Types of Innovation

  • Learning Objectives for Project Managers and Innovation Personnel
  • To understand the different types of innovation and their characteristics
  • To understand that, in some forms of innovation, many team members can be external to the company
  • To understand the importance of measuring “value-in-use”


“Innovation is an evolutionary process, so it’s not necessary to be radical all the time.”

— Marc Jacobs

“Of the top 10 sources of innovation, employees are the only resource that you can control and access that your competitors cannot. Employees are the one asset you have that can actually be a sustainable competitive advantage.”

— Kaihan Krippendorff

Over the years, our view of innovation, and its importance, has changed. Table 2-1 illustrates how our view has changed:


Old View New View
Incremental changes to existing products Development of new or radical products
Focus on existing customer base Expansion to new markets
Perform innovation in house and without any strategic partners Offshore partners may be necessary
Capture knowledge from internal workers Seek out worldwide knowledge from a variety of sources

As our view of innovation has changed, so has the definition of innovation.

According to Webster’s Dictionary, innovation can be defined simply as a “new idea, device or method.” ...

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