Tools and Methods 004 - Innovation Portfolio Matrix

Once again this is a modification of existing tools. In this case it is based on the excellent book by David C. Robertson, entitled Brick by Brick: How Lego Rewrote the Rules of Innovation and Conquered the Global Toy Industry. This book has become my new recommendation for the heads of companies that are trying to understand how to be innovative. It can be purchased at

In the book, Robertson presents the below Lego innovation matrix:

This matrix gave Lego a visual method to view what types of innovation they were initiating and across what business areas it would affect. It allowed them to control their innovation initiatives to create a balanced and sustainable system for innovation.

After reading the book I went to Robertson’s website to look for the Lego innovation matrix. What I found was the below matrix, modified by Robertson, which was modified for businesses other than Lego.

This was a great step forward. I made the following two changes; a) changed some of the wording in order to move the matrix away from its product-centric format and open it up to software and services and b) I added a column in Infrastructure that would allow for innovations within the business culture itself. Below is my modified Innovation Portfolio Matrix:

You can download a poster sized PDF version of the matrix here.

Please feel free to use this document. I would be very interested in hearing if this helps companies better visualize and plan for innovation initiatives.