10 Innovation Frameworks to Maximize your Business Results

Apr 19, 2021

Innovation frameworks help you to formulate and implement strategies, ideas, processes, and business models faster and more effectively than your competition. They free up mental inertia and allow you to reach your business goals in record time and with optimal results. Companies such as IBM, Boeing, Hewlett-Packard, General Electric, and Motorola swear by these types of methodologies, and these frameworks can enable unexpectedly positive results in your business.


There are many innovation frameworks, but learning more about the following ten frameworks will likely jumpstart your ability to initiate breakthrough innovation in the shortest amount of time.


Five Levels of Solutions

The Five Levels of Solutions framework helps to gauge the innovativeness of a solution. The classifications in this framework help to judge how significant an innovation is and identify what level of innovativeness we would need to solve certain problems.

Five Levels of Solutions


Ideality and System Evolution

The Trend of Increasing Ideality states that over time, technical systems develop towards increased ideality.

Ideality (the value of the system) will increase if functionality increases. Likewise, Ideality will also increase if the cost and harmful effects (expense) decrease.


It’s helpful to summarize Ideality with the following equation:

Ideality Equation

The ideal system is one in which functionality is infinite, and the cost factors are zero.


Nine Windows

Nine Windows

The Nine Windows diagram allows you to view the past, present, and future conditions of a system through three perspectives: system, subsystem, and supersystem. Systems contain subsystem components and are part of a supersystem (external components the system interacts with).

  • System: a concept created to perform one or more functions.
  • Subsystem: a component or parts of a system
  • Supersystem: the external environment and components with which a system interacts (or can interact)


Anti-Systems and Reverse Assumptions

Anti-system is a tool for releasing mental inertia by considering the anti-function or anti-action of a system, component, etc. Sometimes, people use the anti-system with the Nine-Windows framework.


The Reversal Assumption technique encourages you to alter an aspect of the problem or your assumptions about it. By reversing your assumptions and creating mirror image perspectives of them, you can generate new ways of approaching challenges and issues. This technique is one of the fastest ways to provoke unconventional thinking patterns and get counter-intuitive ideas.


S-Curve Pattern of Innovation

S-Curve Pattern of Innovation

If you consider the evolution of a function over time, you may observe S-curves that represent different systems delivering the same function. Each system delivers the same function, but different scientific principles deliver that function more effectively with each system iteration.


For instance, the function of audio recording was first delivered by mechanical processes, then by electromagnetic processes, and then by photoelectric processes. Each of these technologies is represented by a relevant S-curve and evolves until it meets a barrier established by its underlying principle.



Biomimicry - Life's Principles

Biomimicry is an approach to innovation that seeks sustainable solutions to human challenges by emulating nature’s time-tested patterns and strategies. The core idea is that nature has already solved many of the problems we are struggling to solve. Animals, plants, and microbes are the consummate engineers. After billions of years of evolution and optimization techniques, what surrounds us is the secret to survival.


10X Goals

10X Goals - Table

10x Thinking involves imagining a concept such as product, service, function, or goal and producing an offering that is ten times more effective or faster. To achieve this, contemplate the technologies, resources, and processes that can make this possible. This approach often results in revamping concepts from the ground up and avoiding practices traditionally associated with those concepts.


Attribute Listing and Optimization
Attribute Listing and Optimization

Attribute Listing and Optimization helps you find and create new products, services, and strategies. It involves drawing a table of attributes and sub-attributes so that you can choose the ones that lead to the best combinations.


Jobs To Be Done

Jobs To Be Done - Functional, Emotional, & Social

The basic premise of the Jobs to be Done framework is that people do not just buy products and services because of their features or other attributes. Customers hire products and services to get a job done. Hence, when customers have a job that they want to accomplish, they will look for the most convenient, effective, and least price-intensive solution to get it done.


There are three basic types of jobs:

  1. Functional Jobs – the core tasks that customers want to get done
  2. Emotional Jobs – how customers want to feel or avoid feeling as a result of executing the core functional job
  3. Social Jobs – how customers want to be perceived by others


Blue Ocean Strategy

Blue Ocean Strategy - Six Paths Framework

The Blue Ocean Strategy encourages companies to reach beyond existing demand to unlock a new mass of customers that did not exist before.


The Blue Ocean Strategy involves of the following principles

  • Borrow elements from adjacent and alternative industries
  • Offer products with different levels of performance and price
  • Strategically choose industry attributes to take far above industry standards (changing market boundaries)
  • Alter your product to appeal to noncustomers who generally wouldn’t consider your product
  • Resolve buyer roadblocks to open up new market opportunities and value propositions



  1. trizjournal (2007) The 5 levels of solutions explained. Available at: https://triz-journal.com/differentiating-among-the-five-levels-of-solutions/ (Accessed: 5 February 2017).
  2. Homepage – Biomimicry 3.8 (2016) Available at: https://biomimicry.net/ (Accessed: 5 February 2017).
  3. Blue ocean strategy (2005) Available at: https://www.blueoceanstrategy.com/ (Accessed: 5 February 2017).
  4. The Altshuller institute (no date) Available at: http://www.aitriz.org/triz-certification (Accessed: 5 February 2017).


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