Innovation is a natural tendency of the human mind to thrive on variety, regardless of the activity involved. All the man-made changes that the world has witnessed are a result of this tendency to look for something different. The urge to try something else is a prominent human characteristic. When properly directed, this urge can have results that enhance the quality of an activity. A positive outcome of this urge to be different is called innovation. There is no end to the new ideas in the world, but when these ideas create value, it becomes innovation. Often enough, it is the application of existing knowledge in a different manner that stands out as an innovative idea. Usually, one idea gives birth to the next and new technologies, processes and methods come into being. Good ideas are of no use unless they are implemented, and implementation in a new way always attracts criticism. It is only by being optimistic in the face of odds that an individual stands a chance of achieving something unique. At times, innovation is done by taking an existing idea, concept or product and improving upon it. However what is more remarkable is to be able to think beyond what already exists, and coming up with a brand new concept. Mankind has come this far by riding on the benefits of innovative ideas through the ages. It is the problems that people encounter that cause a solution to be sought. Great scientific inventions that we now take for granted are products of the innovative ideas of great minds. Innovation is a key element in providing growth and for increasing results. Innovation means a new way of doing something; it may refer to incremental, radical and revolutionary changes. A company that overlooks new and better ways of doing things will eventually lose customers to another competitor that has found a

better way. Innovation by businesses is achieved in many ways. One way leading to innovation is the use of creativity techniques. These are methods that encourage original thoughts and divergent thinking e.g. brainstorming morphological analysis. New ideas that have been generated by the use of creativity techniques have to be structured and evaluated. In order to complete the innovation process the valuable ideas have to be put into practice. According to Peter F. Drucker, “The best way to predict the future is to create it”. We are facing changes that cannot be addressed with traditional methods, because change itself has changed. Solutions that worked in the past now simply cause more problems. A whole new perspective is needed to approach breakthrough change with success.

Innovation as a Core Business Concept
A business concept or model is a framework for identifying how one’s business creates, delivers, and extracts value. In today's world of discontinuous change, there is no continuity without constant renewal. A survey found that more than 90% of large organizations are committed to innovation. Yet when managers of these companies were asked to describe their corporate innovation system, almost none of them could do it. One explanation for this mismatch is that top management is just paying lip service to innovation and has no intention of really working hard on it. Another and far more likely explanation is that senior leaders do not have a clear, well-developed model of what innovation looks like as an organizational capability. Since they don't know what it looks like, they don't know how to describe or build it. Innovation applies to all business activities, not just end products. Innovation can be in logistics such as in the case of Wal-Mart, merchandising like Starbucks, and selling like Dell. Pioneers rethink the entire business concepts & build new business models from ground up. Today greatest amount of

wealth goes to those who create new business models, create new sources of revenue based on changing technology, changing demographics and changing global demand. According to Gary Hamel, “True innovation is based on the recognition that a business concept represents a dozen or so design variables, all of which need to be constantly revisited and constantly challenged”. Managers have to think creatively & holistically about their entire business concept. Strategic innovation differs from product innovation. Companies today can succeed through innovative strategies alone. Southwest Airlines, Dell, IBM, EBay etc. succeeded through innovative strategies. Innovations need not be risky, but something that changes customer expectations & competitiveness for the better. Only Innovation creates new wealth. Stock Markets reward only those with successful innovation.

Innovation as a Change of Strategy
The change of strategy in a company can bring fruitful benefits to it. Dell can be used as an example here. Dell was known as just a company who manufactured and sold hardware. During 2007, when Dell lost it first position to HP for the first time in a decade, Michael S.Dell had to step back in as a CEO of the company by replacing Kevin Rollins. He took drastic measures inside and outside the company to increase profitability. He masterminded the change in entire product range. He started changing the company's image from hardware manufacturer to a company which sells the entire IT solution. Organizations were struggling with IT complexity. Dell forged a path to simplify IT, by building a low-touch uniform infrastructure spanning the desktop to the data center. By doing this customer got operational efficiency, manageability and

flexibility to pinpoint ways to streamline how IT is acquired, maintained, and scaled. IT simplification helps reduce the cost and complexity of maintaining systems, enabling organizations to reclaim the time, money and personnel needed to drive true innovation into daily business processes. Best of all, IT simplification is a way to differentiate one’s offerings from his competitors, which leads to greater sales opportunities. Innovation means thinking differently. It means thinking differently about one’s products, his processes, and employees. In other words it involves “Change”. Change is like a wave. Either one can ignore it, in which case the change will overtake him and will drown him or one can get a surfboard and ride the wave. It may not take him where he thought he would be, but it will be a whole lot better than drowning. Organizations that are innovative are change-ready.

