Corporate innovation remains an elusive goal for most companies, even after spending considerable time and money. Innovation initiatives often fail and even when successful are hard to sustain. Companies need to build and maintain a capacity to innovate. The most important aspect of this is creating an innovation strategy to make concrete how it will operate.

A corporate innovation strategy is easy to create, it is simply a commitment to a set of mutually reinforcing policies and procedures that are aimed at achieving a specific competitive goal. Such strategies promote alignment across the whole range of people in the organization and clarifies the priorities and objectives of the innovation process.

While companies often define their business goals and strategy (positioning) and are able to shows how various departments work to reach those goals (HR, R&D and so on) they are rarely able to articulate their strategies in terms of aligning innovation efforts with those business goals.