The 7 And A Half Sources Of Innovation

Find Innovative Ideas with the 7 Source of Innovations

The 7 Sources of Innovation help you to look systematically for innovative Ideas. It doesn't matter if you

  • want to start a new open source project
  • are searching for interesting topic for your next thesis
  • are looking for innovative business idea or
  • you want to put up an effective social project.

It neither doesn't matter, if you are looking for technical or social innovation. The point rather is to find out about demand, feasibility and timing of an innovation.

Ideas are not found by accident

To find new ideas you are normally advised to do some creativity techniques like Brainstorming or you are told to build a product for yourself. Ironically there is many advice to test you idea or business model – finding the idea in the first place is something accidental.

This approach is not systematic. It is not useful to find promising ideas for startups, open source or social projects. It is just based on the principle: Try to generate as much ideas as you can, maybe someday there will be a useful one.

The result: There are lots people out there, that say: Ideas are worthless! The only thing that counts is execution.

Good Ideas are not worthless

I would like to contradict this claim: No, good ideas are not worthless!

We need good ideas. And to find good ideas you need to know where to look.

The inventor of management, Peter Drucker, detected 7 sources of innovation:

  1. The Unexpected
  2. Incongruities
  3. Process-Need
  4. Change Of Market Or Industry
  5. Demographics
  6. Change In Perception
  7. Knowledge-Based Innovation
  8. The Bright Idea – counts only as a half source of innovation

Drucker chose the order of the sources not randomly:

  1. The risk of the sources increases.
  2. Innovation opportunities that lie in the sources 1 – 4 are easier discovered by insiders of an industry, opportunities that lie in the sources 5 – 7 easier by outsiders.

The next articles in this series will show: the different sources of innovation are not strictly separated, but overlap one another sometimes.

As a start I summarized the 7 Sources Of Innovation + the bright idea on a sheet for you to download. This way you get an overview of the 7 source of innovation. I will present the source in detail in upcoming articles.

Finally I'm curious: How do you guys find new Ideas? Where are you looking for opportunities to innovate?

7 And A Half Sources Of Innovation

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