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December 1, 2023, vizologi

What is the 70 20 10 rule of innovation?

In the fierce and fast-paced business environment, it is incumbent upon companies to perpetually churn out innovative ideas and strategies to maintain their edge. A crucial strategy in this respect is the 70-20-10 rule of innovation which has been instrumental in distinguishing companies from their competition.

This prescriptive guideline proposes that an organization should apportion its resources accordingly: allocating 70% to fueling its core business activities, 20% to supporting initiatives that are directly related to the core business and the remaining 10% to pioneering schemes that break new ground. When this rule is rightly put into action, it enables organizations to attain a harmonious equilibrium between maintaining operational consistency and exploring growth opportunities while simultaneously fostering a culture that is conducive to innovation.

Understanding the 70-20-10 rule of innovation

Definition of the 70-20-10 rule

The 70-20-10 rule can be defined as a recognized framework that helps stimulate creativity and innovation in corporations. According to this rule, companies should devote 70% of their resources to existing operations, 20% to greenfield ventures or new projects, and 10% to high-risk but high-return investments. Companies like Google have leveraged this model effectively to distribute resources across numerous initiatives which has significantly contributed to their overarching corporate growth.

Although the specific ratios may vary from one organization to another, the fundamental principle of the rule stays the same. There’s evidence to support that companies adhering to this rule tend to outperform their rivals by managing projects in a more disciplined and efficient manner and by fostering a culture that encourages innovation throughout the company.

The model however isn’t without its drawbacks such as the varying skill levels and organizational structures that differ across different companies, but still it provides a tangible structure for managing innovation effectively.

The functionality of the 70-20-10 rule in real-life scenarios

There are numerous corporate giants such as Google who have successfully put the 70-20-10 model into practice, dedicating 70% of their resources to maintain the core business operations, 20% to explore new ventures, and 10% to conceptualize completely novel ideas. While the exact ratios can vary, the approach of allocating resources across three tiers of investments: ‘core’, ‘adjacent’, and ‘transformational’, proves to be beneficial to any organization.

Empirical evidence indicates that such astrategic allocation of resources helps minimize risk and amplify predictability, thus establishing a heightened competitive edge.

Pros of implementing the 70-20-10 rule

Implementing the 70-20-10 rule of innovation ushers in a multitude of benefits. For starters, it leads to the standardization of innovation, offering a structured approach to managing various projects thereby optimizing resource utilization. It helps instill a culture of creativity and emphasizes its criticality across the organization. By adopting this ratio as a guiding principle, companies can strike a balance between short-term profitability and the creation of long-term value.

Despite the challenges associated with determining the perfect allocation ratio, the model provides a proven and pragmatic framework for innovation management.

Implementing the 70-20-10 rule: a beginner’s guide

Challenges encountered while applying the 70-20-10 model

Despite its manifold benefits, applying the 70-20-10 model can prove to be challenging. Various factors including the industry type, available resources, and strategic objectives play a significant role in defining the suitable ratio. Moreover, the model does not provide explicit instructions on resource management, and mainly serves as an overarching strategy framework.

Additionally, managing risks effectively and monitoring the entire lifecycle of the innovation is of critical importance. Nonetheless, in spite of these challenges, the model has demonstrated its effectiveness in championing innovation and in the methodical distribution of resources across various growth areas in the wider organization.

Does the 70-20-10 rule relate to leadership and innovation?

While the 70-20-10 rule primarily focuses on the allocation of resources, it also assumes importance in leadership and fostering innovation. Companies such as Google are testament to the fact that this model can be a driving force in stimulating innovation within an organization. The guideline advocates for the distribution of resources across a range of initiatives. An array of companies have underscored that adherence to this principle often leads to superior performance.

It not only aids in the effective management of various projects but also facilitates an organization to prioritize immediate profitability along with value creation in the long-term. Despite the presence of certain challenges and obstacles, the model nonetheless provides a reliable and robust roadmap for innovation management.

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