Rita gunther McGrath wrote a book a while back called “Discovery Driven Growth” where she lays out a model for mapping how to pursue innovation. She uses that in her book “The end of Competitive Advantage” to help see the first step for average firms to build innovation capacity – seeing where you are in light of where you should go.
To do this you need to organize what you do into a project portfolio list. Each project on the list needs to be assessed. They will be assessed according to two uncertainty parameters
- how much technical and execution uncertainty one sees
- how much market and organizational uncertainty one sees
If yo map these on two axis – technical on the vertical axis and market on the horizontal axis, you can plot the categories your projects fit into as an “opportunity portfolio”.
The first category is low risk from both market and technical uncertainty perspectives — this is your core business. In this category go projects that serve today’s customers using today’s business competences.
here is the most important idea – the purpose of the core activities is to generate enough revenue so that you can pursue growth goals. If you core is not working well, your priotiy number 1 is to fix it.
We will move on from core activities in this chart next!