Finding a Lower-Risk Path to High-Impact Innovations Harvard Case Solution & Analysis

When folks talk about innovation, they often imagine large technical or conceptual improvements that have lasting and profound impact. Jumps that are considerable are uncommon occurrences in most domains, the authors note, and the accepted wisdom including return and risk has led many to suppose that high returns from breakthrough innovations are attainable with high risk. On the other hand, the authors have found that important opportunities can appear when the focus is set not only on the venture but also on how it is followed.

Instead of looking at so-called "moonshots," they scrutinize a practical and relatively less risky way of pursuing high-impact innovation - one that strings together "lily pads" of capability-building investments, technical and conceptual improvements, and market investigations into what the writers call "enabling inventions." With the lily pad strategy, innovators hunt a chain of lower-risk initiatives, instead of risking considerable amounts of resources on one course. To try it, they must link the present capabilities of their alternatives, whether in parts or as a whole, to end-user needs in program spaces ready to accept them. The goal is not to fulfill a specific end-user or application (although innovators generally do have a long-term objective end-user or application in head). Instead, it's to satisfy any end user who will embrace nowadays. This is because straightforward: Adoption contributes to resources or income, which allows the work to continue and creates a "lily pad" on which the innovation initiative can "land" on its way to a larger goal. The idea is to bound across lily pads -even in spaces that will appear of secondary tactical value -as early as possible as a means of building interest in the concept (internally and externally).) Drawing on examples such as the development of X ray and GPS technology, mobile robots, crowdsourcing, and microlending, the authors contend that it is useful to think about initiation impact proactively along four dimensions: reach, value, paradigm change, and longevity. They look at what they refer to as the progressive invention cascade: the breakthrough interval, the enabling window, and three phases of impact. They argue that, whatever the impact measurements, the design and the specific circumstance stay similar, making the model generally related to multiple investment and decision making situation.

PUBLICATION DATE: July 01, 2016 PRODUCT #: SMR563-HCB-ENG

This is just an excerpt. This case is about INNOVATION & ENTREPRENEURSHIP

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