Friday, July 3, 2015

What’s Your "Central Point" of Innovation

The central point of Innovation means to have the right angle to oversight all different dimensions.

Innovation is to transform the novel ideas and achieve its commercial values. It is the market acceptance and utilization of a novel way of doing something that is 'at the very least' perceived to be superior to the old product and approach, etc. Statistically, innovation has very low success rate, if “central point” means the most crucial aspects of innovation management and the top priorities to make innovation work, then, how do you well tune the “central point” and manage innovation more effectively?

About the "central point" of innovation: Both the acceptance and utilization of the proposed novel or better product and idea is central to the idea of what constitutes innovation. Innovation is an implemented change or ongoing transformation. According to ‘MUST’ (Multilevel Universal Systems Thinking) approach, the change might be implemented on different consumption levels. Belonging a change to one of the described following consumption levels determine its “innovation scope”:
-A new result (new satisfied need of a customer –“need” solution);
-A new method of gaining the same result (“principle” solution);
-A new technology the same method is based on (“scientific” solution);
-Means the same technology is supported by (“technical” solution);
-A new set of parameters of the same technical solution (“parametric” solution);

Innovation is driven by important Customer and Market Needs: Focus on meeting important customer needs, instead of just doing simply interesting research topics, helps assure that the results of innovative approach will have positive impact for the clients, partners, end users, and the marketplace. From observation, association, questioning and experimenting, innovation needs to be practical and customer driven; the ivory tower style can fail innovation because it could be too theoretical, not practical enough to reach the real customers’ need. Hence, from industry survey, the company’s innovation success rate is not proportional with the innovation research budget they invest in. Innovation can be managed more systematically: Well define the central point of innovation, and take the most compelling and unique approach to address the needs; analyze the benefits per costs of that approach; and quantify why the chosen approach is better than the competition and alternatives.

The central point of Innovation means to have the right angle to oversight all different dimensions. There are multidimensional criteria to assess innovation success. Any innovative idea in order to be successful during its development into innovation (implemented change) should satisfy the following criteria: consume-ability, marketability, protect-ability, feasibility and profitability. New value (mainly consume-ability+) is only one of them. Of course, the consumption levels might be related to different stages of the product life: manufacturing, installation, day-day usage, maintenance, repair etc. Simply “customers” of each stage might differ. Axiomatic design gives a mathematical version of what is a good design through the use of matrices that connect functionality with simplicity.

The central point of innovation provides the clear lenses to "Keep the end in mind" by clarifying overloaded information: Start from defining an ideal target, also breakdown the large problems to the smaller pieces: There's a way to make real change less disruptive; starting from defining an ideal target -- which all can possibly agree about, and looking at the present situation just in terms of how to pursue that target and overcoming constraints. Disruption is a necessary, but clearly not a sufficient condition for innovation. The solution for many complex / thorny problems is looking for NECESSARY conditions, and starting with breakdown them to smaller pieces and implementing them (hoping that the rest will possibly come by itself). It's a bet, but a sensible one. An overload of information makes creative efforts more complex. Information is of course useful as a creative resource, but it all needs processing. A balance is required. Selling disruption can't be done on the basis of fear - even though there's more than enough to be fearful of; it has to be sold on the basis that it's the only means to achieve comparatively certain superior growth.

Every organization is different, every innovation initiative is also unique, there’s no one size fitting all innovation practice, that makes innovation still be serendipity for many organizations. Businesses just have to learn from experimenting, analyze and well define “central point,” amplify the best practices, cultivate their innovation champions, ride above the learning curve, and continue to spinning the magic circle of innovation.


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