Discontinuous Innovation in a Business Term Paper

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(1000 Ventures, 2008)

The work of Kaplan and Palmer (2007) entitled: "Strategic Imagination: External Thought Leaders Inspire Breakthrough Innovation" published by Innovation Point relates the fact concerning innovation efforts that they "often deliver disappointingly short-term ideas and fail to identify longer-term growth platforms. An organization's inwardly-focused and historically-biased view of the world limits its capacity for 'strategic imagination'. Bringing in fresh, future-oriented perspectives from outside the organization is an essential catalyst for innovative 'stretch thinking'." (Kaplan and Palmer, 2007) Bringing in what are termed to be 'external thought leaders' derived from various domains will assist the innovation process and assist the team in the development of 'Industry Foresight' and in identification of: "...non-obvious opportunities." (Kaplan and Palmer, 2007) External thought leaders are described as "...inspirational provocateurs and visionaries..." And are said to be the "...essential catalyst for teams that seek breakthrough innovation." (Kaplan and Palmer, 2007) the work of Wagner (2007) entitled: "Organization of Innovation in High-Tech Industries: Acquisitions as a Means for Technology Sourcing" relates that high-technology innovation often is of the nature of radical types of innovations and that these take place "through distinct industry cycles of high and low demand." (Wagner, 2007) Innovation activities in this area are stated to be diverse in nature and "driven by a variety of determinants. In particular firms frequently face make-or-buy decisions, especially as concerns radical innovation." (Wagner, 2007) This creates a level of high challenge in this industry. Oracle in the work entitled: "Profitable Innovation in High Tech" relates that: "As Moore's laws hold fast and the average lifetime of technology products continues to shrink, high tech companies face the constant need to innovate to stay competitive. The race to market has intensified, and technology companies must constantly rebalance the tradeoff between product performance and speed-to-market. A company's ability to consistently produce profitable innovation will separate the winners from the pack in this competitive market environment." (Oracle, 2008) Oracle cite product and project portfolio optimization to be key as well as integration of the extended enterprise as "high tech companies must limit re-work causes by inconsistent bill of materials (BOMs) or frequent engineering change orders (ECOs) and they must be able to react quickly to changes in demand forecasts." (Oracle, 2008)


It is clear that the pre-phase innovative potential vested within a project or within an organization or team is critical in the determination of whether the project, organization or team will be innovative in nature and in an ongoing and expanding manner. Radical innovation and incremental innovation are quite different from one another and it is likely that both types of innovation are required in projects, organizations or teams that are successful for an ongoing period-of-time. Breakthrough innovation is also a requirement in the successfully discontinuous innovative initiative. Innovation in the High-Tech market certainly combines the requirements of all these groupings and types of innovative components in order to be successful and stay competitive in the rapidly changing, advancing and expanding high-tech marketplace.


Arising from the foregoing study is the recommendation that the pre-phase innovative potential be explored in relation to the impact that pre-phase innovative potential has upon the project, organization, or team to be innovative in a discontinuous and ongoing expanding manner in the high-tech marketplace.


Herzberg, Torsten (2005-2006) Toward a Mid-Range of Method Selection for Innovation Pre-project Activities" School of Industrial Manufacturing Science Enterprise Integration.

Cranfield University. Online available at: https://dspace.lib.cranfield.ac.uk/bitstream/1826/1059/1/060429_PhD_Torsten_Herzberg.pdf

Kaplan, Soren and Palmer, Derrick (2007) Strategic Imagination: External Thought Leaders Inspire Breakthrough Innovation. Innovation Point. LLC. Online available at http://www.innovation-point.com/Strategic%20Imagination.pdf

Profitable Innovation in High Tech: Innovate to Compete, Innovate Profitably to Win (2008) Oracle. Online available at http://www.oracle.com/industries/high_tech/Profitable_Innovation_for_High_Tech.pdf

Wagner, Marcus (2007) Organization of Innovation in High-Tech Industries: Acquisitions as a Means for Technology Sourcing. Bureau d'economie theorique et applique (BETA) UMR 7522. Online available at http://cournot2.u-strasbg.fr/users/beta/publications/2007/2007-28.pdf

Radical vs. Incremental Innovation (2008) 1000 Ventures Business Guide. Online available at http://www.1000ventures.com/business_guide/innovation_radical_vs_incr.html

Baranano, Ana Maria, Bommer, Michael, and Jalajas, David S. (2005) Sources of Innovation for high-tech SMEs: A Comparison of USA, Canada and Portugal. International Journal of Technology Management 2005. Vol. 30, No.1/2. Abstract Online InderScience Publishers available at http://www.inderscience.com/search/index.php?action=record&rec_id=6351&prevQuery=&ps=10&m=or

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