Innovation Principles

Innovation Principles

Innovation Principles Jonathan Poland

Innovation principles are guidelines that an organization adopts as a basis for innovation activities. They are typically considered foundational policy that are intended to guide innovation decisions, culture, programs and projects. Here are some general principles that have achieved widespread adoption in this core area.

Creativity Of Constraints
The principle that well designed constraints often spark creative results. Counters the common idea that creativity is boundless and unrestricted. Most examples of works that are considered creative genius were developed in a framework of constraints. For example, music is almost always based on constraints such as a harmonic framework, chord progression, conventions, style, genre or tradition.

Customer Focus
Valuable innovations fulfill customer needs and wants.

Design For Scale
Designing things to be useful to a great number of people. Design for scale also implies that innovations benefit from economies of scale, meaning that unit cost drops as more is produced.

Design For Sustainability
Aligning design with the sustainability values of the organization such as designs that are reusable, made of low-impact materials, recyclable, resource efficient and produced without harmful byproducts.

Fail Often
Fail often is a method of innovation that tests a large number of fearless ideas with the reasonable expectation that most will fail and a few will succeed. According to the fail often method, a lack of failure is a sign that a company or department is not pushing hard enough to innovative.

Fair Well
Fail well is the design of tests to fail quickly, cheaply and safety. It is used by innovation methods such as fail often to minimize the impact of innovation testing.

Feedback Loop
An iterative process of using feedback from sources such as customers to quickly improve an innovation.

Innovation Ability
The principle that innovation is an ability that is related to other abilities such as problem solving, design and divergent thinking. Innovation is widely considered a tacit ability that is difficult to detect with standardized testing.

Innovation Culture
An organization’s values, norms, habits, history, symbols and work environment impact its ability to innovate. Based on the observation that some corporate cultures are able to generate a steady stream of valuable innovations while others struggle.

Innovation From Anywhere
The principle that innovation can come from anywhere. Typically applied by creating processes that are accessible to all the employees to submit innovations for evaluation and testing. In many cases, customers, partners and the community may also be invited to submit innovations. Such processes may include incentives for successful innovation.

Measure And Improve
The principle that each innovation be measurable. A means of measurement is often a basic criteria for accepting innovations for evaluation.

Mission Statement
A mission statement for the innovation program. Innovative organizations typically have a strong sense of mission.

Open Innovation
Innovation is shared in the open in order to harden designs with peer review and feedback.

Order Of Magnitude
The goal of innovation is to take leaps forward by creating things that are an order of magnitude better than the current state of the art.

Precautionary Principle
The principle that an innovation be generally accepted as safe and sustainable before being launched to the public or released into the environment.

Reuse And Improve
Innovation reuses existing knowledge, technology and resources where possible. Discourages the common perception that innovation is always greenfield. In many cases, valuable innovations are a slight variation of an existing product, service or process.

Ship Often
Innovation is shipped as quickly as possible and updated often to rapidly improve.

Test And Learn
Innovation is tested early and often. Analysis and insight into testing results is captured as knowledge.

A vision statement for the innovation program that paints a compelling picture of the future. In many cases, a principle is established that each innovation program is to publish a vision statement.

Learn More…

Customer Needs Anlaysis Jonathan Poland

Customer Needs Anlaysis

Customer needs analysis is the process of identifying and understanding the needs…

Drip Marketing Jonathan Poland

Drip Marketing

Drip marketing, also known as drip campaigns, is a strategy that involves…

Fiduciary Duty Jonathan Poland

Fiduciary Duty

Fiduciary duty refers to the legal obligation of one party to act…

Cost Performance Index Jonathan Poland

Cost Performance Index

Cost Performance Index (CPI) is a project management metric that measures the…

Conflicts of Interest Jonathan Poland

Conflicts of Interest

A conflict of interest exists when an individual or organization has incentives…

Sales Tactics Jonathan Poland

Sales Tactics

Sales tactics are specific strategies or approaches that salespeople use to persuade…

Decision Tree Jonathan Poland

Decision Tree

A decision tree is a graphical representation of a decision-making process. It…

Experience Goods Jonathan Poland

Experience Goods

Experience goods are products or services that are consumed through an experiential…

Sustainability Jonathan Poland


Business sustainability is the practice of conducting a business in a way…

Jonathan Poland © 2023

Search the Database

Over 1,000 posts on topics ranging from strategy to operations, innovation to finance, technology to risk and much more…

Soft Launch Jonathan Poland

Soft Launch

A soft launch is a product launch that is limited in scope,…

Change Strategy Jonathan Poland

Change Strategy

Change strategy is the process of planning and implementing change within an…

IT Operations Jonathan Poland

IT Operations

IT operations involves the delivery and management of information technology services, including…

Product Category Jonathan Poland

Product Category

A product category is a classification of similar or related products or…

Value Added Reseller Jonathan Poland

Value Added Reseller

A value added reseller (VAR) is a company that buys products from…

Machine Learning Jonathan Poland

Machine Learning

Machine learning is a method of teaching computers to learn from data,…

Recruiting Jonathan Poland


Recruiting refers to the process of attracting, screening, and selecting qualified candidates…

Examples of Strategy Jonathan Poland

Examples of Strategy

A strategy is a long-term plan that an organization or individual develops…

Physical Capital Jonathan Poland

Physical Capital

Physical capital refers to the tangible assets that are used to produce…