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Breakthrough innovation

Breakthrough innovation, also known as radical innovation, is one of the four forms of innovation derived from the problem-domain matrix. It is the result of a well-defined and well-formulated problem whose domain is still somewhat unclear, but even well-defined problems can result hard to solve.

Breakthrough innovations derive from a combination of new ideas but, what kind of combinations are likely to be more effective?

Thanks to the analysis of 17.9 million scientific papers, researchers were able to establish that impactful discoveries came from the combination of deep expertise in closely related fields with the knowledge “imported” from unlikely places (Gregg Sattel, “Mapping Innovation”). In one phrase, to solve a tough problem it is necessary to cast the net far and wide to find one exclusive piece that does not lie in a conventional domain.

To achieve such an objective, companies should encourage the creation of multidisciplinary teams with diverse and specialized expertise to work closely together. This way, a more diverse set of skills, perspectives, and experiences are brought in to meet the challenge.

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