03 February 2011

Types of Innovation

Just for fun, I asked Mr. Google for information about different types of innovation. I quickly discovered that there are four / ten / six types of innovation (and, interestingly, five types of innovation snake oil salesmen).

Now, most of these innovation salesmen experts laid out taxonomies that omitted some of the more interesting types of innovation. So I decided to put together my very own list. It's not comprehensive. It's not authoritative. No snake oil for sale here, please. It's just a different way to think about how to approach this thing called innovation.

I have my favorite types - I bet you can pick them out in the list below. How about you? Got anything to add to the list?
  • Frugal innovation - using minimal resources to deliver new capabilities.
  • Disruptive innovation - products or practices that disrupt the current market
  • Innovation without permission - innovation by rogues who don't technically have authority to proceed but who deliver meaningful advancements anyway. Sort of like Thoreau's "majority of one." Often related to Disruptive (see above)
  • Open innovation - Using crowd-sourcing, open architectures and broad collaboration. Innocentive is one of the leaders in this area.
  • Sustaining innovation - the opposite of disruptive; it's expected innovation that expands the current market
  • Operational innovation - innovations in how things are used and implemented
  • Process Innovation - innovation in process design & execution
  • Incremental Innovation - delivering increased capabilities in small steps
  • Radical Innovation - the opposite of Incremental, similar to Disruptive, it is "competence-destroying" because it changes the game space so completely.
Anything to add?

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