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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.

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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>