Why do many companies act not as systematic and methodical in the field of innovation as they do with their production or in quality management? Innovation is perceived as imponderable and followed according to the principles of chance or “trial and error”. The belief in trainable creativity and so-called creativity techniques becomes more often as a pitfall. Many known approaches are well marketed but only forms of cooperation and lead in result to more rhetorical than real innovation. They lack the thinking and methodological background. Real innovation, however, is predictable, measurable, repeatable, reliable and above all methodical – similar to the principles of the first two waves of successful management lean production and total quality management. The third wave is systematic innovation with real measurement parameters and applicable methods. As with the Six Sigma approach, innovation must involve every employee. The corresponding methods should be trained and applied with discipline. The theory of inventive problem solving TRIZ is an essential tool for this. Systematic innovation enables excellence initiatives for corporation, just as for production and quality. Companies that have implemented a phase model based innovation process often miss the hoped-for innovation boost due to the lack of methods. Through consistent implementation of the third wave companies can generate an innovation success story. The basis for this is formed by culture, process and methodology. Creativity is above all an attitude that is supported by an open corporate culture. With systematic innovation and its principles of Total Technology Development companies will focus on specific actions and can thus be a sustainable innovation machine – effective, efficient and pragmatic.