How can companies generate more business impact from non-incremental innovation? Typically, companies have little problems in generating ideas for adjacent, radical or even disruptive innovation and in validating the most promising ideas. On the other end of the process, companies have systems to grow material businesses and incrementally improve their performance over time. But for many companies, the transitional Scaling-Up phase in-between is a ‘Valley-Of-Death‘, in which many promising concepts die on their journey from idea to business impact.
The real innovation challenge lies beyond the idea. It lies in a long, hard journey – from imagination to impact. Even the best-managed corporations in the world struggle to execute innovation initiatives. This challenge, which we call the other side of innovation, is widely misunderstood. Some companies conflate this side and the other side, believing it is all the same. Others imagine that executing an innovation initiative can’t be much different than executing day-to-day operations. Both views are wrong. Innovation execution is neither innovation nor execution. It is its own unique beast.