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Systematic Innovation

Successful entrepreneurs do not wait until the “the Muse kisses them” and gives them a bright idea; they go to work.

Systematic innovation means monitoring seven sources for innovative opportunity. The first four sources lie within the enterprise, whether business or public-service institution, or within an industry or service sector. The unexpected—the unexpected success, the unexpected failure, the unexpected outside event; the incongruity—between reality as it actually is and reality as it is assumed to be or as it “ought to be”; innovation based on process need; changes in industry structure or market structure that catch everyone unawares. The second set of sources for innovative opportunity involves changes outside the enterprise or industry: demographics (population changes); changes in perception, mood, and meaning; new knowledge, both scientific and nonscientific.

The lines between these seven source areas of innovative opportunities are blurred, and there is considerable overlap between them. They can be likened to seven windows, each on a different side of the same building. Each window shows some features that can also be seen from the window on either side of it. But the view from the center of each is distinct and different.

ACTION POINT: Monitor the seven windows of innovative opportunity: the unexpected; the incongruity; process need; changes in industry structure or market structure; changes in demographics; changes in perception, mood, and meaning; and new knowledge.

Innovation and Entrepreneurship

* Source: The Daily Drucker by Peter F. Drucker

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