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By Saahil Goel, Student, Katz Graduate School of Business Brian Butler, Head – MIS Department, Katz Graduate School of Business
December 1, 2008
Executive Summary The Issue, context and motivation 3 2
ith the changing economic landscape, both large and small corporations are relying on innovation – in business processes and in technology to enable cost savings from process improvementi. Innovation is defined as “The managed effort of an organization to develop new products or services or new uses for existing products or services”. Technology innovation is defined as “A change in appearance or performance of products or services or the physical processes through which a product or service passes”. Finally, incremental innovation is defined as “A new product, service, or technology that modifies an existing one”ii. From these definitions and basic derivation, “incremental technology innovation” can be defined as a managed change in the process technology that an organization uses to deliver its products or services that modifies or builds upon the existent process or technology. Incremental innovation is relatively short-term in terms of benefit generation and is applied in smaller and measurable chunks. This considerably lowers the level of risk that a firm faces by indulgence in the process of such innovation. Incremental innovation attempts to improve an existing product or service by innovating around what’s availableiii. Further, when incremental technology innovation is applied across an enterprise, it can bring about significant improvements in a company’s internal processes and business technology infrastructure.
The Position and Perspective 7 Recommendations References 12 15
December 1, 2008
The fundamental issue with incremental innovation is mismanagement of such innovative practices. Factors such as timing, resource allocation, idea generation, selection and prioritization, competitive landscape and measurement criteria make incremental innovation extremely difficult to manage using any pre-determined formal process. Incremental innovation also has to deal with fostering a culture of innovation amongst the company employees – to encourage managers and decision-makers to implement innovative and lateral thinking in all their problem-solving attempts. Further, innovative idea management should occur at a company-wide level which requires careful reception, prioritization and implementation of innovative ideas from grassroots levels all the way to the top management.
The Issue, context and motivation
ue to the ever evolving technology landscape, it is difficult to make innovative technology decisions that would best solve business problems. Today, several technologies are available for each and every leg and each and every fingernail of those legs of any business corporation. To be able to identify the best portfolio of technology innovation to use for each business problem presents a unique and mammoth challenge for organizations. Further, since knowledge is diffused amongst various implementation-level employees, it is also difficult to manage innovative technology ideas that are generated at the grass-root level. Ideas may come from all levels of forward-thinking technology implementers. The real challenge is in identifying the ideas which would generate most value for decision-making, prioritizing them, experimenting with them and then actually implementing them in a corporate setting. The issue of management of incremental technology innovation is fundamentally difficult due to several reasons. First, there is a cultural aspect involved with ingraining innovation into the mindset of a company’s employees. For incremental innovation to be successful, the company’s top management should foster a corporate culture of innovation and ensure that the message reaches every level of an organization. However, in most companies top management is used to running existing business and is not very focused on building future
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competenciesiv. This is usually left to the strategic business centers within an organization. Further, because of the level of detail involved in incremental innovation, management is not clearly aware of the value it may add to the company. Due to the lack of cultural awareness about innovation, management may also become a hindrance by not providing enough human and economic resources to aid innovation. For this reason, there are talks about having a Chief Innovation Officer in companiesv. However, the innovative-culturedrive should be only geared towards creation of a culture where individuals who want to be innovative are encouraged to do so. A culture where innovation is “forced” will lead to failure as employees who want to go about routine work (and should) will not do so as they would like a piece of the innovation-idea-reward pie. Second, in addition to getting topmanagement support for technology innovation there are challenges inherent to the reception and prioritization of innovation ideas. To begin with, a company has to encourage employees who are intimate with the processes and technology to make suggestions about innovation. Rather than conducting an organization-wide study of areas where improvements could be made, encouraging people who are on the “ground” is an easier way for
companies to receive ideas about innovation. Once such a culture and platform is established to manage receipt of innovative ideas from employees at the grassroots, the real challenge is to prioritize these ideas. Due to the uncertain nature of innovative ideas, it is difficult to put a dollar figure to the improvement a certain idea might cause. In fact, some ideas may actually be destructive in nature and may lead to a loss for organizations. Due to the risk and uncertainty involved in prioritization of innovative ideas, it is difficult for companies to come up with any kind of a prioritization matrix. Further, because each innovative idea is unique and is dependent on the company’s line of business, the current technology portfolio, company size, geographic location, future aspirations etc., it is difficult to create or utilize any premade benchmarking / prioritization criteria for putting a value to an innovative idea. Due to these reasons, only innovative ideas that have a very clear business impact or are very low risk get adopted first and more often than not other ideas never see the light of day. It is those ideas that may have had the potential to cause significant improvement in certain areas of the company’s technology landscape. The difficulty however, is to manage risk and return. Also owing to wide spectrum and depth of all technologies available in the marketplace, there may be conflicting innovative ideas received from employees in a company. Both ideas may be equally useful or equally destructive, but without expertise on which ideas to adopt, companies are left open to risk or to
