What is an innovation strategy?
An innovation strategy is a commitment to a common innovation mission and to a structured set of activities in order to support the future growth of the organization.
What does an innovation strategy actually look like? No two innovation strategies are the same, but they should all outline the goal of your organization’s innovation activities and the key initiatives that will get you there.
Good innovation strategies are simple, clear, and easily understood by everybody involved because buy-in from stakeholders is essential.
If everyone has the same map (and can read it), everyone can be aligned on the destination without arguing about the directions.
How did we develop these examples?
The largest and most innovative organizations in the world have clear innovation strategies. While they’re private about the specifics (our clients included), there are ways to determine what their innovation strategies look like from the outside-in. Different innovation activities enable different strategic results.
Using our innovation matrix tool as a lens, you can assess key initiatives run by organizations like Apple, Amazon, Samsung, and Google. In this guide, we’ve backtracked to give you an indication of what their balanced strategic innovation portfolios are comprised of.
5 innovation strategy examples from this guide.
1. The innovation strategy of microsoft
While incremental innovations have seen Microsoft thrive in recent years, the company has struggled to achieve radical innovation. Now, Microsoft’s innovation strategy involves going all in on R&D with the aim of advancing its position in a range of markets – including healthcare.
2. the innovation strategy of google
Google’s innovation initiatives are all over the matrix, so it’s difficult to assign just one innovation archetype. Its parent company, Alphabet, invests heavily in R&D, which indicates that it’s targeting disruptive, radical, and architectural innovation.
3. The innovation strategy of Apple
Apple used to outsource R&D initiatives, preferring instead to focus on product development. But these days, they’re developing competencies in-house through internal accelerators while also acquiring startups.
4. The innovation strategy of Samsung
Samsung’s strategy has traditionally been all about incremental innovation (its curved mobile phone screens are a prime example). The organization’s innovation action plan in recent years has been to diversify its portfolio. Its R&D arm is exploring AI, digital health, the Internet of Things, autonomous mobility, data-center infrastructure, security, privacy and more. Samsung also strategically invests in a range of external initiatives to co-create businesses.
5. The innovation strategy of Amazon
Having achieved the impossible feat that is keeping its startup culture while scaling up, innovation is ingrained in every part of Amazon’s culture – not just the R&D arm.
Innovation strategy examples
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