Strategic Innovation

A Framework for Strategic Innovation

Blending creativity and strategy to discover future business opportunities


White Paper on the principles, methodologies and application of the Strategic Innovation approach

 by InnovationPoint

InnovationPoint is a non-traditional consulting firm that helps its Fortune 1000 clients take a strategic approach to innovation. InnovationPoint blends traditional and unconventional methodologies to identify breakthrough opportunities, develop growth strategies and consumer-inspired new products, and to align organizational strategy and design in a way that supports sustainable innovation. InnovationPoint’s clients include Hewlett-Packard, Kimberly-Clark, PepsiCo, Frito-Lay, Philips, Dial Corporation, Charles Schwab, Microsoft, Yahoo!, Alegent Health, Visa, Chase, Genentech, and SK Telecom (South Korea).



The Art and Discipline of Strategic Innovation


Strategic Innovation is the creation of growth strategies, business models, new product categories, or services  that change the game and generate significant new value for consumers, customers and the corporation.

Yin and Yang of Value Innovation

This paper describes a holistic, multidisciplinary framework that enables organizations to take a strategic approach to innovation.


The framework combines non-traditional, creative approaches to business innovation with conventional strategy develpment models. It brings together perspectives from several disciplines: the non-traditional approaches to innovation found in the business creativity movement; traditional strategy consulting; the new product development perspective of industrial design firms; qualitative consumer/customer research; futures research found in think tanks and traditional scenario planning; and organizational development (OD) practices that examine the effectiveness of an organization's culture, processes and structures.

The Jazz of Innovation

The framework consists of a cohesive set of practices that inspire imaginative teams to look beyond the obvious, explore a broad range of possibilities, identify significant opportunities, make informed decisions about the most promising paths to pursue, create a shared vision for growth, define pragmatic action plans that “bridge from the future back to the present” and align the organization around the requirements for success.

Innovation-friendly Organization

Strategic Innovation takes the road less traveled – it challenges an organization to look beyond its established business boundaries and mental models and to participate in an open-minded, creative exploration of the realm of possibilities.

Some organizations may feel that seeking breakthroughs is too grandiose a goal, and that they would be content with “simply growing the business”. Experience shows, however, that focusing on the short-term typically yields only short-term results – while teams aspiring to seek significant breakthroughs will both identify “big ideas” and also generate closer-in, incremental ideas.


Strategic Innovation is not characterized by mundane, incremental product extensions, the “me-too” business models of close followers, or band-aids for inefficient processes. It does not consist of simple “facilitated creativity sessions and brainstorming new ideas”. It is not based on the linear principles of traditional strategic planning which extrapolate the past in an attempt to predict the future. It does not result in “pure blue sky”. Instead, it spans a journey of inquiry and activity – from creative inspiration at the ambiguous “fuzzy front end” through the detailed requirements of successful execution that lead to business impact.

Strategic Innovation calls for a holistic approach that operates on multiple levels.

Systemic Innovation: 7 Areas

First, it blends non-traditional and traditional approaches to business strategy, deploying the practices of “Industry Foresight”, “Consumer/Customer Insight” and “Strategic Alignment” as a foundation, and supplementing them with conventional consulting models. Second, it combines two seemingly paradoxical mindsets: expansive, visionary thinking that imaginatively explores long-term possibilities; and pragmatic, down-to-earth implementation activities that lead to short-term, measurable business impact.

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