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complete non-acceptance of innovative ideas. This is especially a challenge for incremental technology innovation since the number of permutations an entire technology infrastructure – including various hardware/network layers and various enterprise software layers – could be mind boggling. Without an environment for controlled and formal experimentation, it is extremely difficult for companies to evaluate the best innovative idea that is generated by employees. Third, the way corporate organizational structures are setup are not conducive to boosting innovation. Unless corporations have a dedication innovation group within the technology division or at an enterprise level, whose primary purpose is to manage innovation and to ensure that ideas are implemented, there is very little accountability or responsibility for implementation, measurement and tracking of such ideas. Lack of organizational support in terms of human resources, budget and company resources for implementation of innovative ideas can be the top cause for failure or non-implementation of innovative technology ideas. For example, a Network Worldwide Poll in 21 countries reveals that only 16% of companies reward employees for innovationvi. This figure is a clear representation of the lack of organizational support
and the anti-innovation culture that companies are unknowingly fostering. There are a few companies that wholeheartedly support innovation. For example, Google expects its employees to devote 20% of their work times towards innovationvii. Companies also do not have an environment where innovative ideas could be successfully tested and valued by dedicated personnel. Fourth, in addition to the complexity involved with corporate cultures, organizational structures and the prioritization of ideas – there is no clear process around the implementation of incremental technology ideas. Due to the intrinsic uncertain nature of incremental innovative ideas and to the uniqueness and wide span of potential implementation, there is no industrybenchmarked process that has been established for successful implementation of such innovative ideas. While there may a generally known macro-level implementation process – such as identify, prioritize, obtain resources, test and implement – there are no specific processes to manage implementation of different kinds of incremental innovation. For example, an incremental innovation could be a reduction of redundant batch processes for a certain application for a certain kind of technology platform. There is no set industry-level process for managing the implementation of such an innovation project or a method for allocating resources to implement such a change. Also, since most companies do not incentivize the implementation of such innovative ideas, the redundant process may go on forever causing the company extra resources, extra lead time and lower competitive advantage. There is also no way to measure the success or
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failure of incremental innovation (which corresponds to the productivity paradox related to measurement of success of information technology in general). At present, there are only a few companies who are tuned into the idea of incremental innovation and very few companies have actually taken aggressive steps to make innovation a part of the way they operate. However, companies are increasingly acknowledging the value incremental technology innovation can add to their organizations. In general however, technologists (or technology implementers) are aware of cutting edge technology and usually are the first to innovate or to generate innovative ideasviii. Part of the reason for this is the fact that technology implementation is an art rather than a science and there are several ways of achieving the same outcome. Therefore, there are several ways of innovating a company’s technology infrastructure that may lead to improvement. These employees care about innovation because they derive satisfaction from the growth that innovation drives in a company. These set of individuals are well aligned with a company’s principles and hold the company’s growth close to heart. Another reason why these employees bother with innovation is the fact
they have the technical knowhow of how to bring about improvement and growth by way of innovative practices. Employees may also be dedicated to making processes better and more streamlined thereby making their and their colleagues’ work simpler. Companies that understand incremental technology innovation better are more geared towards implementing initiatives that derive the most value from such initiatives. These companies are also abreast with cutting-edge technology trends and strive towards establishment of a corporate culture where innovation is incented. Such corporations could considerably reduce their overhead expenses by employing innovative practices to improve processes. Proinnovation companies can also achieve significant competitive advantage by lowering costs and may even be able to improve sales by employing innovative technology to create new product line or be able to introduce significant improvements in existing products. For example, by using incremental innovative technology in the supply chain area WalMart Stores Inc., the world’s largest discount retailer, has enabled low-cost logistics and a highly lean and efficient supply chain technology infrastructure. This has been the foundation of their success and has caused them to be the largest (recently) company in the world and also one of the most profitable. On the other hand, companies that do not innovate or those that do not stress the importance of incremental innovation through their corporate cultures or by way of incentive programs are at risk of losing out on competitive advantage and
