December 4, 2022

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Steve Blank The Three Pillars of World-class Corporate Innovation

3 min read


has been posted By Steve Blank

my good friend Alexander Osterwalderits inventor business model Canvas (one of the cornerstones of Lean methodology) has written a playbook (with his collaborative partner Tendai Vicky,) From Innovation Theater to Growth Engine To explain how to create and implement repeatable innovation processes within a company.

Here’s their introduction along with the key concepts inside the playbook.


More than 75% of executives report that innovation is a top three priority at their company. however, Only 20% of executives Indicate that their organizations are ready to innovate at scale. This is the challenge for contemporary organizations: how to develop a world-class ecosystem that can drive repeatable innovation at scale.

The playbook describes three pillars of corporate innovation: Innovation portfolio, innovation program and culture of innovation. Under each pillar, the playbook describes three questions that leaders and teams can ask to assess whether their company has the right innovation ecosystem.

Innovation Portfolio: What is your company’s portfolio of innovation projects?

  • Are your company’s innovation efforts exploring or exploiting business modes?
  • Does your company have a balanced portfolio of projects that cover efficiency, sustainability and transformative innovation?
  • What is the health of your innovation funnel or pipeline?

Explore: Explore new value propositions and business models by designing and testing new business ideas rather than execution.

Absorption: Manage existing business models, revamp failing ones and protect successful ones by scaling emerging businesses


Innovation Program: How your company’s innovation programs are structured and managed.

  • Are your leaders excited about the wrong innovation program?
  • What results is your innovation program producing?
  • Are your company’s innovation programs interconnected in a strategic way?

To close the innovation capability gap, companies ask whether they can evaluate their innovation programsTheater of Innovation or Produce real results For organizations.

  • Value creation: Creating new products, services, value propositions and business models. These programs invest in and manage innovative projects that create value through new growth or cost savings.
  • Culture Change: Transforming the company to establish an innovation culture. This may include new processes, metrics, incentive systems or changing organizational structures. These transformations help companies innovate in a consistent and repeatable way.

Innovative culture: What are the blockers and enablers of innovation in your company?

  • How much time does your leadership spend on innovation?
  • Where does innovation reside in your organization and how much power does it have?
  • What is your kill rate for innovation projects?

To overcome the innovation capability gap, organizations need to create a culture that enables the right behaviors to produce world-class innovation results. A reliable indicator of the quality of your innovation culture is how innovation teams describe it. Is it a hegemony of a culture? A blocker of innovation or Enabling innovation?

  • Leadership Support: How corporate leaders can best influence innovation in terms of time spent, strategic direction and resource allocation.
  • Institutional Design: How to provide clear policies for innovation legitimacy and capacity, the right incentives and collaboration with core businesses.
  • Innovation Practice: How to develop people’s innovation skills and experience and acquire the right innovation talent. How to ensure we are using the right tools, processes and metrics to test and adapt ideas to reduce risk.

lesson learned

  • Three pillars of an innovation ecosystem:
    • Innovation portfolio
    • Innovation program
    • A culture of innovation
  • Download the Osterwalder Playbook here

Filed under: Corporate/Government Innovation |





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