Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Back to Basic: What is Innovation

Innovation = Idea executed to produce value.

Talk of innovation is not new nowadays, everybody, every organization now is talking about innovation. It's been at or near the top of the business or economics agenda for a long time. However, there’re a lot of confusions about innovation and there is no magic sauce to guarantee its success, back to basic, what is innovation, the more you look into this topic, the more difficult to give a definition of innovation, as It is such a broad topic.
Innovation = Idea executed to produce value.  “Systematic Innovation" is an appropriately structured framework and set of practical tools anyone can use to create or improve products, processes, and services that will deliver new value to their customers. This makes an incremental improvement, step changes and taking ideas from elsewhere and applying in the business, innovation. More generally, innovation is about creating value from ideas.

For a business, innovation is 'anything that is new to you'. Any product, process or offering which brings "newness" in its application and results in a measurable value addition may be termed as Innovation. Innovation can also be defined based on the differences in non-innovative thinking and work: "High demands and desire and energy for (1) particularly important and significant added value, (2) for exceptionally strong and utopian solutions and (3) for the realization or prototyping of difficult, unlikely appearing and very challenging solutions."

 Innovation can be defined as an improvement in products or processeswhich could either be functional or based on features, the final outcome or results of the "innovated" product or process is that it should be "better in terms of quality, faster in terms of its delivery capacity and cheaper in terms of cost". Otherwise, why to waste energy if the outcome is opposite because the market will not afford it. It will always look for something better but affordable or cheaper to put it in simple terms. From the academic view, there are three principal classifications of innovation, namely marginal, incremental and radical innovations. An example of marginal innovation is an improvement of a basic product by changing a small feature while leaving the basic structure intact; an example of an incremental innovation could be changing a basic structure to a more complex level such as moving a design from three degrees of freedom to six degrees of freedom.

True innovation and sustainability go hand in handBy etymology, "innovare" signifies "to germinate seeds". Knowing that, go ahead and innovate by inventing your future, and the one of your company’s! True innovation is developing products that last long and impact the macro-economy health widely. A useful working definition of business is that innovation means implementing ideas to create value for customers.

What is innovation? It’s the way to maximize the benefits by increasing the risk when the risk is called opportunity. Innovation is production or adoption, assimilation, and exploitation of a value-added novelty in economic and social spheres; renewal and enlargement of products, services, and markets; development of new methods of production; and the establishment of new management systems. It is both a process and an outcome. Only at the macroeconomic level, innovation starts becoming visible, that's also why clustering is becoming more and more important for the business environment.

Innovation is the myth needs to be debunked, and the first step first is to clarify what is innovation all about, back to the basic, in order to manage it more seamlessly.


Much of what appears above is solid thinking. Invention is the idea but it is not innovation until you can create and THEN capture value from the invention. And it is not just about the product but is also about the business model and interaction with the market. Blockbuster and Netflix both deliver movies for viewing at home when you want to watch, but Netflix shifted the business model once technology and home 'infrastructure' made it possible. So that is an innovation.... Apple TV is an enhancement of sorts, but like Polaroid Movie may be relatively short-lived as cable and content providers come together....why have an extra device when you can deliver the content even more efficiently today. So innovation requires commercial success in my opinion and also requires constant vigilance since the benefits created and captured might actually have a short life-cycle so you need to be ready to cannibalize your own innovation with a next generation product.

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