Causation and Effectuation

I appreciate that for many Businesses the last year has been tough and it is important to say that it has also brought about lots of innovative positive changes.

Innovation is often described as one of three things: radical/disruptive innovation, incremental innovation or a blend of both depending on the organisation and scope, time, and resource of the project.

  • Disruptive Innovation can be described as when a particular industry gets shaken up

  • Incremental innovation is a series of small improvements or upgrades made to a company's existing products, services, processes or methods.

However the route to true innovation within any organisation or business is to understand the meaning of Causation and Effectuation within the industry. Entrepreneurs or Organisation Intrapreneurs often blend these and diversify to meet the needs of the customer or climate.

Causation is when a pre-planned route is thought out with a specific goal in mind. However, effectuation is when no pre-designed goal is set, encouraging creativity and open-mindedness.

Larger companies often have lots of bureaucracy, policies, and procedures and complex structures in place and these can be seen as barriers to innovation. Perhaps this is why so many corporate or larger businesses look to SME’s or enterprise startups to inject innovation. It's a win-win situation for both parties.

That said some companies get the balance right and they encourage innovation by doing some of these top tips:

  1. Find a way of capturing informal ideas or discussions with colleagues.

  2. Set a culture that enables failures to be learning opportunities and fine tune new ways of working.

  3. Have a range of company strategies to encourage innovation. Ie smaller procedure changes with minimal changes to existing processes,benchmarking against your competitors and making step changes achieve best practise,create breakthrough methods of working or reach out to new innovators and collaborate.

  4. Allow thinking or creative time within staff’s working week and have ways to capture ideas.

  5. Factor in 15% of the staff’s working week to try new projects/innovation or experimentation.

We hope you find this blog useful and if you would like to find out more about our innovation online training then contact us on tel 07583474539 or email

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