Top Business Innovation Trends From Practices Of Innovation LeadersNov 04
In the modern times, the term innovation has often come to use more frequently than ever to define solutions to the business problems at hand. The need for innovation has escalated to enlarge the set of tools that businesses can use to tackle business growth challenges. One of the other most frequently used tool - enhanced operational efficiency is not necessarily in itself a growth enhancing mechanism. Therefore it can be beneficial to deeply understand and analyze the trends defining innovation in modern day world.
- Strong focus on customer: As being supported by design thinking to solve customer problems, innovation success hinges closely upon the extent to which customer needs are met, and an important customer problem being solved. For example: Apple’s ipod provided one of the most brilliant of innovations replacing other mediums such as Walkman through sheer emphasis on its compactness, maximum storage and customizability to needs.
- Embracing the practice of Open innovation: To realize the peak of innovation, it might be plausible to argue that conventional rules have to be broken. This entails that no longer are businesses limiting their emphasis upon specific departments, or within the company as a whole to extract ground-breaking product/service. Thus some companies are tapping external sources such as companies or people to lead in innovation. Example: P&G’s connect and develop program enables P&G to initiate and build on partnerships with innovators, and patent holders for meeting needs of products, technologies, and e-commerce. (http://www.pgconnectdevelop.com/) The fruits of their strategy are seen when we see the launch of innovative products such as Gillette Fusion ProGlide razors with enhanced technologies.
- Fostering an internal culture of innovation: An increasing number of companies are moving towards fostering strong internal culture of innovation. This requires developing a team that is oriented towards innovation and living the values of a truly innovative company. To a lot extent this culture has to be promoted from the top. In this regards, the role of management is increasingly important. For example at 3M, one of top innovators, 15% rule is implemented to ensure that employees devote 15% of their time to chase new innovations out of their scope of daily work. Similarly management now has a number of tools at their disposal to extract employee innovation such as ‘Six Thinking Hats’ or ‘Morphological Matrix’ techniques.
- Emphasis on disruptive inventions: Perhaps one of the most prevalent of trends is found in disruptive inventions of today that are changing the entire dynamics of how industries are operating. According to Clayton M Christensen, a Harvard University Professor, “disruptive technologies create a new market and value network and eventually disrupts an existing market and value network, displacing established market leading firms, products and alliances”. Hence we see such innovations in the shape of Netflix completely disrupting the movie industry and taking business from cable television providers, and Blockbuster.
Hence as companies today embark on practices of innovation, it is important that companies are able to keep up with the current business innovation trends of the likes highlighted here to ultimately position themselves as innovation leaders