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Seven Circles of Innovation Cheat Sheet (DRAFT) by [deleted]

Seven Circles of Innovation

This is a draft cheat sheet. It is a work in progress and is not finished yet.


A strategy design model for innovation management named the Seven Circles of Innova­tion. This model highlights the fact that achieving innovation excellence involves a series of interr­elated innovation process steps, based on sound innovation fundam­entals at the corporate level and closely linked to the customer and market – all stressing the fact that achieving innovation excellence is not a question of focusing on innovation as a product, but as a process requiring an optimized corporate structure

Phase 1 – Idea generation

External surrou­ndings are system­ati­cally scanned for ideas (e.g. via the internet, networks, compet­itors, other trades, etc.). There are clear objectives and criteria for idea genera­tion, as well as formal procedures and systems for filtering ideas

Phase 2 – Evaluation and planning

A prelim­inary business case is formulated (strategy, market, technology and compet­enc­ies), as well as early planning for the entire innovation project (including formul­ating milest­ones, risk assess­ment, formulated measures for the innovation project, resource alloca­tion).

Phase 3 – Testin­g/p­rot­otyping

Innova­tions are always tested by means of protot­ypes, test runs, scenarios, etc., and simulation can result in rejection of an innovation or its iteration in the IMM process

Phase 4 – Business planning

An innovation project’s alignment with the company strategy is checked, and all functional areas (produ­ction, HR, sales/­mar­keting, etc.) are included in the business planning. Objective criteria are combined with strategic consid­eration for funding innovation projects intern­ally, co-funding them with external partners or funding them completely extern­ally. Also, objective criteria are combined with the strategic consid­era­tions relating to the implem­ent­ation model, such as external or internal venturing or the establ­ishment of an internal project team.

The Five Circle of Innovation

Phase 5 – Implem­ent­ation

Clear and structured procedures exist for the transition from the innovation phase to daily operation. There also exists a formal procedure with objective criteria for the final decision to invest, which considers factors such as finance, market, technology or a combin­ation thereof. The final respon­sib­ility for the approval of the business plan/i­mpl­eme­ntation plan is clearly fixed.