Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Innovation as a Strategic Capability

Innovation is a unique business capability to reinvent business, but not to reinvent the wheels.

Innovation becomes simply "creating value by solving simple or complex problems." Today, innovation can happen anywhere, anytime; it expands both horizontally and vertically. It’s the state of mind to think and do things from a new angle, it’s the business’s unique capabilities to gain a competitive advantage in the face of fierce competition and business dynamic. Generally speaking, innovation is to connect à solution to an unmet need, usually creating a win-win situation for both parties in term of value creation.

Innovation is one main instrument to implement your company´s strategy. If you really innovate, you will differentiate your company at the same time. Innovation is costly most of the time. That is why you should really concentrate innovation on the main issues of your strategy. As you innovate, you might find helpful changes to your strategy. Innovation is similar to as "the sum is larger than its parts." At today's modern organizations, it is essential for developing a company strategy that encourages realistic innovations which will prove successful in the market. From leadership/management perspective, creativity is a basic competency for leaders and managers. Creativity requires thinking, imagination, and planning. Innovative thinking turns ideas into action, put creativity to work, craft innovation as a strategic capability, and develop strategies for innovation.

The word innovation can be described as a join of two keywords "in" and "novation." The “novations” are described as the act of either: replacing an obligation to perform with another obligation, or adding an obligation to perform; or replacing a party to an agreement with a new party. So being innovative is being in “novation”! Innovation involves people at all levels and they are the ones that innovate- the primary "actor." Process underpins business capabilities, and innovation is a unique business capability. Processes are just series of tasks which may or may not be innovative, therefore, they should be mainly about system or common cause variation rather than special cause variation.

The output from the process is innovation. Innovation has more enriched context today than ever: Innovation is how to transforms novel idea or knowledge into business value. The output from the process is the innovation. The exercise of deciding just what innovation is within each organization IS the single most critical activity of an innovation effort. Because how an organization orchestrates to generate ideas, manages the activities, measures the results, etc. is determined by how that organization has decided to craft the innovation effort. There are many areas within a company where the innovation process can be applied to create value, from communication innovation to culture innovation, from process innovation to business model innovation; from product innovation to service innovation, the innovation context goes beyond the traditional scope, and innovation is not just your R&D department's business anymore, it is an ongoing business capability.

Innovation is a unique business capability to reinvent business, but not to reinvent the wheels. Innovation is about reinventing the business direction and purpose at any time. It defines strategy, profitability and relevance at any given time. If you do not, you become commoditized and just like so many others who offer the same product or service. Innovation allows one to stand out and above the rest.


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