Whether they’re dealing in cars or cookies or computers, companies typically struggle with how to effectively and reliably create innovative products and services. Often, they discover that the greatest challenges aren’t in coming up with big ideas but in the organizational and management issues that these new ideas present.
Clayton Christensen at Harvard Business School has done some phenomenal work on disruptive innovations and how they differ from sustaining offerings. At Jump, we have built on this foundation, developing a framework to help folks figure out how to bring new ideas to market, create more realistic testing and growth expectations, and better manage their innovation pipelines. This requires identifying what types of innovations you have, what you need, and how to nurture and grow them all.
The Three Types of Innovations
Sustaining products and services are the kinds of innovations companies often need to develop just to stay in the game. These incremental innovations can be thought of as variations on a theme. For example, in the category of household cleansers, a sustaining innovation might involve making the cleaning agent 10% stronger or pairing it with a new scent.