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ABC of Innovation - T: Types of Innovation

T: Types of Innovation

“There’s a way to do it better – find it.” - Thomas Edison

Usually a distinction is made between incremental- and breakthrough innovation.

Incremental innovation is creating new variants of existing products or services, while breakthrough innovations are completely new products or services that change the status quo in the market. For outsiders breakthrough innovations may seem like they come out of the blue. But they are most often the result of a continuous search to solve a problem or the by-product of a trial-and-error approach to innovation. The first hurdle to overcome is usually an internal one: convincing colleagues and management that this is the way to go; making them see that this will change the market. Therefore, the organizational culture is key to breakthrough innovation.

Did you know that…

Google uses a 70/20/10 model to cultivate innovation. Employees should spend:

  • 70% of time on their core job.
  • 20% of time on projects in another team.
  • 10% of time on a ‘blue sky project’
Spence Silver at 3M didn’t know what to do with his newly invented glue that was more tacky than adhesive. His colleague Art Fry took advantage of the “permitted bootlegging” policy at 3M to develop the sticky notes after attending a seminar at which Silver promoted his invention. This led to the introduction of Post-it notes that are still great business for 3M.

The whole ABC of Innovation can be downloaded from our site by 'Pay-with-a-Tweet-or-post'.

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