Dr. David Alkaher
In an era marked by rapid technological advancements and ever-changing market dynamics, innovation is no longer a luxury but a necessity for organizations. While innovation is often equated with new products or technologies, Doblin's Ten Types of Innovation framework broadens this narrow view by categorizing innovation into ten distinct types. This essay aims to delve into the significance of Doblin's framework for organizations and how it can be a game-changer in fostering a culture of innovation.
Doblin's Ten Types of Innovation
Doblin's Ten Types of Innovation framework is a comprehensive model that goes beyond product innovation to include aspects like Core Craft (Process), Efficiency (Structure), Quality & Performance, Accessory Service (Product System), Customer Service, Satisfaction (Customer Engagement), Brand, Channel, Networking, Profit Model (Business Model). This multi-faceted approach allows organizations to innovate in various areas, thereby creating multiple avenues for growth and differentiation.
Elaboration of Each Innovation Type
Core Craft (Process): Process innovation aims to streamline and optimize internal processes to enhance efficiency and reduce costs.
Efficiency (Structure): Innovating in the structure of the organization includes changes in the alignment of talent, assets, and functions to drive innovation.
Quality & Performance (Product Performance): This type of innovation involves improving the features, functionality, and overall performance of products or services.
Accessory Service (Product System): Product system innovation looks at complementary products and services that enhance the value of the main product.
Customer Service: Service innovation focuses on enhancing customer service, maintenance, and other value-added services.
Satisfaction (Customer Engagement): Customer engagement innovation revolves around how the organization interacts with customers, including user experience and building strong customer relationships.
Brand: Brand innovation includes branding, advertising, and other activities that create a strong brand identity and customer recognition.
Channel: Channel innovation explores different ways of delivering products or services to customers, including distribution and sales channels.
Networking: Networks innovation involves creating new partnerships, alliances, or ecosystems to extend the organization's reach and capabilities.
Profit Model (Business Model): This type focuses on how the organization creates, delivers, and captures value. It includes aspects like revenue streams, pricing models, and distribution channels.
Here at I4T we cluster these 10 types of innovation into four groups: a. Improving Internal Processes; b. Opening the Customer Offering Envelope; c. Improving customer value; d. Increasing the demand Potential.
Why Doblin's Framework Matters
Holistic View: The framework offers a holistic view of innovation, encouraging organizations to look beyond the obvious and explore new ways to create value.
Strategic Alignment: By identifying which types of innovation align with their strategic goals, organizations can focus their efforts more effectively.
Resource Optimization: Knowing the types of innovation allows for better allocation of resources, ensuring that each innovation type is adequately funded and supported.
The Rule of Thumb for Disruptive Innovations
Clayton Christensen introduced the concept of "The Rule of Thumb for Disruptive Innovations," which states that using five or more types of innovation, especially those that your industry has overlooked, will almost always result in disruptive innovations. This concept signifies the importance of leveraging a wide range of innovation types to set new industry rules that others have to follow.
Beyond Products: The Common Misconception
Many people are hardwired to believe that innovation is synonymous with new products. Engineers often think in terms of price-performance ratios, aiming for a product that is ten times better than the status quo. Companies like Intel have succeeded by continually improving the price-performance ratio of their chips.
Beyond Products: The Product System
One step beyond individual products is the concept of a 'Product System,' which is far more profitable. For example, Microsoft Office is not just a product but a comprehensive platform that includes various applications like Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.
Service innovations are another type of innovation that can be highly profitable. These innovations focus on how services are delivered and often involve licensing or partnerships. Companies are increasingly using these ten types of innovation as a basis for reinventing service delivery.
Process innovation involves not just what you're going to make but also how you're going to make, ship, and sell it. These processes can be categorized into core processes, which are proprietary to your company, and enabling processes, which can be outsourced.
Downstream and Upstream Innovations
Downstream innovations involve new ways to get products and services to the market, while upstream innovations involve partnering with other firms effectively. These types of innovations are the most significant amplifiers of return on investment.
The Symbiotic Relationship
The real power of Doblin's framework lies in its ability to be integrated with other strategic frameworks and methodologies. For instance, when used in conjunction with agile methodologies or lean startup principles, organizations can achieve a fine balance between innovation and operational efficiency.
How I4T-Group Can Assist
I4T-Group specializes in providing strategic frameworks like the Agile Expansion Framework, which focuses on adaptability and seizing opportunities with agility. By integrating Doblin's Ten Types of Innovation into their existing frameworks, I4T-Group can offer organizations a more comprehensive approach to innovation. This synergy can help organizations not only in ideation but also in the effective implementation of those ideas, ensuring that innovation becomes a core part of their strategy and culture.
Doblin's Ten Types of Innovation framework offers a comprehensive and strategic approach to innovation. When organizations adopt this multi-dimensional view, they are better positioned to navigate the complexities of the modern business environment. Moreover, with the expertise of consultancies like I4T-Group, organizations can seamlessly integrate this framework into their existing strategies, thereby fostering a culture that values and promotes innovation across all facets of the business.