Choosing where to direct your innovation, and what you hope to accomplish, is one of the most vital parts of your innovation strategy.

When thinking about how you’re executing on innovation, how you’re managing innovation, and overall thinking strategically about innovation, you need to understand where you’re pointing your innovation strategy.

This leads us to the innovation thesis. Similar to an investment thesis, it’s your thought as an organization of where you think the world is headed and how you plan on taking advantage of those trends and strategies. It’s aligned with the overall strategy of your organization, but may be ahead of where you currently are and can help inform future strategy.

Some good examples of innovation theses are:

  • An insurance company who believes the future is in understanding big data, and therefore plan to do innovations around the internet of things and other types of mobility data.
  • A health insurance client we worked with who said the key to their future was keeping physicians independent. Therefore their innovation thesis would be something like “Independent physicians are the best route to achieving lower cost of care, higher quality of care, and higher patient satisfaction.”
  • Ford Mobility, who have laid out their initiatives around accelerating innovation and connectivity in mobility and autonomous vehicles.

Innovation theses help you understand which bets to take, and which bets might lay outside, providing some guidance of where you’re pointing your innovation initiatives. An innovation thesis shouldn’t be static, however – it should be something that you’re revising frequently.

As you work on projects, collaborations, and partnerships you start to gain more information on your thesis. Based on what you’ve learned, you can continuously adjust it to make it more effective.