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(This blog was first posted on ideapoke.com)

“Science fiction writers foresee the inevitable, and although problems and catastrophes may be inevitable, solutions are not”. – Isaac Asimov, Professor & Science Fiction Author

For long innovation has captivated the minds of many.

We start with Schumpeter’s definition of “Innovation”. Innovation is characterized by new (re)combinations of products, processes, services, markets & organizations. It’s an interesting formulation because Schumpeter looks at Innovation holistically. If we attempt to summarise classical literature on Innovation covering the broadest set of terms it would be

There are essentially 5 categories of Innovation – Product, Process, Services, Business Model and Management.

Further which there are 2 types of Innovation – Radical and Incremental, &, Open and Closed.

Once the categories and types are chosen, typically the route taken is the “exploration & exploitation” innovation. These are the ways of innovation. The ultimate idea is to “design” the categories and types of innovation to these ways of innovation.

To think of where Innovation begins? Innovation happens at 3 levels – internal (inside the organization), alongside the extended enterprise (at the fringe with the help of suppliers, partners, competitors etc – all those enabling the functioning of the organization) and the entire ecosystem (investors, regulations, associations, university etc who influence the markets and hence the organization, forcing companies to innovate). This is important because innovation is an outside-in and inside-out activity! Innovation can happen anywhere, and so what should organizations do in this case? Ideapoke has the answers here – being open about closed innovation and not being closed about open innovation is just the first step!

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