Pushing the boundaries – Prologue

There are two distinct boundaries in the innovation landscape I have described in previous post (see the initial chart and the rules and tools). One boundary separates the known ideas from novel ideas. The other boundary divides the landscape into the areas of unknown problems on one side and unknown or unacknowledged problems on the other. Both are boundaries between the unknown and the unknown, hence these boundaries will be pushed forward everytime of novel idea is developed or a new problem is encountered.

How then does this pushing of boundaries work across the innovation landscape? Given the distinct characters of the four quadrants, I’ll address this question in a short series of posts. For that excursion, I’ll follow a somewhat counter-intuitive itinerary, visiting the quadrants in a 2-3-1-4 sequence:

  • I’ll begin in the second quadrant (research), describing its inner workings and how its results push the boundary between known and novel ideas.
  • Next I’ll visit the third quadrant (disruptive), looking at how innovation in this quadrant pushes the boundary between the known and the unknown problems, and how that is different from innovation in the second quadrant.
  • Then I’ll turn to the first quadrant (business as usual). This is the one quadrant that is always constrained by the existing boundaries, hence it depends on innovation in the other quadrants generate novel ideas or address new problems.
  • I’ll finish the excursion in the fourth quadrant (wicked). To what extent is innovation in the second and third quadrant sufficient to push the boundaries further? Or is dedicated attention required to for this part of the innovation landscape, the most challenging of all four quadrants?

But for a start, I’ll look into the second quadrant: How does research push the boundaries in the innovation landscape? That’s the focus of the upcoming post.

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