Perspectives

Ten Types of Innovation

The discipline of building breakthroughs

​As the pace of change continues to increase, innovation is imperative for firms. Customers demand it. Competitors may outflank you if you don't achieve it. Talented employees might not join your firm if you don't deliver it. Analysts expect it. Investors reward it. And yet many people still believe in primitive myths about innovation: "It's mainly about new products and new technology"; "It's about rare strokes of inspired genius"; "There's no disciplined, consistent method that you can apply"; etc. These common assumptions are simply not true.

About the book

​In Ten Types of Innovation, the renowned innovation specialists at Doblin, the innovation practice of Monitor Deloitte within Deloitte Consulting LLP, will help you and your teams know what to do when the stakes are high, time is short, and you really need to build a breakthrough. A solution is to look beyond new products to nine other powerful types of innovation, which can be combined for competitive advantage. The book lays out fresh viewpoints and then explains the actions that can allow teams or firms to innovate reliably and repeatedly.

The Ten Types of Innovation framework emerged from applying a proprietary approach to a list of more than 2,000 successful innovations, including Amazon.com, early IBM mainframes, the Ford Model-T, and many more, to determine ten meaningful "moves" that great innovators typically make and that provide insight into innovation. Ten Types of Innovation explores these insights to diagnose patterns of innovation within industries, to identify innovation opportunities, and to evaluate how firms are performing against competitors. This framework has influenced thousands of executives and companies around the world since its discovery in 1998 and is an enduring and useful way to start thinking about business transformation. In the book, the authors detail how businesses can use these innovation principles to bring about meaningful—and sustainable—growth within their organizations.

Unlike much of the writing on innovation, this book is designed to be both thought-provoking and entirely practical. It explains how the Ten Types can be used analytically to reveal blind spots, as a lens for leaders to identify new innovation opportunities and, most importantly, as a tool that can be used to accelerate and amplify existing ideas. Complete with practical exercises and containing multiple case studies and examples, this book is for those who want to stop listening to the hype and start figuring out how to do the hard work of innovating more reliably.

Meet the authors​

Larry Keeley, director, Doblin, Deloitte Consulting LLP
Larry is a world renowned speaker, innovation consultant, and co-founder of Doblin, the innovation practice of Monitor Deloitte within Deloitte Consulting LLP. Bloomberg BusinessWeek named Keeley one of seven Innovation Gurus who are changing the field and cited Doblin for having many of the most sophisticated tools for delivering innovation effectiveness. Larry teaches innovation strategy at Illinois Institute of Technology's Institute of Design in Chicago, the first design school in the U.S. with a Ph.D. program and at Kellogg Graduate School of Management.

Ryan Pikkel, specialist master, Doblin, Deloitte Consulting LLP
Ryan is a design strategist at Doblin, the innovation practice of Monitor Deloitte within Deloitte Consulting LLP. He is responsible for guiding clients and teams through innovation programs to articulate and develop approaches that can benefit both the client and the end user. In addition, Ryan makes significant contributions to developing Doblin's own tools and processes—including the Ten Types of Innovation framework, the Innovation Tactics, and associated Tactics cards. Ryan is a member of adjunct faculty at the Institute of Design at IIT, where he teaches innovation tools and techniques.

Brian Quinn, senior manager, Doblin, Deloitte Consulting LLP
Brian leads client relationships and programs at Doblin, the innovation practice of Monitor Deloitte within Deloitte Consulting LLP. He collaborates with senior executives to help their organizations innovate and become better innovators. Brian also develops new perspectives and methods for Doblin innovation implementation and building innovation capabilities for clients. A sought after speaker and writer on the topic of innovation, Brian has worked with startups and Fortune 500 multi-nationals alike in sectors ranging from healthcare to CPG to heavy manufacturing.

Helen Walters, ideas editor, TED
Helen is the Ideas Editor and live blogger for TED's two annual conferences. At Doblin she worked on the Ten Types of Innovation as a writer, editor, and researcher. Previously the editor of innovation and design at BusinessWeek (and later at Bloomberg BusinessWeek), she joined the firm to help develop editorial strategy. She writes and publishes the regular blog, Thought You Should See This. And she tweets incessantly (@helenwalters).

How to order

Ten Types of Innovation is available in stores and through online retailers now. To order your copy, visit one of these online retailers:

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Chapter summaries

Part one: Innovation - A new discipline is leaving the lab
Now and then a new science emerges that radically changes how a field is conducted. This is precisely what is occurring now in the modern practice of innovation. But beware: myths are abundant and are exceptionally hard to eradicate.

Part two: Ten Types of Innovation - The building blocks of Breakthroughs
At the heart of any new discipline there often lies a simple, organizing system — an underlying structure and order governing what works and what fails. This is what the Ten Types framework brings to innovation. Consciously understanding it makes innovation easier and more effective.

Part three: More is Mightier - Mix and match innovation types for greater impact
Using more types of innovation produces more sophisticated and surprising results — and does so in ways competitors can't easily spot or copy.

Part four: Spot the Shifts - See the conditions that birth breakthroughs
Innovations that change industries can seem like they come out of nowhere. In fact, you can see the early warning signals that reveal when big changes are needed — and then seize on them.

Part five: Leading Innovation - Use better plans to build breakthroughs
Sophisticated innovations share similar components at their core. By deconstructing and distilling the work of successful innovations, the building blocks for new concepts emerge.

Part six: Fostering Innovation - Installing effective innovation inside your organization
Everyone is in favor of innovation. Yet nearly every organization conspires to kill it. Here are principles on how to build an enterprise innovation system that fosters, rewards, and delivers results.

Part seven: Appendix - Putting these principles into practice
Go beyond the book to create your own innovation revolution.

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Geoff Tuff

Doblin Practice Leader | Monitor Deloitte