4-types-of-innovation

The 4 Types Of Innovation - Plan Your Innovation Strategy


Natalie Wong, Content Marketer đź’ˇ
31 Mar 2021 • 2 min read


How to plan your innovation strategy

There are no fixed processes of innovation. As the competition changes, technology shifts and the marketplace evolves, organisations strive to improve themselves to meet their customers’ needs better.

Innovation is a continuous process. At its core, it is about solving problems—there are plenty of ways to innovate just as there are different problems to solve. Just like how you would not solely depend on just one marketing strategy for your organisation, you need to create a portfolio of innovation strategies that are designed for specific tasks. How do you go about identifying the right type of innovation strategy to adopt?


Source: Harvard Business Review


The 4 types of innovation

An overly broad statement like “What might be the most innovative thing we can implement” will not be helpful to your end goal. Make sure your challenge title and problem statements are focused on a specific problem to be solved.

Setting out a specific goal to be broadcasted to your stakeholders will allow participants to understand the requirements and visualize their solutions, working towards solving these specific problems.


1. Sustaining innovation

Majority of the innovation takes place here as most of the time you just want to get better and better at what you are doing. You have a clear idea of the existing problems that need to be solved and what skill domains are required to solve them. For these problems, conventional strategies like roadmapping, design thinking and acquisitions to bring new resources and skill sets into your organisation are effective.


2. Breakthrough innovation

This strategy is for well-defined problems that are extremely complex to solve. Open innovation strategies are potentially highly effective here as they help expose the problems to diverse skill domains. It is essentially an amalgamation of incremental innovations that catapult the organisation beyond expectations.



3. Disruptive innovation

A market gets disrupted when new technologies surface to render older ones outdated and ineffective. Due to these technological shifts or marketplace changes, innovating your products would not help. You have to innovate your business model.



4. Basic research

Groundbreaking innovations never truly arrive in their fullest forms. They always start off as discoveries of some form of new phenomenon. This generates roots for new ideas, principles and innovations. As easy as it sounds, it is a crucial form of innovation that creates a pipeline for new things that will enter the market in the future. Back then, nobody could foresee how the greatest inventors would shape the world as it is today.


If you find yourself struggling to come up with an effective innovation strategy, then perhaps it is because you adopted the wrong approach and restricted yourself to just one approach. There are endless problems beckoning to be solved—you just need to learn to apply the solution that best fits them.

Thinkspace facilitates the different forms of innovation from end-to-end, our esteemed consultants will work with you to understand what your organisation needs, and how best you can go about addressing those needs. Drop us a quick message to explore how to turn your innovation processes to your advantage effectively and efficiently.