Altitude Presents on Innovation Identity at Global Chief Innovation Officer Summit

Dan Ostrower, Altitude’s CEO, spoke at the recent Global Chief Innovation Officer Summit in San Francisco — on the topic of how to innovate in the company you have today. Nearly 80 percent of innovation initiatives fail. Conventional wisdom points to one of three culprits as the root of this failure:

  • (1): Desirability:  It wasn’t truly desired by consumers.
  • (2):  Feasibility:  The technology needed to bring the idea to life was either too difficult or costly to develop to make it worthwhile.
  • (3):  Viability:  The organization couldn’t find a way to profit from the idea or it didn’t fit their current business model.

Yet, despite recent advancement in the innovation and design practice, this number appears to not have been impacted. In fact, a huge number of good ideas that meet all three criteria above never translate into real products and services. We’ve identified a fourth cause: Fluency. These ideas die somewhere inside the organization because those championing them fail to recognize the how to correctly consider the corporate culture and steward these ideas through the organization based on how these organizations make decisions.

In talking to directors of innovation at Fortune 1000 companies and analyzing Altitude’s most successful innovation projects over the last twenty years, we have found that like people, every company has its own Innovation Identity: its own way of making innovation decisions. Understanding how the organization makes decisions and shaping the innovation process to this context is as critical as any other factor to innovation success.

In our research, we found three main innovation decision-making archetypes.. While many organizations may have characteristics of more than one type, one characteristic tends to dominate. In order to successfully innovate, you need to tailor messages, processes and structures to fit the dominant type, otherwise the program will have little chance of reaching market, no matter how strategically sound it may be or how much customers may love it.

In his talk, Dan illustrates these archetypes and elucidates how to structure a project for success:

What’s Your Innovation Identity? from Altitude Inc. on Vimeo.

Alanna Fincke

Posted By: 

Alanna Fincke

VP, Marketing