Pushing Boundaries with Strategic Innovations

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  • 1Copyright 2014 The Inovo Group LLC

    Pushing Boundaries

    Pursuing strategic white space opportunities

  • The New Strategic Imperative

    2Copyright 2014 The Inovo Group LLC

    The ChallengesMaintain excellence in existing business

    Prepare for possible disruption

    Change the company culture

    Create new businesses in new areas

    Sustaining Meat Industry

    Strategic Medical Industry

  • In a Harvard Business Review article, Maletz and Nohria describe white space as an area within a company where the existing corporate culture does not apply.

    Mark Johnson in Seizing the Whitespacemakes the case for white space within the business unit, white space between business units, and white space beyond existing customers and products.

    Adam Hartung in Create Marketplace Disruption: How to Stay Ahead of the Competition said Companies use the white space to evolve new formulae for business success free from the existing Defend and Extend culture.

    Chris Trimble and Vijay Govindarajanin Beyond the Idea: How to Execute Innovation in Any Organization describe a Model-C for running an innovation initiative outside the companys existing performance engine.

    White Space Definitions

    3Copyright 2014 The Inovo Group LLC

    2001 2010

    2008 2013

  • What is a Whitespace?

    4Copyright 2014 The Inovo Group LLC

    A white space is something that fits our

    core mission but doesn't fit our core business.

    The Tether Metaphor


    StrategicWhite Space

    How far can you fly?

  • You NEED to Pursue Whitespace Opportunities

    5Copyright 2014 The Inovo Group LLC

    Doctor-centric -> Patient-centric

    Healthcare Transportation

    Metal & Plastic -> Electronic & Aware


    Manual & Mass -> Connected & Custom


    Physical & Static -> Mobile & Interactive

  • The Boundary Zone Pushing the Boundary

    6Copyright 2014 The Inovo Group LLC



    Operational Transformational

    Newness to the World

    Newness to the Company




    The new whitespace

  • Its Just not Us

    7Copyright 2014 The Inovo Group LLC

    The two most anti-innovative words that can be uttered prove it

    Roger Martin

    Data, information, facts and analysis are not the answer

    Intangible and unarticulated feelings will make or break a strategic opportunity

  • Building a White Space Capability

    8Copyright 2014 The Inovo Group LLC

    Ambidextrous Behavior

    Learning & Partnering

    Scaled Rounds

    Experimental Mindset

    Protected Teams & Projects

    IncubationSpace & Time


  • The Culture Side

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    People & Team Competency

  • The Structure Side

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    Funding Process

  • A Cautionary Story

    Result Terminated project

    What Happened Identified opportunity

    Technical challenges, large R&D investment

    Business Unit killed project couldnt make it work

    Patterns Time & $ incompatibility

    between core R&D & BU

    11Copyright 2014 The Inovo Group LLC

    Diesel Particulate Filters

  • Organization

    Success Factors

    Independent, protected group

    Transactional authority

    Effective networking & influence

    Failure Modes

    Siloing of group

    Coping with pushback

    Wrong mix of skills

    12Copyright 2014 The Inovo Group LLC

    Be an extremely good communicator. Be objective and clear about where the project is and where it is going. Know how to network and remember, things will get political.



  • Funding

    Success Factors

    Protected & scaled funding

    A start-up period

    Balanced technical & commercial funding

    Failure Modes

    A priori commitment

    Scale too soon or late

    NPV evaluation

    13Copyright 2014 The Inovo Group LLC

    Think about committing resources as if you are a small business.

  • Process

    Success Factors The right number of


    Move fast, know when to stop

    Incubation Space

    Failure Modes Lack of transparency

    No decision criteria

    Incompatible timescales

    14Copyright 2014 The Inovo Group LLC

    There is a mechanism in place to transfer the project to a business but you can't transfer excitement about something or the experience of being involved from the beginning.

  • Pushing Your Strategic Boundary

    15Copyright 2014 The Inovo Group LLC


    Funding Process


    People & Teams


  • Systems Support a Strategic Innovation Culture

    16Copyright 2014 The Inovo Group LLC

    Find the People

    Create a System

    Those who should and could pursue strategic white space opportunities

    Support them with a system that creates a culture of strategic innovation

  • Connect with Us

    17Copyright 2014 The Inovo Group LLC

    Larry SchmittThe Inovo Group, LLC213 South Ashley St., Suite 300Ann Arbor, MI 48104 USA

    P: +1 (734) 604-3887E: [email protected]

    Call us at 1-888-464-6686

    E-mail us at [email protected]

    Visit us at www.theinovogroup.com

    Join the Innovate Innovation Now group on LinkedIn and contribute to the conversation

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    Read our blog and comment on what we have to say