Wednesday, 11 January 2012

The innovation Imperative

The innovation imperative

Innovation is the process of translating ideas into useful – and used – new products, processes or services.  Our lifestyles are constantly shaped and reshaped by the process of innovation.

Innovation is a survival imperative. If an organisation doesn’t change what it offers the world and the ways in which it creates and delivers its offering it could well be in trouble as others may overtake, and innovation contributes to competitive success in many different ways – it’s a strategic resource in getting the organisation where it is trying to go.  (Bessant J and Tidd J, 2007, 4)

Innovation is the specific tool of entrepreneurs, the means by which they exploit change as an opportunity for a different business or service. It is capable of being presented as a discipline, capable of being learned, capable of being practised   (Drucker P.F, 1985, 17)

One person’s problem is another’s opportunity. The skill to spot opportunities and create new ways to exploit them is at the heart of the innovation process. Innovation is driven by the ability to see connections, to sport opportunities and to take advantage of them. Entrepreneurs are risk takers.

However innovations aren’t just about opening up new markets; there are also big opportunities in stablished and mature ones. For example that of Ryanair and Easyjet have revolutionised air travel with low budget flights saving customers money on their travels.

Innovation can also be seen services as well as products. A good example of this can be that of internet banking, internet banking has revolutionised the way in which people bank today. It saves going into town to the nearest bank/cash point, it allows the customer to check their balance and make transactions from different accounts which they own or even that to other people’s accounts.

It’s not just the internet banking there are many other services such as:

Amazon – Pretty much everything you can imagine, Amazon has it and delivers straight to your door, meaning you don’t even have to leave your house! This online retailing service which started off as just an online bookstore, now sells DVDs, CDs, MP3 downloads, video games ,computer software, clothes, shoes and jewellery, sports and outdoors equipment,  food, toys for old and young, furniture, technology ( laptops etc) and many, many more!

eBay – eBay is an online auction and shopping/ market trading website which gives users the opportunities to bid for products to get that as cheap as they can! There is also an option for users to buy now as well meaning that they do not have to sit around and keep bidding on an item. It sells around the same things as Amazon just the only difference being that with eBay being an auction site!

Google – Through the use of Google companies have been able to advertise their companies down the side of the search engine advertising on the internet.

Skype – Skype has allowed people to speak to each other over the internet for free! Phone calls can be made through skype by just having a microphone built into your company or plugged in. It also allows for you to see that person also if they have a webcam. This great innovation has allowed people to connect from all over the world at any time! For example they are able to see their family or loved ones when they are away from home (at university or working away).

Read more about skype here:

Clothes shops – many clothes shops no offer the opportunity to shop online. This allows users to browse through the stock off that company and purchases the products directly through the internet. This is a great service to the user as they can just buy online and get the product delivered straight to their door.

Here are a few examples:

Travel agents –  allowing you to look at all different holidays instead of searching through countless number of brochures then having to go in to the travel agents you can now book you holiday and flights all through the internet.

Here is an example:

Innovation is also about three core themes

Generating new ideas – could come from inspiration, listening to user needs, frontier research or combining existing ideas into something new.

Selecting the good ones – Innovation is fraught with uncertainty and guesswork and the only way to find out whether or not something is a good bet is to start developing it.  Therefore is a strategic choice.

Implementing them – taking it from an idea into an actual product or in use service.

Therefore, overall Innovative organisations do not happen by chance. They are the end products of good leadership and management. The essence lies in getting the balance right between freedom and order, between the anatomy of the parts and the integrity of the whole. 

Books used:
Bessant J and Tidd J, (2011) Innovation and entrepreneurship, second edition, Chichester, West Sussex, UK: John Wiley & Sons.
Bessant J and Tidd J, (2007) Innovation and entrepreneurship, Chichester, West Sussex, UK: John Wiley & Sons.
Drucker. P.F, (1985), Innovation and Entrepreneurial, Oxford: Butterworth-Heinemann
Adair J 2007Leadership for Innovation: How to Organize Team Creativity and Harvest Ideas London: Talbot Adair Press

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