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When Being Different Becomes the Game Plan: Let The Innovation Process Keep You on Track

In today’s global economy, the leading driver behind its growth is Innovation. Yet, it is the least understood.

Throughout the last century, captains of industries learned to master the process of production to such extent that it no longer functions as a significant Competitive Advantage. The challenge today is to master the process of Innovation.  This includes harnessing change and creating new competitive advantages by offering better products, using better processes, delivering better services, or even offering new solutions.

However, we have not yet learned to master the Innovation Process. A great number of our companies have only a rudimentary understanding of what it requires to master Innovation Management and what Innovation really is.  In today’s global economy, the ability to innovate is vital to ensure growth and competitiveness in the coming decades.

Gaining mastery of the Innovation Process requires the full understanding and application of the 5-Phase Approach to the Innovation Process.

The 5-Phase Approach to the Innovation Process

The 5-Phase Approach to the Innovation Process measures the important elements of innovation.



Ideation is the starting point of innovation. Ideas are generated from systematically scanned external surroundings.

Idea Selection and Conceptualization

A preliminary business case is formulated (strategy, market, technology, and competencies) as well as early planning for the entire innovation project.

In this phase, this is where decisions are made whether to invest in an idea and develop it further.


Innovations are tested by means of prototypes, test runs, scenarios, etc. This can result in either rejection of innovation or iteration in the IMM process.

Business Planning

Business Planning is the key to innovation success. An innovation projection’s alignment with the company strategy is checked and all functional areas are included in Business Planning.

Implementation and Launch

This is the transition from innovation phase to daily operation with the existence of clear and structured procedures. This is where the project comes to life.

As our company goes through the 5-Phase of the Innovation Process, the Innovation Project will change character from phase to phase.  Competency demands change along the way, together with the risk profile of the Project. This is a dimension that we need to understand in the Innovation Process.  In fact, the Innovation Process can be viewed as an Innovation Machine.

 Our company needs to continuously create and maintain a portfolio of ideas, experiments, business plans, and new businesses.  Each phase requires new competencies, deeper investment, and even tighter control. In fact, the management of the Innovation process is a task that demands more than merely mastering individual parameters. It can be a challenge but in today’s global economy, there is no other way to move forward but innovate.

Interested in gaining more understanding of the Innovation Process? You can learn more and download an editable PowerPoint about the Innovation Process here on the Flevy documents marketplace.

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About Joseph Robinson

Joseph Robinson is the Vice President of Strategy at Flevy. Flevy is the marketplace for best practices in business management. Learn how the Fortune 100 and global consulting firms do it. Improve the growth and efficiency of your organization by leveraging Flevy's library of best practice methodologies and templates. The documents at Flevy (https://flevy.com) are of the same caliber as those produced by top-tier management consulting firms, like McKinsey, BCG, Bain, and Accenture. Most were developed by seasoned executives and consultants with 20+ years of experience. Flevy covers 200+ management topics, ranging from Digital Transformation to Growth Strategy to Lean Management. You can peruse a full list of management topics available on Flevy here. Prior to Flevy, Joseph worked as an Associate at BCG and holds an MBA from the Sloan School of Management at MIT. You can connect with Joseph on LinkedIn here.

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