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πŸ”΄ Building a proper innovation portfolio - Part 2

In this second part of our series on how to build a proper corporate innovation portfolio, we are talking numbers, critical mass of projects, and optionality over serendipity!
πŸ”΄  Building a proper innovation portfolio - Part 2
Photo by Chris Liverani / Unsplash

Part 1 quick recap

In Part 1 of this series, we discussed how innovation is a non-linear game not well served by the usual project pipelines.

πŸ”΄ Building a proper innovation portfolio - Part 1
Few corporations have been capable of transitioning from a pipeline to an innovation portfolio. We can blame well-known business books for oversimplifying the issues at stake, but also, the non-linearity of a portfolio strategy genuinely baffles most executives. Let’s share some insights...

We presented the core framework of a portfolio strategy that we've been using for years in industries going from aerospace to beauty products. It's a two-dimensional exploration map dealing with different levels of market/technology uncertainties. And we went around the different logics and ROIs involved in the New Frontier, Business Transition, and Beachhead to the Core Market zones.

We also started to discuss that as soon as you grasp the non-linear aspect of innovation, you understand that you won't be able to outsmart all uncertainties of the market. Trying to predict what project to bet on to deliver an innovation three or five years from now is a recipe for disaster.

Really, it's not a pipeline!

The core difficulty when discussing an innovation portfolio is that your brain still thinks pipeline. Always. And for instance, regarding what we discussed last week, you are still probably thinking like this...

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