Inneagram: Stakeholder Collaboration in Innovation Ecosystems

Inneagram: Stakeholder Collaboration in Innovation Ecosystems

The story of this infographic began 16 years ago during a Summer School organized by the University of Cambridge. Not in the City of Perspiring Dreams itself, but on the mystical mountain Uludağ in Turkey, with 15 fellow students in a mountain hut more than 1 hour away from the nearest town with cellphone reception. On this mountain, led by Cambridge professor Jim Platts, we took an ESTIEM traineeship in transformative leadership. Without taking a deep dive into the material of the Summer School, one of the models that we started to work with was the Enneagram. Not only the power of the model itself, but also the history behind it, really intrigued me and so the story began.

Over the years, I’ve read much more about the Enneagram. Mostly used in (business) psychology, the framework is best described as an adaptive approach to recognize your own – and others’- behaviour in interactions with others. So it’s not, as many think, a framework for personality traits, like the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) or the Big-5 personality test. It perhaps holds the middle between these personality tests and the Rose of Leary, a theory of behavioral influence. The theory helps you to find your comfort-spot and from there on explains how your interactions with others happen and could be improved if you learn how to read it. It’s adaptable: it may change under different circumstances, under different preconditions and in different situations.


And there it is: these transformative processes are very prevalent in innovation ecosystems as well. When, for a research study I was doing, I finally created a list of 9 different stakeholders that are preconditional for successful innovation ecosystems, I got the idea of combining the enneagram (ennea = 9) and replace the types with ‘stakeholder types’. Obviously, this didn’t fit seamlessly and I started to research relationships in collaborative innovation to optimize this framework – and the inneagram was born.

Download a high-resolution (PDF) of this infographic now!

9 Types of Stakeholders

In the framework, I’ve distinguished between 9 types of stakeholders:

  1. Public Sector Innovation: This type takes the form of public sector parties, such as government, innovation agencies and institutions.
  2. Innovation Brokers: This type takes the form of intermediate parties, such as regional agencies and innovation consultants.
  3. Innovation Suppliers: This type takes the form all business partners in the mesosystem, i.e. suppliers, competitors and clients.
  4. Innopreneurs: This type takes the form of entrepreneurs, inventors, startups, specialized SMEs, and tech agencies.
  5. Innovation Research: This type takes the form of universities, research centers, scientific boards, boardroom consultancies.
  6. Early Adaptors: This type takes the form of clients, co-creation partners and labs, and lead users.
  7. Scalers: This type takes the form of investors, incubators, accelerators, venture capital investors, angels.
  8. Communities: This type takes the form of local communities, local governments, residents and employees.
  9. Challengers: This type takes the form of NGO’s, social innovators, social entrepreneurs, thought leader

For each of the stakeholders, the Inneagram identifies the following:

< Left wing: from which type does this type lend its strengths from when collaborating?
? The original name in the enneagram
# Its strengths in collaborative innovation alliances.
@ Typical parties associated with this type.
+ How these types behave in thriving collaborations
– How these types might behave when challenged in collaborations.
🖤 Which type this type usually forms very strong bonds with.
💔 Which type this type usually forms very problematic alliances with.
> Right wing: from which type does this type lend its strengths from when collaborating?

How to use

There are several ways to use the Inneagram. The most common ones are:

  1. Corners of Intelligence: The corners of intelligence are the most prevalent collaboration patterns that we can recognize. They reflect, clockwise, the body, heart and mind. Types within the same corner have very similar behavioral patterns and organizational structures.
  2. Wings: The wings indicate how organizations blend into each other. Most organization don’t fit right into one specific box, but act as a combination of 2, most commonly there left or right wing. That’s why some companies might characterize themselves as a “1w2” organization: an organization that mostly identifies as a type 1 but with significant strength borrowed from type 2s.
  3. Harmonic Alliances: The harmonic triads are 3 different types of alliances that find each other easily in their level of energy. These alliances tend to be very strong, as they built upon inner trust and energetic relationships. We distinguish between the Positive Outlook Alliance, the Competency Alliance and the Entrepreneurial Alliance. These alliances are excellent collaborations in the starting phase of building an innovation ecosystem.
  4. Communicative Alliances: The communicative triads are 3 different types of alliances that find each other easily in their preferred styles of communication. These alliances tend to be effective and result-driven, which is beneficiary in the exploitation phase of a particular innovation system. We distinguish between The compliancy alliance, the introspective alliance, and the assertive alliance.
  5. Goal-oriented Alliances: The goal-oriented triads are 3 different types of alliances that have a shared goal in mind. These type of alliances find each other easily before the kick-off the creation of an innovation ecosystem and towards the end of an ecosystem lifetime. We distinguish between the relationalistic alliance, the pragmatic alliance and the idealistic alliance.

The Inneagram is now available as a download in our Innovation Toolbox and I’d be happy to answer any questions you might have!

