See also

Exnovation has an opposite meaning than innovation [reverse of innovation]. As it is well know innovation is understood as a process of converting the existing possibilities to new ideas and putting them to practical use. Exnovation is a term used in broadly understood management and commerce and means stabilization of the last innovation. In situation when products/processes have been tested and finally confirmed to be the best from all tested before, the exnovation occurs. Those products/processes are stabilized and standardized for no further innovations.

The very first usage of word “exnovation” was attributed to John Kimberly in 1981. Kimberly described the whole process of innovations as a cycle which in combination can be define as an innovation life cycle.[1] An exnovation is located at the very end of the innovation cycle where it discards or even purges existing practices to allow the organization to adopt different and fresh thinking to any new innovation activities. Exnovation can be also a new opportunity for old, well-worn practises. Exnovation can be a huge helper with situation we can't decide of what is working and what is not. Exnovation works as an examination and gives us the opportunity to jettison what is no longer relevant and the space to create something more relevant to the current project.[2]

In 1996 strategy professor A. Sandeep introduced modern definition for a term exnovation. He realize that term of exnovation might be taken incorrectly by some. In his words exnovation does not actually mean propagating a philosophy of not innovating within the organisation. Exnovation in reality means that once a process has been tested, modulated and finally super-efficiently mastered and bested within the innovative circles of any organisation, there should be a critical system that ensures that when this process is replicated across the various offices of the organisation, the process is not changed but is implemented in exactly the same manner in which it was made super-efficient; in other words, no smart worker within the organisation should be allowed to tamper with the already super-efficient process.[3] A. Sandeep believes that organisations need to necessarily incorporate exnovation as a critical process within organisational structures.

Professor Sander explain the idea of exnovation on a very easy to understand example. Think about two call centers where customers call to complain about their lost credit cards. Imagine one call center when all employees are trained by exnovation managers to follow tried and tested responses and processes. And now try to imagine the second call center where each employee is allowed independence in innovatively deciding how to respond to the calling customer's lost card issue. Now answer the question which call center would ensure better productivity and customer satisfaction.[4]

Nowadays more and more companies apply exnovations to their product life cycles to enhance product profitability. Examples are: Walmart, Ford Motor Company, McDonald's and much more.


  1. Kimberly J. (1981)
  2. Vitasek K. (2014)
  3. Sandeep A. (2011)
  4. Sandeep A. (2011)


Author: Agnieszka Krzystyniak