Innovation Objectives

Innovation Objectives

Innovation Objectives Jonathan Poland

Innovation objectives are aims to significantly improve something through the use of experimentation, risk-taking, and creativity. These goals tend to involve a higher degree of uncertainty than traditional business objectives, which typically aim for more predictable and easily achievable improvements. Innovation objectives often require more innovative approaches to problem-solving, as they seek to make significant and transformative changes. The following are common types of innovation objectives.


Making things faster, or potentially slower if that has value. For example, a manufacturer of high speed trains with a goal to make trains faster than flying for major domestic routes including the time to get to an airport.


Getting more output for an hour worked. For example, a team of 5 software developers who want to optimize their architecture, designs, work processes and toolset to out-code a competitor with 1000+ developers.


Getting more output for a unit of input. For example, an architect with an objective to use passive design to produce buildings that consume 80% less energy for heating, cooling and ventilation.


Making things easier for customers. For example, a nation aims to produce a simplified tax code that is fair, progressive and stimulative that requires less than 2 hours a year of administrative work from the average small business owner.


Transforming quality such as inline skate wheels that last 30x longer than current products on the market.

Customer Needs

Solving an unsolved problem such as curing a disease.

Customer Experience

Customer experiences that represent a leap forward such as an amusement park attraction that provides a new level of realism.


Dramatically reducing a risk. For example, a mode of transport that is an order of magnitude safer than alternatives.


Performance targets such as the speed of an algorithm.


A competitive advantage such as an automation that reduces the cycle time of an order fulfillment process by 90%.


Developing superior know-how and valuable intellectual property.


Transforming a process that isn’t likely to end well to one that has a bright future. For example, an energy source that has a very small environmental footprint that can be scaled to meet global needs.

Quality of Life

Innovation objectives that aim to make life better such as an urban design that transforms a neighborhood.


A moonshot is a significant innovation that takes an extended period of time to achieve.

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