What is an innovation breakdown?

An innovation breakdown occurs when innovation efforts do not achieve their return on investment. The six breakdowns to disruptive innovation we identified based on research by Change Logic founders and practical experience by the firm’s consultants are:

  1. Innovation Zoo: many small-scale innovation projects that lack a connection to the strategy.
  2. Pilot Purgatory: business experiments get stuck in limbo, neither approved nor canceled.
  3. Crossing Wires: when bold innovation budgets are cut because the core business is under pressure to deliver short term results.
  4. Inside-Out: when new, impressive technical capabilities developed without a customer problem to solve
  5. Investing Ahead of Learning: impatience for the learning process can lead to acting before the data are in.
  6. Capacity to Act: you have great data, developed new insights, but remain in limbo because an executive is stuck. The pressures of today create competing commitments.

Why are innovation breakdowns important to understand?

Understanding the breakdown patterns will help you prevent them from occurring. Increases your odds of success by mastering the disciplines of innovation.

How can I avoid innovation breakdowns?

The antidotes for each breakdown are listed below. For more information, access our eBook here.

Innovation ZooDefine hunting zones to focus projects and increase the yield on your innovation investment.
Pilot PurgatoryAnalyze the internal ecosystem to identify who you need to engage for a commitment to invest.
Crossing WiresCreate a separate, ambidextrous unit that is distinct from the core business and also connected to share resources and learning.
Inside-OutTake a disciplined approach to testing assumptions underpinning the new concept.
Investing Ahead of LearningTrack and analyze feedforward metrics in order to determine when it is the right time to commit additional resources.
Capacity to ActName the competing commitment, make tradeoffs transparent, and manage disappointments.