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Innovation Tools

As someone working or studying in the field of innovation, you probably already know that there exists a wealth of tools and techniques to help you find your way through the innovation maze.


The 4Ps Innovation Compass

A tool for exploring innovation space.


5 Whys

A tool for stripping away an apparent problem to get through to the root problem.

Image by Dragos Gontariu

6 Is  - Six mindsets for innovation

A framework for developing individual and organizational capability for innovation


Absorptive Capacity Audit

A tool for exploring where strengths and weaknesses in absorptive capacity lie.

Magnifying Glass

Abstract-driven Search

A tool for reframing a problem.


Accelerating Diffusion

This tool is designed to help understand the ways in which innovations diffuse across a population – and how to use this knowledge to accelerate the process.


ADL Matrix

ADL Matrix groups technological knowledge into four key groups – base, key, emerging and pacing.

Image by Christin Hume

Agile innovation and lean start-up

Various tools connected to the ‘lean’ approach to innovation.



A tool to help in creative problem solving.


Attribute Listing

This is a powerful technique for creating new concepts for products, services or processes.



Benchmarking is the general name given to a range of techniques which involve comparisons between two examples of the same process so as to provide opportunities for learning.


Blue Ocean Strategy

A technique for exploring innovation space.

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Boston Matrix

 A tool to help analyse potential routes forward and discuss strategic options.


Brainstorming – Mind Mapping

A tool for the rapid pooling of all and any ideas that a group of people can come up with before any discussion or judgement takes place.

Image by Marc Sendra Martorell

Bubble Charts

A tool for exploring innovation strategy.

Business Meeting

Business Case Tool

Whether it is pitching a new idea for a start-up business or making a proposal for funding within a larger organization the business case is a key component of any innovation project. 

Image by Giorgio Trovato

Business Excellence Model

A useful framework to guide and monitor organisation-wide systems for continuous improvement.

Business Meeting

Business Model Canvas

A tool for creating adaptable business plans.


Change Management

A tool for categorising various types of concerns about change management, and how to remedy them.



A checklist is simply a list of factors which are considered important in making a decision in a specific case. These criteria include technical and commercial details, legal and financial factors, company targets and company strategy.

Bill Check


A Checksheet is a tool for recording and organising data. In a continuous improvement programme it is used to find problem issues by tracking their occurrence as a first step towards solving them.

Planning Travels

Competency Mapping

A tool for mapping the knowledge base of an organisation.

Tug of War

Competitiveness Profiling

A powerful tool for picking up signals for innovation involves creating a simple profile of how your products and processes match up to what the market wants and what your best competitors can offer. The step-by-step process is well suited to discussion in groups and provides a powerful way of building a shared awareness of the strategic challenges facing the firm.

Cute Girl

Conjoint Analysis

A well established, powerful marketing research technique for gaining information for new product development, market share forecasting, market segmentation and pricing decisions.

Bamboo Ladder

Continuous improvement

A suite of tools which are widely used to help enable a process of continuous incremental innovation - sometimes called 'kaizen'.   These are particularly associated with quality improvement and form as essential part of the lean thinking approach

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Customer journey mapping

An approach to help explore what customers/users value and look for in your product or service offering.  Can help in value proposition design

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