Innovation Management to Future-Proof Your Enterprise

Innovation is now a top priority for the majority of business leaders. However, deciding which approach will deliver the best ROI is not always easy. Using an innovation management solution can take the guess work out of this process. It can enable you to leverage the “wisdom of crowds” in order to identify, develop, and implement the most valuable ideas for your organization.

Learning from the Best

To get the most out of your innovation endeavors, it’s important to have a firm understanding of the methodologies your implementing, how they developed over time, and what problems they are best suited for solving. To this end, we’ve created dedicated methodology pages to equip you with the contextual knowledge you’ll need to take your innovation initiative to a whole new level.  

Defining Innovation Management

Innovation management is the systematic process of organizing innovative practices throughout your enterprise. When leveraged effectively (particularly via the use of innovation management software), it can give rise to a creative culture where breakthrough ideas are generated on a continuing basis. It can also ensure complex, large-scale innovation objectives are broken down into manageable goals that various participant groups can focus on.

The History of Innovation Management

The seeds of innovation management as a practice were sown by acclaimed Austrian economist Joseph Schumpeter. During the 1930s, Schumpeter coined the term ‘creative destruction’ to refer to industrial forces revolutionizing economic structures from within (a concept that would later inform the idea of ‘disruptive innovation’).

During the 1960s, business researchers began to build upon Schumpeter’s theories when analyzing the innovative behaviours of corporations. It was quickly discovered that companies within traditional and stable industries had a much more relaxed view towards innovation than those in relatively new industries (electronics, car manufacturing, etc). During this period, innovation was also mainly confined to the R&D departments of large-scale companies. The fact that only major companies could afford to sustain R&D departments dedicated to innovation also created barriers for competitive entry among smaller businesses.

This trend was blown wide open during the 1990s, with the emergence of the internet bringing with it revolutionary online opportunities for innovation management. Firms could now reach out to vast audiences and gain their feedback with unprecedented ease. The fact that software could now be scaled at a much higher speed than traditional industries also meant that innovative startups could gain a competitive edge. To withstand disruption, and keep to the pace of the digital revolution, traditional companies increasingly invested in digital ways to capture creative ideas and streamline internal innovation processes. Companies that failed to appreciate the fruits of digital innovation (such as Sears and Xerox) met with disaster, losing billions of dollars in revenue.

Today, the maxim ‘innovate or die’ rings truer than ever on the corporate landscape. The ‘creative destruction’ prophesied by Schumpeter continues to manifest itself within companies who are self-disrupting in order to meet new challenges and consumer demands. As a result, the innovation management solution market – comprised of companies offering tools and services to assist companies reach their innovation potential – has grown exponentially. Market Future Research forecasts that by 2023, the innovation management market will be worth approximately 1,700 Million USD globally. This is testament to the increasing importance of using innovation management software. 

With new technologies and business opportunities emerging at breakneck speed, the evolution of innovation management looks set to become increasingly dynamic in the decades to come. 

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Innovation Management Pioneers

  • Joseph Schumpeter (b.1883) – an acclaimed Austrian political economist whose study of ‘creative disruption’ within industries helped lay the foundations for innovation management as a practice.
  • Arthur H Cole (b.1889) – an American economic historian who used Schumpeter’s theories of ‘creative disruption’ to inform his study of entrepreneurial change. Cole is credited for helping to further the study and codification of corporate innovation processes.

  • Clayton Christensen (b.1952) – who wrote the seminal book ‘The Innovator’s Dilemma’ in the 1990s to explore the friction between incremental and disruptive innovation approaches.
  • Soren Kaplan (b.1968) – whose works have had a major impact on the development of corporate innovation culture.
  • Eric Ries (b.1978) – the acclaimed business author whose works explore how lean startup companies focus on continuous innovation to drive success.

Methodologies & Approaches

There are a variety of ways that companies can manage and upscale innovation on a company-wide basis. In general, however, most of these approaches fall into two broad categories – incremental and disruptive:

Incremental Innovation

This approach involves making consistent improvements to an existing product or service over time. It could involve reducing costs, adding new features, as well as implementing ways to make the product or service more accessible to customers. Incremental innovation can be most readily seen in software updates, where new versions offer features that build upon the old as a result of consumer demands.

