What are the key stages in the innovation life cycle? What is the end-to-end value chain for bringing innovation to market? In "Smart Spenders, the Global Innovation 1000," an article in strategy+business magazine, Barry Jaruzelski, Kevin Dehoff, and Rakesh Bordia write about the four key stages of innovation that the 94 high-leverage innovators have in common.
Four Stages of Innovation
According to Jaruzelski, Dehoff, and Bordia, the four key stages of innovation are:
- Ideation – Basic research and conception.
- Project Selection – The decision to invest.
- Product Development – Building the product or service.
- Commercialization – Bringing the product or service to market and adapting it to customer demands.
Jaruzelski, Dehoff, and Borida write:
"Based on press coverage and interviews with executives, we conclude that each of the 94 high-leverage innovators has built sufficiently strong capabilities in all four links of the value chain, and has seamlessly integrated them, to provide a high level of performance over time."
Key Take Aways
Here’s my key take aways:
- Use the frame to analyze improvement opportunities. I found this frame helpful for thinking about the end-to-end cycle for innovation. After all, what good are ideas if you can’t bring them to market. A lot of ideas get stuck in the ideation stage.
- Walk your innovation cycle. By walking your end-to-end system for bringing your ideas to end-users, you can find ways to reduce friction or find places to build synergies.
- Optimize your system over a stage. Debottlenecking your end-to-end system is more effective than optimizing just a single stage.
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