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Create shared understanding and ambition

The second part of Full Blown Innovation involves creating a shared understanding of your innovation ambition

  • Do you want to disrupt or transform? 

  • Does your strategy require entering new or adjacent markets? 

  • Do you want to focus on core (process) innovations? 


You can do all three, but the executive team must agree on the ratio of the ambition, because this drives the kind of culture you need to build.

Successful innovators are experts at clearly communicating their innovation ambition. The Harvard Business Review defines innovation as: “a novel creation that produces value.” However, this definition only defines innovation with a single dimensional mindset: It’s a new product or a new service, when in reality there are three dimensions to innovation ambition: 

  1. Core (process) innovations, 

  2. Adjacent innovations, 

  3. Transformational innovations. 

An important step in defining your innovation ambition is to consider its purpose or endgame. For example a standard ambition ratio is 10:20:70; where 10% of resources are allocated towards breakthrough or transformational innovations; 20% towards adjacent and 70% to core innovations. 

Conversely, a start-up or disruptor may have a ratio of 70:20:10, where 70% of resources are allocated towards breakthroughs; 20% towards adjacent and 10% to core innovations.

It all centres on your overall innovation ambition, and this importantly drives the culture needed to support that ambition.  

Innovation Ambition Matrix

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Seven essentials for building a culture of innovation

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