The Innovation Scout Canvas

When you set out to scout for innovation how well do you frame the opportunity? The early stage of scouting sets the tone.  In order for your work to be fruitful quickly, you need a method to define and frame the problem. Why does time matter? Because competitors and startups are nipping at your heels already. You need to be efficient in your scouting efforts in order to find competitive advantages that will work for your business this year. We have created The Innovation Scout Canvas™ to address the need to unpack the opportunity appropriately before setting out to search for solutions.

Our experience has shown that the problem definition stage is the most important predictor of scouting success. It’s often where teams flounder a bit and say “we’ll know it when we see it”. Work often starts with interest in a particular technology. Once the team finds an exciting provider, they try to retrofit their current business processes and market tactics by overlaying a technology.  These days corporations are looking at the Startup community for innovation. They choose to learn from them, do pilots with them or even acquire them to get to a market faster. It’s a great model, however the effort needs to start with a clear understanding of the customers, markets, risks and rewards of the new business opportunity.  The startups can then be assessed based on this early scouting framework.

Why A Canvas Approach?

We have developed a solution to address this important phase, The Innovation Scout Canvas™.
The Scout Canvas™ is a tool to help teams to get alignment around the opportunity they are looking to create. Once a problem or opportunity has been defined, it can be used with The Innovation Scout platform to source relevant startups and research that may apply. Download our free Innovation Scout Canvas now. We explore the reasons why problem definition is so crucial. Using a canvas approach will move the scouting process faster towards your targeted goals. The Scout Canvas document will give you the canvas tool as well as an explanation of how to use each of the areas on the canvas most effectively.

Your team can use the Innovation Scout Canvas to have better strategic conversations about innovation projects. The Scout Canvas should be used to organize and structure your thinking as a group before you set out to scout for innovation.

We want to know your thoughts about this canvas!  What works and especially what needs improvement base on your work. Please contact me personally at  We are also available to lead Innovation Scout Canvas programs for your team.

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