably Forbes and Wield (From Followers to Leaders, Routledge, 2002) C.K. Prahalad
(The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid, Wharton School Publishing, 2006), Prabhu and
colleagues (Jugaad Innovation, Jossey Bass, 2012) and Govindarajan and Trimble Reverse
Innovation: Create Far From Home, Win Everywhere. Harvard Business Review Press, 2012.
Others look at public policy implications including Bessant and Dodgson (Effective Inno-
vation Policy, International Thomson Business Press, 1996) and Smits et al. (The Theory and
Practice of Innovation Policy, Edward Elgar, 2010).
Spirit
Green buildings
Green supply chain
management
Natura
Threadless
Quizzes to test yourself further are available online at
www.innovation-portal.info
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Part I Managing Innovation
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There are several compilations and handbooks covering the  eld, the best known being
Burgelman et al.’s Strategic Management of Technology and Innovation, (McGraw-Hill, 2004)
now in its 4th edition and containing a wide range of key papers and case studies, though with a
very strong US emphasis. A more international  avour is present in Dodgson and Rothwell (The
Handbook of Industrial Innovation, Edward Elgar, 1995) Shavinina (International Handbook
on Innovation, Elsevier, 2003) and Fagerber et al. (The Oxford Handbook of Innovation, OUP,
2004). The work arising from the Minnesota Innovation Project (Van de Ven et al., The Innova-
tion Journey, Oxford University Press, 1999) also provides a good overview of the  eld and the
key research themes contained within it.
Case studies provide a good lens through which this process can be seen and there are several
useful collections including Bettina von Stamm’s Innovation, Design and Creativity (2nd edition,
John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, 2008), Tim Jones and colleagues (The Growth Agenda, John Wiley &
Sons, Ltd, 2011), Roland Kaye and David Hawkridge Case Studies of Innovation, Kogan Page,
London, 2003 and Roger Miller and Marcel Côté’s Innovation Reinvented: Six Games that
Drive Growth (University of Toronto Press, 2012).
Some books cover company histories in detail and give an insight into the particular ways
in which  rms develop their own bundles of routines – for example, David Vise The Google
Story (Pan, London, 2008), Graham and Shuldiner, Corning and the Craft of Innovation (2001,
Oxford University Press), and Gundling’s The 3M Way to Innovation: Balancing People and
Pro t (2000, New York: Kodansha International).
Autobiographies and biographies of key innovation leaders provide a similar – if sometimes
personally biased – insight into this. For example Richard Brandt’s One Click: JeffBezos and
the Rise of Amazon.com, (Viking, 2011), Walter Issacson Steve Jobs: the Authorised Biography
(Little Brown, 2011) and James Dyson Against the Odds (Texere, 2003). In addition several
websites – such as the Product Development Management Association (www.pdma.org) and
www.innovationmanagement.se – carry case studies on a regular basis.
Most other texts tend to focus on a single dimension of innovation management. In the The
Nature of the Innovative Process (Pinter Publishers, 1988), Giovanni Dosi adopts an evolution-
ary economics perspective and identi es the main issues in the management of technological
innovation. Julian Birkinshaw and Gary Hamel explore ‘management innovation’ (‘The why,
what and how of management innovation’, Harvard Business Review, February 2006) and the
wider themes of organizational innovation are explored in Clark’s Organizational Innovations,
(Sage, 2002) and Gailly (2011) Developing Innovative Organizations: A Roadmap to Boost Your
Innovation Potential (Palgrave MacMillan).
Dyer and colleagues focus on individual entrepreneurial skills (The Innovator’s DNA: Mas-
tering the Five Skills of Disruptive Innovators, Harvard Business Review Press, 2011) while
Schroeder and Robinson (Ideas are Free, Berret Koehler, 2004) and Bessant (High Involvement
Innovation, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, 2003) look at the issue of high involvement incremental
innovation building on the original work of Imai (Kaizen, Random House, 1987).
Most marketing texts fail to cover the speci c issues related to innovative products
and services, although a few specialist texts exist which examine the more narrow problem
of marketing so-called ‘high-technology’ products – for example, Jolly, Commercialising
New Technologies (Harvard Business School Press, 1997) and Moore, Crossing the Chasm
(Harper Business, 1999). There are also extensive insights into adoption behaviour drawn
from awealth of studies by Everett Rogers and colleagues (Diffusion of Innovation, Free
Press,2003).
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Chapter 1 Innovation – What it is and Why it Matters
55
Particular themes in innovation are covered by a number of books and journal special issues;
for example, services (Tidd and Hull’s Service Innovation: Organizational Responses to Tech-
nological Opportunities and Market Imperatives Imperial College Press, 2003; and Chesbrough,
Open Service Innovation, Jossey Bass, 2011), public sector innovation (Osborne and Brown,
Managing Change and Innovation in Public Service Organizations Psychology Press, 2010; and
Bason, Managing Public Sector Innovation Policy Press, 2011), networks and clusters (Michael
Best, The New Competitive Advantage, OUP, 2001; and Phil Cooke, Regional Knowledge Econo-
mies: Markets, Clusters and Innovation, Edward Elgar, 2007), sustainability (Nidumolo et al.,
‘Why sustainability is now the key driver of innovation’, Harvard Business Review, September
2009), and discontinuous innovation (Foster and Kaplan, Creative Destruction, Harvard Uni-
versity Press, 2002; Christensen et al. Seeing What’s Next, Harvard Business School Press, 2007;
and Augsdorfer et al., Discontinuous Innovation, Imperial College Press, 2013). Various websites
offer news, research, tools, and so on – for example, AIM (www.aimresearch.org) and NESTA
(www.nesta.org.uk).
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