Innovation comprises of many things. Any organization that has embraced change and used it well has achieved much success. It is, therefore, important to study and understand innovation attributes in detail.
Innovation Definition and Description
Innovation is the process of coming up with a valuable item or service that helps to shape the destiny of an organization. It involves the whole process from idea, initiation to selling and consumption. It is also the adaptation capability of an organization. The faster an organization can tap into new ideas the faster it accelerates innovative ideas, products and services (Bessant, 2009).
Previously, innovation centered on new goods and services. But now change comprises of the whole business model and how an organization delivers value and earns a profit. In summary, innovation covers a vast spectrum ranging from new product, new process, new market, new supply sources and new ways of operation (Bessant, 2009). It comprises of differentiation in the way the entire process occurs. Organizations that embrace innovation must be prepared to set the pace as role models.
Dimensions of innovation include the extent of change, the complexity of change, relatedness of change, and among others. The capability of change shows if innovation enhances or destroys the market or technological capabilities (Bessant, 2009). The cycle of change ensures that time is critical in determining the longevity of the innovation.
Drivers of Innovation
The organization’s environment is the primary driver of change. The organization may have financial pressures to control the company’s costs. It may be the ardent need to increase efficiency or reduce costs. Increased competition and value migration are important facets because a company thrives for better performance in the market. (Bessant, 2009). Community needs and the industry challenges cause the organization to rejuvenate its products and services.
The market changes and rising customer expectations can also propel change. Government’s stricter regulations and increased demand for accountability may lead to product quality improvement. The company can use its Research and Development team to develop better products and services. The need to meet the dynamic economy’s demands can enforce change.
Theories of Innovation
The classical models of innovation include the Science Push Approach. It describes the change in a linear procession. Change begins with scientific discovery, then invention. It then moves to manufacturing and finally marketing (Bessant, 2009). The second classical model is the Demand Pull Approach. It describes innovation as beginning with unmet customer needs. It progresses from customer suggestions, inventions and then manufacturing. But the modern model in interactive. It comprises of research, development, product/process development and market development. But it does not have a particular sequence of events. It allows for creativity within an organization in that innovation, and innovative ideas can originate from anywhere.
Below is an innovation funnel playback;
The funnel playback describes how change begins from idea to product, service or process. It has three main segments. They are Inform and Engage, Accept and Stretch, and Selection. In the first stage there is communication of change and helping people to submit ideas. Communication of change involves the plan, the vision, idea generation and concept selection. There are also the expectations and tools for change ideation. People can submit ideas through thought planning forms and by supporting the innovative process (Bessant, 2009).
Accept and Stretch comprises of the acceptance and grouping of ideas and a workshop to expand them. Members can review and group ideas by theme and select the best one. During the seminar, they can add insight into the issues, thoroughly explore theme and choose the best options.
The selection stage encompasses the presentation and selection. The presentation would include the business plan and presentation to the council (Bessant, 2009). During the selection, the committee makes the final decision of either launching it or making some amendments first.
Change is inevitable. It is the primary driver of innovation. If organizations did not have pressure to perform better, they would remain stagnant. Innovation solves the problem. Sometimes organizations’ innovative mechanisms need to be proactive. No organization can survive the market without innovation.
Bessant, J. (2009). Innovation. London, UK: DK.