For many organizations and countries alike, innovation and innovation management are no longer luxury items, but rather necessities and a means of sustaining economic development and competitiveness. To serve customer well and maintain the competitive position in business, companies are forced to focus on the creation, updating, availability, quality & use of innovation by all employees and teams at work and in the market place.
Innovation can be defined as the implementation of new created ideas for generating business value. Many times, people use the term ‘innovation’ for ‘innovation creation’. But there is a difference between the two. While innovation creation is an important aspect of innovation processes, so is the ability to search for and identify relevant external innovation, applying existing innovation to new contexts, understand and absorb unfamiliar external innovation to blend and integrate different bodies of innovation together. Thus innovation processes are much more than innovation creation process.
Innovation is the creation, evolution, exchange and application of new idea into marketable goods and services, leading to the success of an enterprise, the vitality of a nation’s economy and the advancement of society. In simple words we can explain the term innovation as generation of novel ideas and their implementation to create new products and services to gain competitive advantage and achieve new heights in the market.
Definition of Innovation Management
There is no agreed definition of Innovation Management. The term refers to a process of generating value to the organization through the creation, dissemination, renewal and proper application of innovation. It can be defined as a creative way of utilizing information and people throughout the organization. A simple definition will be that innovation management is about make use of “what we know” in the best possible manner so as to gain the competitive advantage in the business world.
Innovation management is a framework within which the organization views all its processes as innovation processing, where all business processes involve creation, dissemination, renewal and application of innovation toward organizational sustenance and survival.
Innovation management is the mantra that facilitates the smooth flow and distribution of innovation of the individuals, groups or teams across the organization in certain ways that directly affects the performance and potential levels.
Precisely, Innovation Management aims at getting the right information within the right context to the right person at the right time for the right business purpose. It comprises of a range of practices used in an organization to identify, create, represent, distribute and enable adaptation of insights and experiences. Such practices contribute in the things like improved performance levels, competitive advantages, innovations and sharing of lessons learned and continuous improvement of organization.
When we think about innovation one question arises in the mind: Does the innovation come naturally? Or it may be taught.
The answer is that everyone can be creative and innovative the only requirement is to encourage the innovation among people. In the words of Peter Drucker “Innovation is real work and it can & should be managed like any other corporate function but that does not mean it is the same as other business activities. Indeed, innovation is the work of knowing rather than doing.”
Buzz today is to encourage and manage innovation through innovation management. One strategy to build up an innovative organization is getting people to accept that the way they work just might not be the best. The most important thing is to help people broaden their perspective. Innovation is like a sky with horizons defined. These horizons can only be broaden through innovation.
Another way to manage innovation is to have creative people in order to produce ideas which are novel and worthwhile; they should continuously update their innovation, find the gaps in their innovation and get that innovation from right sources. Encouraging the people for innovation is not an easy task. What the problem today with many of the organizations is that people with ideas have a sense of irresponsibility. They think that their jobs are finished once the ideas have been suggested and it is the work of someone else to find out the details and then implement the ideas. However implementation of ideas is the finally desired goal. Therefore, it is needed to encourage the employees not to just producing the ideas but also to implement them for generating value from them.
One strategy that may be used for inspiring innovation is to share the innovation by reorganizing the people. To have an innovative environment, frequent restructuring of the organization can be utilized. When people adapt a new structure they are required to rethink what they are doing on a day to day basis and thus creating something new.
Innovation is all about taking risks. It is required to encourage innovation when an organization is doing well because the last thing which is desired is to gain competitive advantage and for that innovation is required. When we create some new product or services it may be acceptable in the market or not but until we wouldn’t take the risk of the failure, we will not achieve the success. One must not afraid of the possibility of failure of taking risks.
For achieving the new heights in the business, it is required to encourage not only product innovation but innovation in every field. One of the misconceptions about innovation is that innovation is about creating the next new product, that’s why most of the companies focus on their R&D. But since it is easy for other companies to copy any new product, the return on investment is very less. Hence it is required to encourage innovation in every field such as in customer service, in business models, in networking and so on. One can actually spend less and make more money in innovation if he pays attention to the valleys, those places which competitors have overlooked
A challenge in Managing innovation is the development of an organization, which will foster innovation and change. The development of such an organization itself is an innovative task and all the above ways can help in inspiring innovation in an organization. Innovation, ingenuity, and focus these are the three essentials of innovation.