This article was originally written in French in August 2013. Nearly ten years later, I thought it would be interesting to translate it and freshen it up a bit.

Reimagining vs. Diversification

It's stunning that, over the years, we accumulated thousands of innovation frameworks, methodologies, and principles. To be blunt, most corporations still try to muddle along, uncertain what to do.

I'm well aware that storytelling innovation as some sort of eldritch wizardry is a juicy business for many consulting firms. But in reality, the core mechanisms are dead simple. We could even make the case for describing innovation as only two elementary mechanisms:

  • As an innovator, you can try to bring to the market an entirely new way of doing things;
  • Or you can improve upon the past, delivering incremental or paradigm-shifting new capabilities.

We'll call the first type of innovation Reimagining and the second one Diversification. And if you allow me to use the exhausted mobile phone example, we start with ongoing diversification getting the technology more accessible, reaching further, and being constantly on...