What is Innovation?
Innovation from A to Z
Understand the Entire Innovation Concept in a Few Short Minutes
What is innovation? Your dictionary would tell you that it has to do with introducing something new. But what does that really mean? How does that impact your business? It’s marketing strategy? Its income generation? That is the real definition you want.
Well you’re about to find out all of those answers. You’ll discover not only what is innovation, but all of the basics related to it. Consider this a kind of internet course, only it’s only a few minutes long, doesn’t include any boring lectures, and there won’t be an exam at the end – except the application of what you learned toward the success of your business!
After all, unless you know what you’re doing, the only person who truly benefits from innovation is the inventor. You need to make sure that your company’s strategy ensures that it is applied to better your product or service, improve your policies to better serve your teams or your customers, or to advance the process of the delivery of that product, whether that be its marketing or the way that your customers can actually obtain it.
Whether your company’s answer to what is innovation is a change that is large or small, revolutionary or only slightly different, it doesn’t matter; as long as it is properly used by your business. Even the tiniest change can provide the polish your business needs for a significant boost in its ability to achieve – or beat – its goals.
Innovation Theories (don’t get scared, this will be brief!)
There are a long line of different innovation theories. People have spent lifetimes in careers or business schools, studying and examining different schools of thought. If you want to look into the leading theories further, you’ll need to know the terms:
• Breakthrough theory
• Incremental theory
• and Open source theory
On the other hand, if you’d really rather skip ahead to the point of all of those theories, then what you’ll need to know is the main arguments they make for innovation success. While some say that the only way to achieve success is to be disruptive – to shake things up – others say that all you need is to make a measurable change to be able to succeed with it.
Equally, while some say that the best way to develop a new discovery is in private, with the greatest amount of secrecy and privacy, others will argue that innovation is best developed and improved when it is made open to everyone so that the creativity, knowledge, and skills of everyone can be applied.
Lesson over. See! That didn’t hurt.
Tools and Techniques for Innovation
Though it may sound odd to think that there are tools and techniques for a creative or discovery process, they do actually exist. Though innovation is often referred to as the future of an organization, the struggle is in actually making it happen.
Most businesses don’t have the necessary funds to dedicate an entire team or department to research and development; so they just hope that they will hire someone with continually innovative and profitable ideas. Trial and error is the most common and yet least efficient path to innovate.
Instead, certain practical and yet affordable methods should be put into place. To name only a few, these can include:
• Creating a supportive atmosphere that welcomes all ideas
• Encouraging brainstorming and sharing at meetings
• Rewarding innovation among team members
• Setting innovation goals
• Encouraging time to think
• Celebrating successes
Obstacles to innovation
Without even knowing it, the way your business operates may actually stand in the way in its ability to innovate. There are two key common obstacles that can bring innovation to a halt in your organization:
1. Your company culture hasn’t been designed to encourage the formation of new ideas or to welcome their contribution. If your employees don’t feel that they should be coming up with new ideas and telling you about them, then you will be automatically neglecting one of the resources that are most readily available to you.
2. Your company’s organization makes it difficult to further develop an innovation. A physically or systemically confining company culture can strangle its ability to bring good ideas through the development process.
Measures of innovative success
This final point is one of the more challenging areas of business innovation. While you may find it hard to come up with an idea, choose it, and develop it to bring it to the next stage, it can be very difficult to decide whether or not that innovation was successful. After all, there are no cut-and-dry metrics for this process. Instead, the two prime indicators that you can use are:
1. Obtaining a patent
2. Research and development
Both of these will cause you to look more deeply into the idea and find out where its true potential is (or is not).
As you can see, true innovation isn’t something that just happens as a gift out of the blue. It is something that your company must specifically seek out and pursue in order to ensure that it is a success. It is a discipline, and now that you have the foundation, you are much more prepared to develop your own organization’s strategy.
Learn more about Innovation in Business and How to Innovate and Approach Innovation to Grow your Business successfully: