I guess that understanding an innovation ecosystem can be equated to understanding a business landscape. The challenge is however that “landscaping” can only be done if the boundaries are drawn widely, and kept open enough, to ensure that tunnel vision does not occur. I’ve been working on a construct to visually represent some of the key dimensions in describing innovation related concepts. NOTE that I’m only focusing on the [internal] dimensions of the company in this section. So, this is it:

Firstly, we need to understand the context within which we operate. This context is set largely by the “BIG IDEA” or overriding business idea that needs to be explored, developed or even re-invented. An example is that the big idea for a camera company is “the ability record, and reproduce memories”.
Secondly, an understanding of some of the capabilities in the “entity” is needed. These capabilities will lead any innovation initiatives and assist with prioritizing cultural development programs. A process innovation focus will depend on a [will] and need to execute better, product innovation depends on the ability to understand unwanted market needs, etc. But, the future is in understanding OFFERING innovation. I will devote some posts in the future to this concept.
And lastly, understanding the ability to absorb CHANGE will make or break any initiative. Pursuing an innovation strategy that will result in a complete business rethink can be seen as Radical Innovation. Disruptive Innovation is the ability to disrupt either/or capabilities and offering. The story is not complete unless you have active Incremental Innovation initiatives.

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