Minimum Innovation Strategy Canvas

This is a more advanced version of Innovation Strategy, built on Cisco’s famous 5-point strategy – buy, build, partner, invest, develop. The MIS Canvas helps companies move away from innovation efforts that are too internally focused, and allows you to build a one-page, easy-to-understand, high-level innovation strategy.

3 Outcomes
from Using
the MIS Canvas

Craft a better innovation strategy

Built upon the proven five-step strategy developed by Cisco, the Minimum Innovation Strategy Canvas takes what is often very complex and open to misunderstandings, and simplifies it so that it is actionable and easy to understand. 

A one-page innovation strategy

Use the MIS to build a simple, easy-to-grasp one-page innovation strategy.
Building a corporate-wide innovation strategy can be complex. It does not have to be. Get everyone on the same page, using a simple framework like the Minimum Innovation Strategy Canvas.

Move from closed to open

Most companies, by default, are built around a closed approach to innovation; “Our engineers will do it”. Few companies are naturally comfortable with open innovation in practice. Mastering the Minimum Innovation Strategy, will both help, push and support companies as they move further to the right, establishing industry-leading practices in Partnerships, Co-Investments and Co-Development Programs.

A truly great Strategy Tool! Helped us shape a brand new innovation strategy.

Chief Strategy Officer

Technology Company

Use Case: Shifting Landscapes

Globally, the energy landscape is going through a seismic shift. The rise of clean energy, distributed energy production, electric vehicles and digital solutions is shifting well-established industry boundaries. A utility company is suddenly competing with Google Energy; an oil & gas company is doing strategic investments in solar, electric cars and charging infrastructure.

The landscape is shifting and everyone can use an updated innovation strategy.

Here is an example of how an expanded innovation strategy might look like for a large utility.

A starting point for many Strategy Tools

The Minimum Innovation Strategy Canvas is a starting point for many companies. It is also a starting point for many Strategy Tools. In different ways, the MIS connects into the Industry Shifts Map, Transformation Architecture, Strategy Intro, CVC Canvas, Strategic Innovation Canvas and more. Join the Strategy Tools Global Coaches or any of our Masterclasses to learn more.

How to Use it

Stick it on the walls

Working on a Minimum Innovation Strategy is new to most people.

To most people, the MIS is a fairly complex tool, covering a wide range of innovation elements. Make sure to establish Why you need an innovation strategy and what the five building blocks mean. Use plenty of examples. Use stories. Take your time. 

Print it out in a large format and stick it to the wall, make sure to  establish WHY we need an innovation strategy in the first place. 


Write on Stattys

Ask your team to write on Stattys (at least initially). Get ideas, suggestions, priorities and prototype sketches on Stattys; stick them to the MIS Canvas. Make sure to get everyone involved and engaged. A healthy innovation strategy will have a mix of safe and risky elements. We call them outlying ideas. Google calls them Moonshots. Make sure to bring in a fair share of ambitious, risky elements. Your innovation strategy will benefit from having some inspiring, stretch goals and a few aspirational Moonshots.


Structure and Discuss

Make sure there is plenty of wide discussion. Don’t let the group zoom in to the areas and topics  that are already known and comfortable. Generate many ideas before zooming in and selecting what to pursue. Once plenty of ideas and input is on the wall, take a step back, discuss, reflect, and decide on the best path forward. 



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