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on increasing costs. Such companies may also not be able grow as fast as their competitors since any growth strategy would incur significantly higher costs. Many corporations today would fail to even exist was it not for their innovative strategies. For example, large corporations such that have rigid corporate organizational structures and closed-minded top management may be prone to increased costs due to adoption of older technology infrastructure methods. The mentality of using the same “success formula” over and over again may lead companies to their grave. Companies that do not constantly innovate their business practices using intelligent application of technology will not be able to survive in the fiercely competitive world. Due to these reasons, it is extremely important for companies to find ways to incrementally innovative in technology and internal business processes to be able to make the most of what they have available internally in terms of employee knowledge and expertise with technology and process. The real challenge with implementing a system that would work is the breadth and variety of challenges that are faced and the degree of varying opinions help by industry experts on a resolution for this problem.
The Position and Perspective
ven though there is ample knowledge and industry best practices available on how to bring about a culture of innovation and how to manage such innovation, there are no agreed upon standards or best practices about how incremental technology innovation can be measured, managed, prioritized, sustained and implemented in all kinds of organizations. Part of the reason why this question is difficult to answer is because of the scope of the technologies that currently exist in the world, the changing applications of these technologies by changing business models and because of the variety of practices around this process. In the current economic landscape it is imperative that business adopt innovative practices if they want to cut costs, gain competitive advantage, be more lean and streamlined and simply, if they want to survive in the market. As is discussed in the article - “Want to Create an Innovative Culture? Here’s how” - to implement innovation at an organization, creating a culture of innovation is the most daunting taskix. It is also the most important task in the process of enabling innovation. Unless a company’s managers and employees embrace innovation and it becomes a core value for the organization, it will not be effectively implemented and true value will not be derived from it. The Wall Street Journal presents Technology Innovation Awards every year to the most innovative companiesx. While this goes to prove that innovation is extremely
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important for competitive success, it also alludes to the fact that the most information available in general business journals is around measuring the outcome of innovation and not the implementation itself. As was the case with Wall Street Journal, Business Week also stresses the importance of Radical Innovation and a high-level overview of its implementation in the article “Radical Service Innovation”xi. The article describes the importance of innovation for service-delivery companies but stress the importance of “radical innovation” for this industry segment. Company executives acknowledge that there are several innovative ideas available within a company but the execution of these ideas is the more difficult feat. Variables such as “the alignment of the right idea, the right team, the right development process, the right leadership, the right level of risk management, the right target, the right time to market” are some of the factors that need to be considered when making decisions about implementation of innovative practices within a company. This article is geared more towards using innovation to bring out better products in the market for the end-consumer and not so much about creating innovative practices within a company to bring about cost savings and competitive advantages.
Just as WSJ, Business Week also releases ratings of the most innovative companies each year in their “The World's Most Innovative Companies” releasexii. This list describes the top innovative companies in the world along with descriptions about what makes these companies innovative. In tandem with the earlier article about adding value to businesses by using innovation to create new product lines, this list too is compiled by evaluating which companies have added most value to the end customer and not to the organization internally. However, some knowledge about incremental innovation may be extracted from this list by averaging out the best innovative practices performed by these companies. Nevertheless, there is no direct information available about how incremental technology innovation may be managed in an enterprise. In more Information Systems related journals, such as in the article “HP CIO Randy Mott: Incremental IT 'Just Doesn't Work'” in Information Week, stress is again laid on the poor outcomes of incremental IT and the value that radical innovation can bring to a companyxiii. The article goes on to describe that by picking and choosing (prioritizing) what needs to be improved (aka incremental innovation), a company is setting itself up for failure. There are also potential upsides to incremental innovation though. For example, incremental innovation allows smaller companies to focus on what their pressing concern is at the moment. Also, the risk involved with investments in incremental technology innovation is considerably lower as compared to radical innovation.
