Structure Innovation Checkup

Type of record:
  • Strategy method
  • Micro method
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Ideal innovation phases for this method:
  1. Innovation Phase
  2. 1
  3. 2
  4. 3
  5. 4
  6. 5
  7. 6
  8. 7
  9. 8
  10. 9
  11. 10


The Structure Innovation Checkup is a tool and part of the Ten Types Of Innovation Macro Method (also described here). The third of the Ten Types Of Innovation describes innovative organizational structures of a company - personnel, material or immaterial.

Distinctive and innovative structures create value - from outstanding talent management to a sophisticated combination of heavy machinery. Even fixed costs and tasks can be improved by structural innovations. This includes areas such as human resources, research and development and IT. Ideally, such a structure attracts outstanding talent as potential employees - through a perfect working environment and a performance level unmatched by competitors.

For example, good innovative structures are characterized by a functioning incentive system that motivates employees to work towards a set goal, by standardization that reduces costs and breaks down complexities, and by in-house training to ensure continuous education.

Structural innovations in particular are difficult for competitors to copy, because they always contain their own peculiarities, which are perfectly tailored to the organisation in question, and combined with the necessary and made investments offer an advantage for years to come.

Successful structural innovations in practice:
- Whole Foods Market: Teams are the central value at Whole Foods. The company is characterised by an extreme form of decentralisation: Each location independently determines the hiring of employees, purchasing, warehousing and presentation of goods.
- Southwest Airlines: Before Southwest bought the low-cost carrier AirTran, the American airline flew exclusively the Boing 737 model aircraft, standardizing and reducing the cost of all processes for individual flights, loads and downtimes.
- Trinity Health: The clinics in the Trinity Health network have a sophisticated IT infrastructure. It offers physicians and nursing staff unrestricted spatial access to patient data, serves quality assurance and is even used for telemedicine to provide medical advice to patients in remote rural regions.
  • Effective for highly complex challenges
  • Effective for incremental innovations and improvements
  • Effective for medium complex challenges
  • Effective for new business models
  • Effective for process innovations
  • Effective for radical innovations
  • Effective for social innovations
  • P1 Understanding (identify innovation fields - problem solving)
  • P2 Analysis (problems - challenges - environment - people - products)
  • P3 Observe (people - environment - product use)
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