14 Ways to Describe 3 Levels of Innovation

14 Ways to Describe 3 Levels of InnovationFrom continuous improvement, through the development of next generation, to the creation of a new family, there are typically three different levels of innovation, that can be described in many ways depending on what aspect of innovation you want to emphasize. Here are 14 ways.

Please add to the list!

Description Level 1 Level 2 Level 3
By degree of change Marginal Incremental Radical
By scale of newness New version New product New category
By business objective Defend Grow Transform
By McKinsey Horizon 1 Horizon 2 Horizon 3
By impact on capabilities Sustain Stretch Disrupt
By medieval metaphor Shield Sword Spear
By nature of uncertainty Distribution curve Fail or succeed probability Unknown unknown
By most critical question How (is it better?) What (is the new proposition?) Where (might we find new territories?)
By most critical success factor Execution Design Exploration
By business case Pay-back time NPV (Net Present Value) Story
By ancient Olympics Stronger Faster Higher
By Nintendo any new version DS Wii
By Apple MacBook iPad iPod/iTunes
by car engine any new combustion engine Hybrid Electric

What other ways can you add to the list?

A Guide to Open Innovation and Crowdsourcing

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Yann Cramer is an innovation learner, practitioner, sharer, teacher. He’s lived in France, Belgium and the UK, he’s travelled six continents to create development opportunities with customers or suppliers, and run workshops on R&D and Marketing. He writes on www.innovToday.com and on twitter @innovToday.

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Yann Cramer




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  1. Leticia on June 25, 2011 at 7:14 pm

    Innovate on paper
    Innovate on real life
    Transform real life

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