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In another article “From Idea to Innovation” in Information Week, David Greenfield attacks the innovation management problem head onxiv. Some ways to manage incremental innovation are strikingly interesting as per this article. For example, GE Research used a unique form of online voting where they let 85 of their researches “trade” innovative ideas on a virtual exchange to see which of the 62 innovative ideas had the highest priority. This is a very unique way of prioritizing innovative ideas in a company and captures the “collective wisdom” of the actual people that are most knowledgeable about it. But this approach worked for GE alone and that too in a specific setting and a specific genre of innovative ideas for research. With that level of specificity such a method cannot be deemed a best practice and viewed as an industry-level theorem. As the article also points out – “… is not an everyday part of its innovation process. The algorithm itself was basic research and not a product”. Similarly, Dell and Starbucks also used online voting platforms to get their customers to vote on the ideas that they thought would be most useful for these companies. HP and other companies use concepts from “The Wisdom of Crowds” by enabling “voting” techniques to prioritize the most useful innovative concepts. However, due to the intricacies involved in making sure that predications are accurate, such methods are difficult to
employ as a cookie-cutter approach. The article does highlight the benefit of using the GE methodology of the “stock market approach” since voters would give more careful thought to the decisions they make since there may be virtual (or real) money involved. The article then highlights information around the risks and rewards of the “Prediction Markets” approach and discusses some vendors that are involved in this market. The drawback of this approach is that there is no penalty for a bad idea and popularity may not reflect the likelihood of market success. Therefore, voting may not always work. Another instance described in the article is of Qualcomm where the company wanted to implement innovative ideas and have the idea generators owns the ideas from inception to implementation. However, a simple collection of ideas led to an overwhelming “Craigslist” type list. The company then implemented a voting process that would cut ideas into a list of the top 30 or 40 most popular ones. These ideas were then “traded” in Consensus Point prediction market software. The 10 highest-value ideas are presented to the CEO and then the final list of implementable ideas is selected. While these may be some ways of prioritizing innovation, there is some discussion on actual implementation of innovation technology in companies as well. For example, at Harrah’s Entertainment, incremental innovation ideas are tested as a separate unit, with different IT and simulated conditions to test the likelihood of success and chances of failure of different ideas generated within the company. As is clear from the above summary of the article, it is extremely difficult to come up with a proven approach for managing and
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sustaining incremental technology innovation in a company. Even though there may be success stories and failure reports, it is difficult to come up with the one approach that works for everyone. In yet another Information Week article, “The ROI Of Innovation”, Rob Preston describes the importance of technology innovation and the problems with implementation of the samexv. The article describes the culture around incremental innovation in companies and what makes implementation difficult. “Most executives pay lip service to innovation, but few take the time to really manage and measure it. The metrics that would drive better performance -- time to market and return on innovation investment -- are used by only 18% and 22% of respondents. The most popular metrics -- customer satisfaction (57%) and overall revenue growth (51%) -- are more after the fact”. This ties in well with the information gathered from general business journals about there being more stress on innovation to bring new products to satisfy customers in the market rather than on improving conditions within the company by enabling a new way of doing things. The article goes on to describe that creating an innovation company requires a complete shift in perception or the rewiring of the company “DNA”. Also, innovation is the surest way to build shareholder value.
