The 4 innovation strategies

There are four main types of innovation strategies – proactive, reactive, active, and passive. Although they are more of ideal models as most companies adopt combinations of these strategies, understanding these four strategies can represent the foundation for establishing an unique strategy for your own company.

1. Proactive

The companies employing this strategy are oriented toward market research, and greatly value information. They are trend setters; they adopt or create new, radical technologies, and are the first to identify a new opportunity. They, of course, take risks and can sometimes fail in their endeavors; but they consider the risk is well worth it. There aren’t that many companies employing this strategy, but those that do are at the fore in their respective industries.

2. Reactive

These companies focus on their activities. They ‘innovate’ by learning and adapting elements from their competition. They are followers, and usually look for opportunities that do not involve risks. Although they are not the first to tap into new markets, or develop technologies, they can be nevertheless successful.

3. Active

Companies employing these strategies focus on innovation and change, and they are willing to implement it at the first sign that the new technologies are actually worth the risk. They take risks, but never too high, and they don’t bet it all on one card. They may not be trend setters, but they’re close behind. Some very successful companies use this strategy, with great results.

4.  Passive

These companies are content with the way they are currently carrying out business. They implement change when their customers demand it. It’s not a terribly effective innovation strategy if you work with people, given the level of competition, but if you mainly cater to one or two large companies this can be the perfect strategy, as innovating without knowing what your customers desire can lead to losing these clients.