Doblin's 10 Types of Innovation

Doblin's 10 Types of Innovation

The Beeye Team - Sep 4, 2016 10:54:00 AM

Innovation Best practices

Creating new product is only one type of innovation. Here are 10 more.



In 1998, Doblin introduced the Ten types of innovation after researching a simple question: How do we get innovation to succeed instead of fail?

They have since updated them in 2011, and published a book on the subject, busting a few myths along the way. First off: do brainstorms work?


It would be a mistake to assume that innovation happens as a result of repeated brainstorming sessions, or to separate innovation from the rest of the organisation:

The most certain way to fail is to focus only on products. Successful innovators use many types of innovation.

Product innovation is very easily copied by competitors. A company that integrates many types of innovation will offer something to the market that will be for harder to replicate, and will generate more revenue.

Innovation must be approached systematically, and try to emulate the methods and discipline of science instead of those of a black art.

Innovation almost never fails due to lack of creativity. It's almost always because of a lack of discipline.

The 10 types of innovation can help you think about different ways to innovate that simply trying to come up with a new product. Here they are:

1. Profit model — How to make money?

That type of innovation represents new ways of generation profits, which means of understanding what people are willing to pay for. Profit models are often taken for granted and can remain unchanged for decades, but they're a good opportunity to differentiate your business.

2. Network — How to connect with others to create value?

Our world is hyper-connected, as networks allow us to do things we couldn't do on our own. Partnerships can be a good way to share risks in developing new offers.

3. Structure — How to align your talent and assets?

The goal here is to better structure the existing ressources and assets of the company to generate more value. An innovative company structure can contribute to a better work environment, which in turn will help the company hire better talents and increase its performance.

4. Process - How to use signature or superior methods to do your work?

That type of innovation works by improving activities and operations that are involved in creating the product or service sold by the company. With better processes, the company can leverage unique capabilities, work more efficiently, adapt faster and generate better margins.

5. Performance — How to employ distinguishing features and functionality? 

That type of innovation is about the value, characteristics and quality of a company's products. It can be a new product, an update on an exiting product, or an extension to an existing product that increase its value.