Further, technology innovation is described as something that needs to be a part of the entire organization and that funding for IT innovation should flow through a single organizational unit which lies outside of IT. There is also discussion about the need for incentivizing innovation to ensure its success, adoption and sustenance. Quocirca Ltd. agrees that creation of ideas and implementing them for innovation is the right way to maximize the value of intellectual propertyxvi. The white paper describes that innovation has to be the very part of an organization’s DNA for it to be successfully implemented. The paper concludes by saying that by involving the “crowd” and having THEM come up with innovative ideas as well as implement them is the best way to go forward. However, not much information is offered on what may be the best process to go about this except for taking each organizational vertical at a time and then implementing best practices for that particular branch of the company. The paper brings out an interesting point about there being “no single approach” that will create a well-rounded solution. This comment is consistent with what has been discovered from other sources of information. The DeSai Group in their whitepaper “Mastering Innovation” also argue that the most burning issue around innovation is “how to institutionalize innovation” – i.e. how to build a climate and culture of innovation while maintaining standards and controls necessary for ongoing governancexvii. Also stressed in the paper is the usefulness of harvesting internal innovation that arises from a company’s
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own workforce that is intimate with the technology and with the business processes. The DeSai Group provides its clients on a Strategy Driven Innovation (SDI) framework that is tweaked according to how its clients wish to maximize value – Top Line Growth, Shareholder Value or Bottom-Line Optimization. The SDI framework can help DeSai’s clients design a customized roadmap for innovation. The framework is composed of four levers – Venturing for Best, Agility for Speed, Behaviors for Growth and Climate & Culture for Success. Within each of these levers are described the opportunities for innovation, barriers and challenges to overcome and the target outcome. Even though various vendors offer services and frameworks around management of innovation, to address the scale and breadth of technology innovation possible, to customize innovation management solutions to fit each company’s corporate culture, line of business and vision statement and to prioritize innovative ideas to best fit a company’s needs continue to be puzzles that are yet to be solved by consultants or vendors. However, in one or another form, there is general agreement with information that is available in general and information systems specific trade press and journals.
In general, this issue is related to management of innovation and idea generation within a company from the point of reception, prioritization, enablement, implementation, culture and finally outcome. More specifically, the paper deals with technology innovation that is brought about in an incremental fashion. These specifics introduce even more difficulties because of the nature of technology and different applications of it. Further, incremental innovation puts the problems in the hands of the organizational workforce and not a “few enlightened souls”. Therefore, incremental technology innovation management becomes even a harder problem to solve. As per the article “Assessment methodology to prioritize knowledge management related activities to support organizational excellence” by Manfred Bornemann and Martin Sammer, “So far, a systematic and comprehensive assessment tool to prioritize organizational development activities, especially in the currently intensely discussed domain of knowledge management is not available in the literature”xviii. Clearly in academic literature, this is generally accepted as a hard problem to solve. The aforementioned paper also goes on to describe a proposed methodology which is based on utilizing knowledge that is existent within a company. “The methodology stresses four levels of potential intervention, starting with the strategy focused target level, next a knowledge level covering all knowledge workers of an organization, then an action level focusing on operations and processes and finally a data level with the
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explicitly available stock of (digital) resources”. This paper goes into depth to describe how incremental technology innovation may be managed in corporations using a premade methodology and is obviously the very first step towards this endeavor.
