Peter F Drucker’s Seven Sources of Innovative Opportunity


Peter F. Drucker, known as the inventor of modern management, has left us with valuable resources on leadership, management, business, innovation, and entrepreneurship. He has made a tremendous impact in the business world, leaving his lasting legacy as a guidance and inspiration to business leaders and entrepreneurs.

In his famous book “Innovation and Entrepreneurship” he talks about the power and necessity of systematic innovation, which can be inspired by the following seven sources of innovative opportunity:

The Unexpected

The business world is full of surprises – not only the unexpected failures but also the unexpected success that comes to the organization can be a great source of inspiration for innovation. Both, unexpected success and unexpected failures, shouldn’t stay unnoticed and shouldn’t be overlooked as opportunities for a change.  Unexpected situations can be extremely powerful in the business world as they inspire the leaders and innovators to get another perspective on the situation (no matter if it is positive or negative) and to take advantage of the opportunities that emerge.


Many companies fall into the trap of developing their product without to actually do the appropriate research to determine what the target customers really want. The dissonance between what is and what it is supposed to be or what is and what everybody else assumes it to be can lead the company to a downfall but can be also a great source of inspiration for innovation. The customer reviews, feedback, and complaints are often the best way to determine incongruity.

Process Need

This source of innovation is said by Drucker to be more task-focused rather than situation-focused. Here the source of opportunity for innovation comes after looking closely at the processes of the company and identifying clearly the weak spots and the ways they can be improved. Knowing what the weak links are after a detailed evaluation of the company’s capabilities, the teams will be able to create more effective and innovative solutions.

Industry and Market Structure Change

Industry and market structures can be stable for years, yet with the technology development, many industries are disrupted almost overnight. The leaders need to keep an eye on these changes and to treat these changes not as threats but more like opportunities.


Companies are affected in one way or another by the change of demographics. These changes affect the markets as they determine the demand for products, who is buying these products and what quantities of the product are bought. The demographic changes in age, education, employment, affect the direction that the business takes and can open new horizons to the company if it manages to appropriately identify the opportunity.

Changes in Perception

With the years, there are significant changes in the way people perceive the world. Perception changes over time, and, nowadays, due to the involvement of technology and the power of social networks, these changes happen faster than ever. People can change their perception about certain product, brand or industry overnight. The changes of perception open a road for businesses to innovate, to develop new products and services that align with the new perspective of the customers.

New Knowledge

New knowledge is often used as a byword for innovation. Technological and scientific breakthroughs are the source of innovation that can’t be overlooked by businesses. Companies that refuse to adapt to the changes inspired by new discoveries are doomed to fail. New knowledge, however, can be applied in every aspect of the company – from learning more about the customers through analytics through improving the supply chain to hiring the best employees.

These sources of innovation can help you get new inspiration the next time when you feel stuck in leading your business to growth and greatness!

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