What is the difference between innovation management and change management?


Hello again,This post is directed to all those who are new in the innovation field that will definitely be confused with overlapping nature of these two broad terms – Innovation and Change.

To shed some light on the differences between them I will first deliver you their definitions, and then with some effort, main differences that will help you understand your standpoint.



INNOVATION MANAGEMENT is the discipline of managing innovations. It can be used to develop  product/service, process or business model innovation starting from creative idea to launch.

The focus of innovation management is to allow the organization to respond to an external or internal opportunity, and use its creative efforts to introduce new ideas, processes or products to reach market demands.

Common tools include brainstorming, virtual prototyping, product lifecycle management, idea management, TRIZ, stage-gate process, project management, product line planning and portfolio management. (source: wikipedia)


CHANGE MANAGEMENT is an approach to transitioning individuals, teams, and organizations from a current state A to a desired future state B.

It involves the process, tools and techniques to manage the people-side of change to achieve a required business outcome.

Change management’s goal is to minimize the change impacts on workers and avoid distractions. (source: http://www.change-management.com)


Having this cleared, let’s move onto the differences.


Main differences between Innovation and Change management:


Change management largely deals with a lot of known’s, on the other hand innovation management deals with a lot of unknown’s. Every creative ideas has a certain known beginning, but not a known end. In change management point A and point B are well known, it is just a matter of good execution to bring the change to point B.


Innovation management is tied to detecting and developing new areas as organizational goals in terms of Strategy and Vision development, whereas Change management is tied to implementation of such a Vision. An innovation is a disruptive change that will challenge your core capabilities and your core rigidness. While, Change management will demand you to convince your people to follow through a chosen path among different alternatives that have been pondered. Although they seem to intersect in some points the skills sets required are different.

3. CHANGE VS INNOVATION – A change does not necessarily mean innovation, while innovation always means the change.