s difficult implementation and sustenance of incremental technology innovation may be, the benefits it brings to any organization are worthwhile. Due to the complexity around the effective implementation of the same, an organization must foster a culture of openness towards acceptance of innovation, incentivize innovation, create frameworks that suit its business model and technology infrastructure best, pilot test innovation ideas, get business and employee buy-in and have an open mind. Also, extremely important is the championship of senior leadership towards this initiative. Not only can such championship help the company foster an innovative culture, it can also reflect favorably for the company in the eyes of external customers, valuators and shareholders. Creating a culture of innovation has to start with the acceptance of the need to create such a culture. This need needs to arise out of the understanding that incremental technology innovation can improve internal business process and can bring about internal and external benefits in terms of cost savings, reputation and employee satisfaction. Once this understanding exists in the minds of senior IT and/or business leaders, the steps towards fostering an organization-wide culture could be taken. By involving business unit leaders, IT groups and senior leadership in the process to foster an innovative culture, a corporation ensures that the initiative sees the light of day and is actually fruitful at the end of the day. This happens
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because incremental innovation then becomes the goal of everyone and not just a few people who are passionate about it. This can be done by educating employees and management about the benefits that can be achieved by implementing incremental technology measures in a particular corporation. Marketing campaigns could be organized which advertise the importance of “submitting your idea” or the importance of thinking outside the box. Another effective way of fostering a culture around innovation is by incentivizing innovation. While it may not be possible for all companies to force their employees to dedicate their time towards innovation, a certain mechanism - such as most innovative project award – will certainly help show a company’s employees that it is serious about innovation. Processes and frameworks also play a very crucial role for a corporation trying to implement incremental technology innovation. To begin, a focus group could be brought together with leaders from each business unit and from several IT units along with top management and a project charter could be defined which outlines how the project will proceed. Also, resource constraints, policies,
processes, commitment and mission statement could be finalized upfront to avoid losing track of the project in the future. Performance metrics could put into place at the beginning of the transformation to ensure that innovative projects are monitored throughout their lifecycle. Further, since it is difficult to classify innovative projects as either IT OR business processes, a different lifecycle of implementation could be instated for such projects. A sample lifecycle could be: 1. Prioritize Innovative Technology Ideas 2. Select the top 5 3. Organize teams and project scope 4. Identify test/pilot environment/users 5. Deploy pilot 6. Report results of Pilot 7. Send best performer (of the pilot) into production – which could then follow the regular business implementation or IT implementation process Prioritization of innovative technology ideas is also an important point of debate in current IT, business and academic literature. Since every company may have different priorities and different existing human, technical and corporate resources, it is important to devise some kind of a “framework” on which innovative ideas can be ranked and prioritized. The framework can be a living document which is created from inputs of various stakeholders in the company (IT, Business, Employees). Another method for prioritization could be employed using the “Predictive Markets” approach. This approach can help get public
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consensus on the set of the best ideas to be accepted for piloting. This process is democratic and is therefore more inclined to boost employee satisfaction and a feeling of fairness amongst the ideagenerators. Other factors used to “judge” an idea could be – return on investment, scope of impact, business unit it pertains to, how well it aligns with the company’s vision, which stakeholders does it affect/benefit, risk implication and probability, future implications, etc. Technical infrastructure could be installed that facilitates the idea generation, reception and prioritization process. For example, a web-based application can be designed that helps classify (to some extent) the ideas being generated by employees and then screens out (automatically) the most relevant ideas as defined by a predetermined set of organizational priorities. Further, these ideas could then be traded or could be evaluated as per a predesigned matrix/framework before finally deciding which ideas would need to go into production or pilot.
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http://weblog.tekrati.com/?p=4937 This article mentions that two-thirds of Global 1000 companies will have formalized technology innovation processes by 2010.
“Does Your Company Reward Innovative Ideas” This article describes some figures about the present level of innovation across global corporations. It goes directly to support the premise of the paper that fostering a culture of innovation is difficult.
http://college.cengage.com/business/griffin/ management/7e/students/glossary/ch13.html “Management” by Ricky W. Griffin (Texas A&M University) “Managing Organization Change and Innovation” - Chapter 13 This is a definition of various innovative organizational management concepts and terminology. Managing Technology Innovation by Frederick Betz http://books.google.com/books?id=KnpGtuR77UC&pg=PA73&lpg=PA73&dq=increm ental+technology+innovation&source=web &ots=RQRfsgfyx&sig=WOAbARIsIgCwtUpoTbFE YsT_Mfc&hl=en&sa=X&oi=book_result&r esnum=5&ct=result This book describes the differences between radical and incremental innovation.
