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Innovation funnel version 3.0

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The innovation funnel is constantly evolving. Initially a tool borrowed from sales teams to collect ideas, it has morphed to incorporate "open" innovation ideas. Now it evolves again to consider opportunities, ideas, technologies and products as a bridge from customer need to customer solution.

Published in: Business
  • Finally some critical thinking about the ideation process. This presentation resonates well with the five “discovery skills” that separate true innovators from the rest of us as per The Innovator’s DNA by Jeffrey H. Dyer, Hal B. Gregersen, and Clayton M. Christensen published in Harvard Business Review Dec 2009: http://hbr.org/2009/12/the-innovators-dna/ar/1
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  • The porsosity of the funnel is a point well made here.
    I further wish there was some way to make the point that some inputs serve their purpose not by ending up as final products but sometimes by changing the pipeline ( shape and other qualities ) itself. They serve as catalysts and extinguish themselves.
    Also, though porosity is more pronounced in Open Innovation, is not exclusive to it. Even in traditional innovation, the human mind is always getting/seeking ideas other than the ones strictly in the pipeline.
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  • Refreshing
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Innovation funnel version 3.0

  1. 1. Three iterations of an innovation “funnel” March 31, 2011 © 2011 NetCentrics. All Rights Reserved.
  2. 2. In our mind’s eye
  3. 3. Traditional “funnels” <ul><li>Traditionally, we’ve thought about innovation as a funnel of ideas </li></ul><ul><li>In its first iteration, the funnel concerned how we managed ideas internally. </li></ul><ul><li>The concept of the funnel was analogous to a “sales funnel” – lots of ideas enter the funnel, a few exit as new products, the rest are weeded out. </li></ul>
  4. 4. Traditional Ideas Funnel Ideas Management, Evaluation, Selection Products
  5. 5. “ Open” Innovation <ul><li>Henry Chesbrough and others modified the funnel with “open” concepts </li></ul><ul><li>“ Open” innovation changed the funnel, introducing the concept that the corporate boundary was “porous”. </li></ul><ul><li>Ideas can enter from external sources and can leave directed to external recipients. </li></ul>
  6. 6. “ Open” Innovation Funnel
  7. 7. Third Evolution of the “funnel” <ul><li>Over time our thinking is shifting – what’s really important is filling the funnel with the best concepts to solve customer or consumer problems. </li></ul><ul><li>Those “concepts” aren’t always ideas, and they aren’t always ours </li></ul>
  8. 8. Filling the Funnel with concepts Opportunities Ideas Technologies Products “ Inside” the corporation Trends Ideas Technologies From internal R&D From brainstorming, idea management systems Ideas Technologies Products From open innovation, crowdsourcing, suggestion systems From partners, proprietary networks, RFPs From entrepreneurs, business partners, acquisitions “ Outside”” the corporation To partners or entrepreneurs “ Spin out” “ Spin in” Customers, Prospects, Partners, Competitors © 2011 NetCentrics. All Rights Reserved.
  9. 9. Differences <ul><li>This concept of a funnel denotes the time to commercialization and the fact that different concepts – opportunities, ideas, technologies and products – have different development cycles and can/should enter the funnel at different points </li></ul><ul><li>Also that all of these concepts can originate internally or externally </li></ul><ul><li>Further, ideas a firm has that aren’t relevant internally can be “spun out” to external firms </li></ul>
  10. 10. Mind the Gaps <ul><li>In this model there are a number of “gaps” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Between opportunity and idea </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Between idea and technology </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Between idea or technology and product </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Between the “external” world and the internal workings of the organization </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Each “gap” threatens the process. How have you bridged these gaps? </li></ul>
  11. 11. Key Takeaway <ul><li>The key point isn’t to fill the funnel with ideas, but to recognize the innovation funnel as a continuum which can effectively manage: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Opportunities and turn them into ideas </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ideas and turn them into technologies/products </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Technologies and turn them into products </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Products, which can be commercialized </li></ul></ul><ul><li>All of these concepts should be part of an innovation “funnel”, planned and managed effectively “end to end” with all gaps carefully considered. </li></ul>

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