New Knowledge

Many believe that innovation is all about the discovery and application of new knowledge.

For all the visibility, glamour, and importance of science-based innovation, Peter Drucker, however, believed new knowledge is actually the least reliable and least predictable factor for innovation.

Knowledge-based innovation also has the longest lead-time of any innovation.

Another potential complication to watch out for is the incoming competition, as the introduction of innovation creates excitement and attracts a host of competitors.

Drucker used the example of Apple and personal computer.

Apple first brought the personal computer to the mass market. Later, IBM was able to wrest market leadership from Apple through creative imitation.

Apple subsequently failed to maintain its leadership position and became a niche player because it failed to predict and respond to the competition it would face.

If your organization is an inventor, rather an imitator, be sure to account for the competition that your successful invention might inspire, and plan your response accordingly.