Innovation Management Canvas

Innovation Management Canvas

As part of a simulation game on innovation management we have been running at universities and in corporate training programs for over 4 years now, we have developed an integrative model for dealing with innovation management on a daily basis. Innovation Management is a strategic activity that isn’t necessarily needed to implement throughly for every company. Mostly large companies have included structured processes that include administrative stages to following the (large number of) project that are in progress and to be able to follow-up on them and calculate the effect of innovation management in general. For smaller companies however, that is not general practice: having such a formal process in place simply doesn’t weigh up to cost efficiencies will generate. But for them, innovation management is just as important – but they rather use a toolkit than a formal process. Based on our 8 Types of Innovation Processes model this is a useful canvas design that makes it easy to start working on formalizing your innovation activities and processes in your organization.

Read more

ISPIM Conference Porto & ISPIM Grand Prize for Innovation Management Excellence

As a member of ISPIM, we’re proud to be part of the ISPIM 2016 Conference in Porto again.

Organised by ISPIM, and supported by ANI – Agência Nacional de Inovação (the National Innovation Office of Portugal), this event is for innovation researchersindustry executivesthought leaders and policy makers.

  • Understand the latest innovation management thinking in 50+ workshops, keynotes, tours and discussions
  • Broadcast your insights to 500 innovation experts from 50 countries
  • Get feedback, get published and share understanding
  • Deep dive into the Portuguese innovation scene
Read more
Trending Topics in Innovation Management

Trending Topics in Innovation Management

Last week, 233 papers have been presented at the ISPIM conference. Although not proceeded yet, the papers and abstracts are already available for ISPIM members. Being a member, I was able to scan all the abstracts, titles and keywords for trending topics. After a few manual adjustments, such as combining words and ignoring research-related terminology I could come up with the following wordcloud. It identifies the main topics that are currently trending in innovation management. Read more

5 Most Powerfull Insights on Innovation Management gained at the ISPIM Conference

5 Most Powerfull Insights on Innovation Management gained at the ISPIM Conference

“If you go from Moscow to Budapest, you think you are in Paris. And if you go from Paris to Budapest, you think you are in Moscow,” as Gyorgy Ligeti very sharply noticed, perfectly describes the location of the XXVI ISPIM Conference in Budapest. ISPIM, short for International Society for Professional Innovation Management, organized this worldwide event once a year. A place to be for everyone involved in Innovation Management, both practitioners and scholars.

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4 ways in which ideas management helps innovation flourish

4 ways in which ideas management helps innovation flourish

Ideas management could, according to this article, support the innovation process in four ways:

  • It helps organisations to capture, evaluate and progress proposals
  • It provides a democratic environment to determine the best ideas and to show a willingness to consider all ideas
  • It helps to increase genuine cross-organization transformation
  • It helps in creating a corporate shared view on key activities

It may be an advertorial, but at least it provides a nice overview of an under-researched element of the innovation process.

Read full article: 4 ways in which ideas management helps innovation flourish

The world’s best e-courses on Innovation Management

This autumn, we gathered some of the best 21st century courses on Innovation Management for you. While specialist courses at Insead, Berkely or IESE are extremely good, they are expensive and intense. You don’t want to get into the hussle of persuading your employer you’re worth the 50K investment, but still want to learn something? Go for one of the following excellent online courses on innovation (management):

  1. Innovation Management Game – individual course
    The Innovation Management Game is “a serious game for serious professionals”. Their individual course lets you battle against well-known innovation companies worldwide by learning and practising the newest theory on innovation management. According to some of their clients “The key learnings from the game for us were especially the multidimensionality of the innovation process inside a company and the idea that companies can influence their innovation success in many different ways” and “It introduces innovation in a learning environment and it is completely different than just learning theory.”
    The price: €495,-
  2. THNK – School of Creative Leadership
    THNK is a worldwide renowned institute for linking Design Thinking with Business Thinking. It has an online course, Start Innovating Now, “to build your innovation muscle, and come up with real innovations. An innovative real-life course that will keep you on your toes.” Or as someone says it on their website: “I use TNKS’s innovation process and tools to brainstorm new ideas, synthesize them into innovations that scale and then prototype, test and finetune them.”
    The price: €945,-
  3. Entrepreneurial Leadership – Babson College
    The definition of a short course: it takes only 30-60 minutes to complete. But who doesn’t want a glimpse of the world’s best school on entrepreneurship education?
    The price: $59,99

Any other suggestions? Please let us know.

Brilliant Management Advice From Google’s Eric Schmidt on How Google Works

This week, Eric Schmidt posted a presentation on Slideshare about Innovation Management at Google. It highlights the role of innovation culture, creativity, talent and more key elements that every organization that thinks about managing innovation should start with.

Read full article: Brilliant Management Advice From Google’s Eric Schmidt on How Google Works

How Nonprofits are Leveraging Innovation Management Platforms

Last year, we wrote a popular article about the Golden Circle of Innovation and the way that not-for-profit organizations are using Open Innovation.

Recently, another article was published on this matter. To sum up, it says innovation management can help nonprofits in three different ways:
– better funding
– internal efficiency
– unlock growth

Read full article: How Nonprofits are Leveraging Innovation Management Platforms