Practical Innovation
Practical innovation is about taking ideas and new thinking and focusing them into a direction and then executing that direction; in other words, starting with the thinking, creating the strategy (strategic planning) and then executing the strategy. This focuses the innovation on real-time problem solving.

Innovation as a Corporate Value
Innovation is a driving force in a company. It enables to create new products and technologies as well as processes. A first reason why innovation doesn't fit very well in the catalog of corporate values is that it is too much business related. Some companies more than others need continuous innovation, but that doesn't mean each and every employee must be screened to match the innovator. A suitable value that may replace innovation is creativity. Change is another, but as a

value it is not very suitable. One can ask people to act with integrity, responsible, focused on performance, but cannot ask them to accept any change without knowing what and why. The dilemma with innovation is similar; it must serve a purpose. Innovation begins with understanding the key elements. A way to get in, a way to keep others out - these are key elements. Attitude helps innovation. The creative problem-solving technique of concept-combination involves combining two ideas to see what new idea or product results. Playfulness helps innovation. A playful mind is a creative mind, and while high IQ doesn't correlate with creativity, when put it together with playfulness can bring a change.

Different Points of view regarding Innovation
One of the first groundbreaking developments in innovation was Joseph Schumpeter’s (1934) definition of the process. He argued that economic development is driven by innovation. He described innovation as a process of new technologies replacing old technologies, which he called “creative destruction”. He was also the founder of the terms: “radical” and “incremental” innovations, which entail major sudden changes and continuously changing processes, respectively. Schumpeter set out a list of types of innovations which form the basis of today’s definitions and strategic choices. Innovation may occur due to several reasons, according to Tirole (1995), innovation is a way of staying ahead of competitors. Adapting or developing ones products may help a company to protect or conquer market share from competitors. According to Rosenberg (1994), innovation goes together with uncertainty. Often, innovation is neglected or postponed due to the uncertainty of the outcomes. This may lead to the company not being able to obtain funding for their projects.

Contributing Factors Leading to Innovation
In turbulent times, companies that constantly innovate achieve significant competitive advantage over those that do not. Innovation in a custom installation company can take many forms. It involves a process of questioning everything one does, including what is sold, how the products and services are bundled, one’s levels of customer service and how one comes to the market. Innovation requires a company to learn to do things that it doesn’t already know how to do. According to Jeff DeGraff, a keynote speaker at PARA Management Conference and author of Leading Enterprise Innovation and Growth, “In order for companies to truly innovate, they need to develop faster, more flexible organizations with lower overhead, less scale and more scope to diversify. Most importantly, leaders must populate their companies with individuals who embody four distinct managerial styles that work together to create a dynamic that is conducive to creating and sustaining innovation.” Each of these four types embodies a distinct set of positive corporate values that work together to enable companies to innovate effectively. However, certain value sets also create inherent tensions with other value sets. When unaddressed, the internal friction created by these competing sets of values can frustrate and undermine a leader’s efforts to spearhead and execute meaningful change. Innovation is no longer about the big one-off idea. Innovation is about strategy. New ideas are important, but too often businesses neglect their innovation strategy. Developing an innovation strategy is essential to the long term growth and sustainability of any organization. CE Studios

developed an Innovation Strategy Chart. Figure 1 shows a model of this chart. The purpose of this model was to develop a strategy of innovation which creates future experiences. The Innovation Strategy Chart is divided into five parts. The four small parts (offering, environment, people, and time) are elements of the fifth, larger part (experience). In other words, experience consists of the interaction between offering, environment, people, and time. The model also consists of three rings. The outer ring represents the past, the middle ring represents the present, and the inner ring corresponds to the future. The innovation boundary covers the edge of the inner circle. It is the boundary between present experiences and future experiences. Each new innovation changes experience and therefore moves through the innovation boundary, creating a new present and a new future. While there are only three rings in this simplified model, one could view it with an infinite number of past rings and an infinite number of future rings.

Tables & Charts

Figure 1

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