Innovation Perspectives – What/Why/When/How/Where/Who

This is the fourth of several ‘Innovation Perspectives‘ articles we will publish this week from multiple authors to get different perspectives on The Importance of Innovation Strategy. Here is the next perspective in the series:

by Drew Boyd

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:


  • 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.


  • 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.


  • 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.


  • 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.


  • Set aside space with the specific purpose of conducting innovation workshops.


  • 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.

You can check out all of the ‘Innovation Perspectives‘ articles from the different contributing authors on The Importance of Innovation Strategy by clicking the link in this sentence.

Drew Boyd is Director of Marketing Mastery for Johnson & Johnson (Ethicon Endo-Surgery division). He is also Visiting Assistant Professor of Marketing and Innovation at the University of Cincinnati and Executive Director of the MS-Marketing program. Follow him at and at

Drew Boyd




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