What type of innovation is right for your project? To understand how new solutions will work within your organization; map them across an axis of new-to-existing users and new-to-existing offerings.
- 30-45 Minutes
- Large paper or flip pads
- Post-it notes
- Design Team
Refer to the example matrix here and review it with the design team. The lower left quadrant represents incremental innovation as these solutions build on existing offerings with familiar users. Evolutionary innovation is about extending into either new offerings or new users while holding the other constant. Revolutionary innovation means tackling both new users and new offerings.
Draw the matrix on a large sheet of flip pad paper. Write each solution on a post-it note and place in the appropriate position on the matrix.
Look at the distribution of solutions from incremental to revolutionary. Are there gaps in your portfolio of solutions? Are parts of the matrix blank and others full? If so, you may want to go back to Brainstorming in order to develop solutions that will intentionally fill that gap.
If the team wants to add solutions to one of the quadrants, develop a “How might we..?” statement and brainstorm new solutions.
- As you are mapping solutions, ask whether each solution is targeted at your current user group or whether it expands the group of individuals you serve.
- Many organizations say they are only looking for revolutionary ideas, but their capabilities are limited to incremental or evolutionary ideas.
- Funders can steer grantees toward incremental ideas or ones that have been proven to be best practices more easily than revolutionary ones. Make sure you are honest about how far your organization can stretch its capabilities and how willing your funders are to take risks.
- Map a portfolio of solutions that includes incremental, evolutionary, and revolutionary ideas.
- Sometimes the ideas with the highest impact are the simple incremental ideas.