What is Breakthrough innovation | Definition & Full Guide?
Innovation is a crucial aspect of any successful business. It enables organizations to stay competitive, keep pace with changing market trends, and develop new products and services that meet evolving customer needs. Digital Leadership is a consultancy that focuses on accelerating change and helping organizations transform and scale their businesses using proven approaches. We offer highly specialized Innovation Consulting service designed to empower businesses in seizing emerging technology opportunities. Our unwavering focus on breakthrough innovation fuels the development of tailored strategies, the successful launch of new ventures, and the cultivation of positive relationships. This comprehensive approach works harmoniously to drive innovation, facilitate transformation, and foster sustainable business growth, positioning organizations at the forefront of their industries.
In this article, we will be exploring the topic of “Breakthrough Innovation,” its definition, the types of innovation, the innovation process, the role of culture and leadership, measuring success, and managing risks in breakthrough innovation, as well as some examples of breakthrough innovations.
Breakthrough Innovation Definition, What is Breakthrough Innovation?
Breakthrough innovation refers to the development of new products, services, or processes that create a significant impact on the market and change the way things are done. It involves creating new business models or disrupting existing ones and introducing new technology, new demand, or new ideas to the market. Breakthrough innovation often involves taking risks, experimenting with new ideas, and challenging the status quo.
Understanding the Four Types of Innovation
There are four types of innovation, including sustaining innovation, basic research, breakthrough innovation, and disruptive innovation.
(1) Sustaining Innovation
Sustaining innovation involves making incremental improvements to existing products, services, or processes. It is focused on improving the performance or efficiency of a product or service while maintaining its core functionality.
(2) Basic Research
Basic research is focused on exploring new areas of knowledge and understanding the fundamental principles of how things work. It involves studying scientific phenomena and developing new theories or concepts that can be used to create new products or services.
(3) Breakthrough Innovation
Breakthrough innovation involves developing new products, services, or processes that create a significant impact on the market and change the way things are done. It involves creating new business models or disrupting existing ones and introducing new technology, new demand, or new ideas to the market.
(4) Disruptive Innovation
Disruptive innovation is focused on disrupting existing markets by introducing new products, services, or business models that challenge the status quo. It involves identifying unmet needs and creating solutions that are simpler, more convenient, and more affordable than existing products or services.
The UNITE Innovation Process “Approach”:
The UNITE Innovation Approach is a framework that helps you understand each step in the innovation process. It is a basis for planning, stakeholder communication, and process and tool selection.
The UNITE Innovation Approach allows you to understand each step in the entire journey and is thus a basis for planning, stakeholder communication, and process and tool selection. Why not put it on the wall of your team’s innovation workshop, so that everyone knows where you are and where you are headed? We have the print-ready versions included for you!
Innovation has evolved over time, moving from incremental improvements to breakthrough innovation. Incremental innovation involves making small improvements to existing products, services, or processes, while breakthrough innovation involves creating something entirely new that changes the way things are done.
Stage (1): Setup
Setup – In this stage, you prepare your team for innovation success. This involves identifying the resources you need, defining your goals, and creating a culture of innovation within your organization.
Stage (2): Problem/Solution Fit
In this stage, you discover your customer’s unmet needs and translate them into innovative concepts using a customer-centric and Business-Model-Innovation approach. This involves developing a deep understanding of your customer’s needs and preferences and using this information to create innovative solutions.
Stage (3): Solution/Market Fit
In this stage, you test and validate your solution in the real world. This involves testing your ideas with real customers and refining your solution until it meets their needs.
Stage (4): Building & Scaling
Building & Scaling – In this stage, you turn your idea into a real business and focus on growing it quickly. This involves developing a go-to-market strategy, scaling your operations, and building a team to support your business.
If you’re looking to build and scale your business, it’s important to understand the operating model that will enable you to grow quickly and sustainably.
In this Video our Founder Stefan F. Dieffenbacher, explains the key components of a successful operating model and shares practical tips for building and scaling your business. Check it out to learn more!
The Role of Culture and Leadership in Achieving Breakthrough Innovations
Culture and leadership play a critical role in achieving breakthrough innovations. A culture that values innovation, experimentation, and risk-taking can create an environment where breakthrough ideas can thrive. Leadership also plays a key role in creating this culture by setting the tone and leading by example.
Leaders need to provide resources, support, and incentives for innovation. They need to encourage employees to take risks, experiment, and learn from failure. They also need to create an environment where employees feel comfortable sharing their ideas and collaborating with others.
Measuring Success and Managing Risks in Breakthrough Innovation
Measuring success in breakthrough innovation can be challenging. Traditional metrics such as ROI and market share may not be applicable in the early stages of innovation. Instead, you need to focus on metrics that capture the potential of your innovation, such as customer satisfaction, adoption rates, and feedback from stakeholders.
Managing risks is also critical in breakthrough innovation. Risks can include technical challenges, market uncertainty, and regulatory hurdles. You need to identify and manage these risks by developing contingency plans, conducting scenario planning, and building a diverse team with the necessary skills and expertise.
Breakthrough Innovation Examples:
(1) Triax Technologies
Triax Technologies is a construction technology company that provides IoT solutions for the industry. Their Spot-r system is a wearable sensor that tracks worker location, safety, and productivity in real time. The system has been shown to improve safety and productivity on construction sites and is being used by major construction companies across the US.
Aeva is a sensor technology company that is developing a new type of lidar sensor for autonomous vehicles. Their sensor uses a unique frequency modulation technology that enables long-range sensing and high-resolution mapping. The company has raised over $200 million in funding and is partnering with major automakers to bring their technology to market.
CarbonCure is a cleantech company that has developed a technology to reduce the carbon footprint of concrete. Their technology injects CO2 into the concrete mix, which reacts with the calcium to form stronger and more sustainable concrete. The company has been recognized for its environmental impact and has been used in major construction projects around the world.
Innovation is a critical component of business success, and breakthrough innovation is the key to unlocking growth and creating new markets. Understanding the different types of innovation, the innovation process, and the role of culture and leadership is essential for achieving breakthrough