• Contact
  • cxdesk Help
Innovation to Drive Business Outcomes
Innovation On

Prioritize Innovation to Drive Business Outcomes Amid Uncertainty

Being Future Prepared is a Common Motive for
Innovation Initiative

68% Percent of corporate business leaders say they will "increase their funding of digital innovation" as a major tactic to sustain growth in the uncertain macro environment.

Priorities for Innovation Initiative

Scale: 1 = Not at all important to 7 = Extremely important

Innovation Initiative Chart
n varies; IT and Business Leaders with Innovation Responsibilities, excluding unsure/ not applicable
Q02: How important are each of the following priorities for your organization's innovation initiative?
Source: 2022 Gartner Justifying and Funding Innovation Survey

What is Innovation?

Innovation is the execution of new ideas that generate value

  • Enables businesses to filter signals from noise and explore novel ideas
  • Outcome that generates business value
  • The importance of implementing ("execution")

"Our current belief is that companies should create a separate division that operates under the protection of senior leadership to explore and exploit a new disruptive model."

Clayton M. Christensen et. al. — HBR — "Disruptive innovation"

Is innovation lab the right thing to do?

  • "Sanity Check"
  • Is the desired goal achievable in the innovation lab only
  • Is the lab the best tool for the job at the time?
  • Is the lab essential or critical to the future of the enterprise?

Key Issues

Whydoing it — defining the dream
Howto make the lab "work"
Whatare major pitfalls to avoid

Innovation Lab Operating Model

Innovation Lab Operating Model

Determine Key Goals of an Innovation Lab

  • Improved Existing Revenue
  • Improve Operating Margin
  • Improve Workforce Productivity
  • Enhance Customer Experience
  • Increase Asset Utilization
  • Sell Existing Digital Assets
  • Digitize Product or Service
  • Sell Metered Revenue
  • Run a Platform Business
  • Move into New/Adjacent Industry
Key Goals
  • Improve Branding
  • Societal Goals
  • Mitigate Strategic Risk
  • Talent Attraction and Retention

Supportive Goals of the Innovation Lab

Supportive Goals

Key Issues

Whydoing it — defining the dream
Howto make the lab "work"
Whatare major pitfalls to avoid

Combine the 9 Buildings Blocks of
an Innovation Lab

9 Building Blocks of Innovation Lab

Buildings Blocks of Innovation Lab
Operating Model



  • Estimate base budget to build and operate
  • Venture fund and disburse ideas in parts
  • Develop separate business cases to scale

Decision Rights

  • Adapt different styles of governance based on the requirements
  • Venture fund and disburse ideas in parts
  • Develop separate business cases to scale


  • Create a combination of leading indicators and supporting indicators
  • Venture fund and disburse ideas in parts
  • Balance timeliness and relevance by combining metrics on input, process, and output

Case Studies of Professional Services Provider


Professional Services

You need to have a degree of trust in the innovation leaders. Set some very strong KPIs at a board level, and let the innovation leaders loose to innovate. Innovation normally is about the unknown, so you need to incentivize problem - solving (especially for failures) in your metrics while recognizing positive contributions to revenue, quality and customer satisfaction.

- Head of Innovation Group, Professional Services, Switzerland



  • Acquire skills such as design thinking, business acumen, subject matter experts, technical skills, and good communicators
  • Leverage creative and adaptable innovators

Org Structure

  • The innovation director should be an enabler and champion of innovation
  • Start with getting executive buy-in, build a core and extended staff, which is multidisciplinary teams

Sourcing and Alliances

  • Prepare a clear value proposition for innovation partners that consists of funding, technology and expectation from the partner
  • Create a relationship manager role to coordinate engagements

Case Studies of Insurance Company Provider

Sourcing & Alliances

Insurance Company Provider

What worked well was we had a statement of work which was written out to clarify the terms of partnership agreement. It described what we brought and what they were bringing to the table so the expectations were pretty clear. It worked very well because each team knew what they were contributing to the project.

- Associate VP of innovation and strategy, financial services company, U.S. insurance productizer


Ways of Working

  • Follow principle of minimum viability without compromising the quality
  • Enable innovation through creativity, agility, and design thinking


  • Focus on minimum requirements for testing the technology use cases
  • Maintain a technology tools repository that should be re-utilised


  • Determine the need a physical, hybrid or virtual innovation lab based on the lab's goals
  • Select location based on talent access and experimental

Case Studies of Maersk Drilling

Ways of Working
Maersk Drilling logo

"It's important to get an outreach in academia, in startup and tech communities," says Maersk Drilling chief commercial and innovation officer Morten Kelstrup. "We needed an alternative to the traditional approach, and we needed access to people and organizations that are used to working in different ways.".

Key Issues

Whydoing it — defining the dream
Howto make the lab "work"
Whatare major pitfalls to avoid

Common Innovation Lab Challenges and Solutions

Fail to understand  the key reason for investing in an innovation lab
  • Justify the key reason for investing in innovation
  • Define quantified, time-bound and detailed goals
Fail in implementation and struggle to move  beyond prototypes
  • Get business buying and focus on three elements ownership, behavior, and process
Getting employee engagement or time utilization for innovation
Employee Engagement
  • Involve HR and management and have allocated time
  • Blocked time for innovation rather than time in parts everyday
"Disruption", innovation labs etc. are not universally agreed terms
Call to action:
Ensure everyone understands what investment in innovation look like and the road ahead
To increase the chances for successful innovation, reduce the friction in the operating model
Call to action:
Leverage an interdependent modular approach to create an operating model
Innovation and disruption is hard — failure rates are high
Call to action:
Set clear expectations — and be prepared to deal with setbacks