Corporate Innovation Strategy Template

I keep six honest serving-men
(They taught me all I knew);
Their names are What and Why and When
And How and Where and Who.

Rudyard Kipling (1902)

Here is a simple template to create your company’s innovation strategy:

  • WHAT:
    • Determine what business lines are to be innovated.
    • Determine what products or services within those business lines need innovation.
    • Establish a portfolio model that compares innovation output from one business line to another.
    • Rank order business lines based on the strength of their innovation portfolio pipelines.
  • WHY:
    • Determine how much innovation is needed.  Use a tool like Map-the-Gap.
    • Tie innovation to a strategy framework such as The Big Picture.
    • Focus innovation exercises to link directly to the strategy framework.
    • Use the framework to identify market adjacencies.
  • WHEN:
    • Schedule innovation workshops at the front end of the business cycle to help determine what projects will get funding in the next budget cycle.
    • Schedule innovation workshops after the planning cycle to jump-start new initiatives for the upcoming year.
  • HOW:
    • Choose specific methods of innovation to be used based on efficacy and results.
    • Combine different methods to leverage the strengths of each.
    • Integrate the methods by using the output of one as inputs for the others.
  • WHERE:
    • Set aside space with the specific purpose of conducting innovation workshops.
  • WHO:
    • Form innovation “dream teams” to maximize the success of innovation efforts.
    • Schedule training on how to use innovation methods.
    • Examine the company’s innovation culture to diagnose where it is weak.
    • Establish an innovation competency model.
    • Designate and empower commercial leaders to drive innovation efforts.