Read me first

An overview of this site and its overall point

Read me first
A quick overview of Credible Innovation | Photo by Bret Kavanaugh / Unsplash

Over time, there will be a lot going on here.

If you are joining while things are already in full swing–or if you'd like a quick refresher–here's an overview of this site and its overall point.

The author

Steffen Meyer creates and features all of this content for now. Over time, others may join in on the mayhem.

This never have been possible without these wonderful people.

The site's content reflects lessons from Steffen's work as an independent consultant and startup executive, as well as from the Credible Innovation research agenda.

The topic

The blog focuses on corporate innovation (vs. innovation in startups, universities, etc.).

Within corporate innovation, I mainly focus on business and leadership topics, e.g., creating business cases for innovative products and services, designing new businesses, leading innovation teams in a corporate settings, and governance of innovation work.

The problem

Over years of innovation work in 12+ industries, as both employee and consultant, I have kept encountering the problem symptom that even teams who are technically "good" at their craft see low rates of success. Many are disbanded by their company within 3 - 7 years; again, that's even if they are arguably "good" teams.

Among the causes is that many innovation teams only/ mainly consider their work from the inside, meaning by the technical standards of their craft. But they ignore or do not sufficiently prioritize the outside-in perspective of their stakeholders, partners, and teams that will implement their approved work.

Sometimes, that problem results from human or change leadership issues. Others have better advice than I would on those topics.

But other times, perception and change leadership won't solve the problems.

Instead, there is actual work missing. Or the work itself is fine but the way the team is led or governed is not, often because executives or direct leaders mistakenly apply approaches that work in operational contexts to innovation contexts, where they cause trouble.

I address those last two issues, i.e.,: Technically good teams struggling because (1) the formal "canon" of our innovation craft leaves key gaps or (2) leaders and governing executives apply well-meant but unhelpful approaches to innovation work.

The solution

My solution is likely only one more step among many. Others will need to fill in what I missed.

But that said, one way to do better is to seek the same outside-in perspective that we apply to learning from users to our own organizations as well, by asking:

I know you are awesome. But ... are you credible? For what? To what degree? To whom?

I call the framework and set of solutions that emerge from it "Credible Innovation." (You never saw that coming, right? 😁)

This site will advocate that technically good innovation teams can still only succeed over time if they pursue Credible Innovation too.

In theory, it functions like a fractal. Just knowing this headline topic and the questions above is enough to get started: "Are you credible?"

But of course, it's nice to have more specifics. I will cover aspects for leaders and executives, call them Credible Innovation Purpose, Leadership, and Governance. And I will cover aspects for hands-on practitioners, call them Credible Innovation Craft and Outcomes. I won't distinguish too often between the two groups though because innovation teams often use fluid roles where leaders may also contribute directly, veteran individual contributors may share leadership duties, and leaders heavily advise on governance.

Some good reads to start

The case for why we need that credibility so much is in this essay (#longread).

Essays not so much your thing (hello "TL; DR")? Find a much, much shorter version of the site's essence at this quote and accompanying explanation. Doesn't cover every last detail. But, you know, it's also much faster to read.

A short version of "the solution" itself

Of course the entire site is about achieving Credible Innovation. So much more is yet to come. But a basic framework sits at its core.

In short, achieving credibility in innovation work takes the following components, at minimum:

  • Must-do purpose: Critical, urgently-needed, and set up for success
  • Usable outputs: Complete, understandable, and usable beyond ventures
  • Impressive craft: Selectively-awesome, fast, efficient
  • Unpretentious team: Open-eyed, skilled, humble

The "Credible Innovation" framework in line-art form, as described in words below
The core "Credible Innovation" framework. Most everything else here ladders up to this.

Yeah, this will surely evolve. After all, even this is version 4.10 (as of March 11, 2023). But it's “right” until I realize that–and how–it needs to change yet again.

More about the framework in this post.

I have also collected the running list basic assumptions (axioms) on which this argument rests, as far as I can tell. This, too, will of course evolve.

Got a question? Contact me

The best way to reach me is by email at hi[at]

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I'll also point out the post script that I append to all posts that include my own ideas (vs. quotes, simple case studies, etc.): T.I.S.C. It's an intentionally ambiguous term that you might variously expand to "this is so cool" or, maybe more likely (?), to "this is such crap." All my posts vacillate between these extremes. Like science, I don't claim to be "right." This only reflects the best I can come up with so far. I may need your informed, well-intentioned help to make things better ... or your patience as I make things better myself over time. So please help me if you are so inclined!