Traversing different horizons for transformative innovation

Irrespective of the organization, we all struggle with transformational innovation. So often we are simply comfortable in our ‘business as usual’. We gear performance to the short-term, we put the emphasis on the current fiscal year, and we support the core business in numerous ways, usually with lots and lots of incremental innovation, so the results are realizable in this year.

We are sometimes comfortable or confident enough to move into adjacent areas, to expand and feed off the core but these are less than transformational in most cases. This space is the one we are the most comfortable to work within, this is the horizon one of the three horizon model approach outlined to manage innovation across a more balanced portfolio of investment.

In summary, the three horizon model for innovation is actually a reasonably simple idea: with Horizon One (h1) being the current business focus, Horizon Two (h2) being more the related emerging business opportunities and Horizon Three (h3) being those that are moving towards a completely new business that can have the potential to disrupt the existing one.

The complexity lies underneath this simple idea, you need to manage these different horizons with completely different mindsets. You need clear well-structured ways to extract the real return from managing a comprehensive innovation portfolio based on knowledge, experience, intelligence but exploring plenty of the unknowns about the future and openness to get you there, as ready as you can be . Its necessary today.

The seeds of destruction lie in horizon one

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The Navigation of the Three Horizon Framework- An Emerging Guide.

I have planned to explore in three simultaneous blogs, a trilogy of blogs, the three horizon model more extensively. It is a most valuable one to build into your thinking about strategy and innovation.

This is the final blog of the trilogy on the Three Horizon Framework and offers my thinking on an emerging framing to help in navigating through this.

The need is to define your different horizons.

Firstly time is relative; relative to your industry, your situation, your changing circumstances, your customers. They can often compress into one but the likelihood is that you can separate out each horizon for its value and time.

The Value-Time within the Three Horizons

An emerging framework to help navigate across the different horizons.

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Connecting the Future Across Three Horizons combining Strategy and Innovation

This is part two of three blogs on the Three Horizon Framework and follows my one called “The value of managing innovation across the three horizons.” It further adds to the initial blog I wrote last year, called “the three horizon approach to innovation (http://bit.ly/ck8KfN). That blog gave a short introduction to the three horizon approach arguing we should take a more evolutionary perspective across the entire innovation business portfolio by using this model.

Going beyond that initial introduction in a trilogy of blogs, I plan to explore in this one, the second of these three simultaneous blogs, much of the thinking behind the Three Horizon model.

The Innovation Clustering within the different Horizons

I’ve drawn on different articles and views and acknowledgement to these authors is at the end of the third blog. I’ve added my interpretation to a number of visuals that significantly help understand the value of the Three Horizons in aligning innovation and strategy as it connects the present with the future in a useful way.

The future never stays the same

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The Value of Managing Innovation across the Three Horizons

I wrote a blog last year called “the three horizon approach to innovation (http://bit.ly/ck8KfN). That gave a short introduction to the three horizon approach arguing we should take a more evolutionary perspective across the entire innovation business portfolio by using this model.

Going beyond that initial introduction- a trilogy of blogs

I plan to explore in three simultaneous blogs the three horizon model more extensively, this is the first of the blogs. Part two is here and part three here

The three horizon framework is valuable to build into your thinking about strategy and innovation.  It places emphasis on where to tackle the different approaches to innovation (incremental, disruptive and radical) and place these within their different timing frames that are often need to manage these successfully across their development cycle. The three horizon framework also allows for greater organizational participation on taking out ‘future thinking’ with different mindsets to visualize a variety of challenges in these various horizons and that has a huge value to work through and frame the activity and resources they will need over different time periods. Continue reading

The Three Horizon Approach to Innovation

Thinking through the management of innovation have you ever considered the Three Horizons approach?  It is likely through this approach business leaders can adopt an evolutionary perspective across the entire innovation business portfolio.

If you are using a three horizons type approach to innovation, it becomes clear that you need to continue investing in innovative activities across all three time horizons, even if you’re in the middle of a present day crisis. To do this effectively, you need to have some idea of where you’re heading in the future, and that’s why I think it’s a useful tool for linking innovation to strategy.

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