The Google Story by David A. Vise and Mark Malseed This book describes Google Inc. and the methods they employ to foster a culture of innovation within their company.
http://lessig.org/blog/2004/08/who_cares_about_inno vation.html “Who cares about innovation” This weblog talks about personnel within organizations to whom innovation is important.
http://www.johnstark.com/in21.html “Innovation Management” by John Stark This website has information about the various kinds of innovation and difficulties around management of the same.
http://blogs.wsj.com/independentstreet/2008/11/20/w ant-to-create-an-innovative-culture-heres-how/ “Want to Create an Innovative Culture? Here’s How” by Kelly Spors This article describes why it is important for companies to adopt innovation and how they can use innovation to their advantage in these tough economic times. Even though the article stresses on the use of “radical innovation” it does make some salient points about the importance of creating a culture for enabling adoption of innovation in an organization. Even though the article talks about why this is important, it does not go into any detailed descriptions of how this can actually be implemented in organizations. http://www.dowjones.com/innovation/ “Technology Innovation Awards” This website maintains a list of award recipients for being the most technologically innovative companies. WSJ presents companies with these awards year after year. This is useful for the purpose of this article as it alludes to the fact that while there is knowledge available about how to rate the output of innovation, there is not enough information about how to bring about innovation itself.
http://innovation.corante.com/editorial/archi ves/2006/04/should_companies_have_a_chi ef.php “Should Companies have a Chief Innovation Officer” by Renee Hopkins Callahan This article describes why organizations should or shouldn’t have a dedicated person responsible for innovation. It also talks about the difficulties of managing innovation and importance of having it for organizations.
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“Radical Service Innovation: Strategies on the frontiers of service design demand a blend of creativity and discipline. Here are five steps to leverage positive results” This article in Business Week describes the steps one can take to bring about radical service innovation in their companies. However, the information described in this article is very high level and does not talk about the benefits of incremental innovation.
incremental innovation and lays stress on the different methods employed by different companies – thus lending direct support to the chief premise of this research paper (that incremental innovation is difficult to manage and sustain due to lack of standards and proven best practices).
http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/co ntent/06_17/b3981401.htm “The World's Most Innovative Companies: Their creativity goes beyond products to rewiring themselves. BusinessWeek and the Boston Consulting Group rank the best.” This is a release by Business Week and contains a list of the most innovative companies. In addition, it contains descriptions of the things that these companies have done to bring about innovation within the company.
http://www.informationweek.com/blog/main/archives /2007/08/the_roi_of_inno.html “The ROI of Innovation” by Rob Preston This article is a description of the fact that though there is awareness amongst top management about the usefulness of innovation, not much is being done to support it because of lack of knowledge around implementation of innovation and because of the difficulty in predicting the outcome of implementation of innovation.
http://www.informationweek.com/blog/main /archives/2008/01/hp_cio_randy_mo.html “HP CIO Randy Mott: Incremental IT 'Just Doesn't Work'” By John Soat This article describes how HP is transforming its internal IT practices by using radical innovation. The article also takes a strong stand against incremental technology innovation by terming it as a “recipe for failure”. The article also talks about some benefits of incremental innovation – such as low risk and improvement in existing infrastructure. It is useful from for this paper as it shows that the knowledge that is available in such journals is more geared towards only a certain point of view.
http://www.innovationtools.com/PDF/idea-mgmtand-culture.pdf “From Problems to Ideas through to Innovation” This is a consultant white paper from Quocirca that describes how idea generation can be managed and what value it can add for an organization. Further, the whitepaper also describes HOW idea management can take place effectively in an organization. There is an underlying theme of creating a culture of idea generation in a company.
http://www.innovationtools.com/PDF/innovationroadmap.pdf “Mastering Innovation” – The DeSai Group This whitepaper describes that the burning issue around innovation is institutionalizing it and fitting it in a corporate framework. Also discussed is the usefulness of harvesting internal innovation that arises from a company’s own workforce. “Assessment methodology to prioritize knowledge management related activities to support organizational excellence” http://www.emeraldinsight.com/Insight/viewContentI tem.do?contentType=Article&hdAction=lnkhtml&co ntentId=843744 By Manfred Bornemann and Martin Sammer “So far, a systematic and comprehensive assessment tool to prioritize organizational development activities, especially in the currently intensely discussed domain of knowledge management is not available in the literature”. This article also describes a potential methodology which will address the aforementioned problem.
Information Week – November 10, 2008 – “From Inkling to Innovation” “From Idea to Innovation” by David Greenfield This article is very useful for the context of this paper as it discusses experiments and methods by which large corporations have tried to tame innovation management. It also discusses an impact assessment of managed
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