Disruptive Innovation

Disruptive innovations are those that involve making bolder changes that carry more risk but also the possibility of more lucrative returns. Due to the high risks involved, larger-scale enterprises often neglect disruptive innovation – leaving themselves vulnerable to smaller startups who are able to specialize in disruptive features. Despite the higher level of uncertainty associated with disruptive innovation, it is sometimes necessary in order to secure the long-term viability of a company. A great example of self-disrupting innovation in action can be seen in Philip Morris International – one of the world’s largest cigarette producers that is investing heavily in innovation to create a smoke-free future for the company.

The importance of one of these categories will likely supersede the other, depending on the nature of your industry. However, it’s important to give due consideration to each to optimize innovation management efforts at all levels of your company. It should be noted that a sophisticated innovation management solution – such as that offered by Qmarkets – can facilitate each of these approaches.

The primary innovation approaches include:

  • Integrative Approach: Focuses on how innovation can be best accommodated within an organization’s existing structure.


  • Emergent Approach: Entails researching burgeoning trends and new technologies to pinpoint innovation opportunities.


  • Customer-Centric Approach: Involves seeking out the input of customers and other external stakeholders to inform innovation.


  • The Active Approach: Emphasizes safeguarding existing technologies and markets with incremental innovation, whilst simultaneously creating the capacity to innovate rapidly to accommodate new low-risk opportunities.


  • The Self-Disrupting Approach: Involves focusing innovation efforts upon changing the fundamental components of a business model in anticipation of large-scale market disruption.

Key Benefits of Innovation Management

Cultivating a pervasive culture of innovation to deliver ongoing repeatable results

Breaking down organizational silos through effective digital collaboration

Effectively engaging internal & external stakeholders, with your strategic challenges

Overcoming top-down bureaucratic barriers to successful innovation management

What The Experts Say...

"Senior executives almost unanimously (94%) say that people and corporate culture are the most important drivers of innovation."

“Organizations must actively mine and manage the collective wisdom and experiences in the firm’s ecosystem to thrive in an increasingly competitive market.”

"Nothing will propel a company further than a culture of innovation: An atmosphere that inspires employees, every hour they're at work, to seek out innovative opportunities."

"In many organizations, there is an explicit goal of innovating in a way that is culturally inclusive to engage employees as well as benefit from their collective brainpower."

Achieve Your Strategic Business Goals
With Corporate Innovation Management

Innovate or die is a mantra that is more relevant today than ever before. However, the larger your organisation, the more difficult it can be to consistently drive innovation at scale. In order to maximize ROI, you’ll need a system in place that engages employees and external stakeholders, encouraging them to collaborate and generate ground-breaking new ideas. Once these ideas have been gathered, it’s just as important to have a means of monitoring them and measuring their effectiveness.

This is why an innovation management solution is invaluable for enterprises facing market disruption. An overarching strategy, coupled with the right innovation management software for implementing it, will enable your enterprise to run strategic ideation campaigns that can engage participants and target business objectives. It will also allow you to generate the key metrics required to discern which new strategy, product, or idea will deliver bottom-line value. This means more innovation with less uncertainty.

New Product & Service Development

Employ a design thinking framework through crowdsourcing to identify innovative suggestions for new products or services.

Incremental Innovation

Generate ongoing accumulative benefit for your organization by embedding your innovation management solution into your company culture through a digital ecosystem.


Disruptive Innovation

Brainstorm to discover new markets, technologies, products or services which can facilitate change management at your company.

Open Innovation Management

Engage customers and other external stakeholders by inviting them to participate in digital co-creation engagements.


Leading Global Enterprises Innovate with Qmarkets!

Your Q-360 Suite of Collective Intelligence Solutions

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Resounding Accolades

Discover why Qmarkets is consistently recognized by leading analysts as a multi-award winning solution.

Read G2's 2019 Fall Grid Report for Idea Management Software

Read Gartner’s 2016 Market Guide for Innovation Management Solutions

Read Forrester Wave™: Innovation Management Solutions, 2016

Read MWD Advisors' report on Qmarkets’ packaged approach to innovation, 2018

Read the Info-Tech vendor landscape “Innovation Management Solutions” report

Business Innovation Brief

Get Your Free Copy of the Fall 2019 G2 Idea Management Report!

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