Best Practice Report

Subtractive Innovation: A Primer

Digital Business And Strategy Leaders Should Harness The Power Of Subtraction

February 9th, 2023
With contributors:
David Hoffman , Aaron Suiter , Jen Barton


Digital business and strategy leaders want to innovate. But their innovation efforts tend to move in one direction due to an innate human trait: Our natural tendency is to add rather than subtract when we’re looking to improve something. This report introduces a strategic exercise that far too many companies and leaders neglect — subtractive innovation, a mindset and process aimed at improving a company’s business through subtraction rather than addition. Digital leaders can use this report as a primer to overhaul the way they conceive of and implement innovation strategies.

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