Planning the “Unplannable” – the Innovation Management Paradox


Colin Ashruf


The value of a systematic project-based approach to achieving specific objectives is generally accepted in most fields, but somehow when it comes to innovation there still is a widespread, persistent belief that those contributing to the effort are somehow best left to their own devices and not be “bothered too much” with “processes” or “rules”. Innovation, then, is viewed as a creative, organic, and therefore inherently chaotic process. I would argue the opposite, though: precisely because innovation tends to venture into the unknown, the risk of getting lost is ever present, even more so than with other, more predictable types of undertakings, and therefore planning and control are even more critical to success.