In business and economics, innovation is the catalyst to growth.
Innovation is the development of new customers value through solutions that meet new needs, inarticulate needs, or old customer and market needs in value adding new ways.
This is accomplished through more effective products, processes, services, technologies, or ideas that are readily available In the organisational context. Innovation may be linked to positive changes in efficiency, productivity, quality, competitiveness, market share, and others.
Purpose of this Post
This paper looks at the approach to answering ‘how do you make an organisation more innovative?” It is an introductory paper.
Innovation is also about the workforce and customers pooling knowledge in a way that allows the capability to be assessed, prioritised and extracted on a frequent basis
Carnegie Mellon USA offer a maturity model of how innovation progresses through a sequence of levels that go from a reactive workforce through to controlling and managing through to continuous improvement of innovation.
The techniques include:
- Incentive reward to individuals
- Incentive reward to groups
- Ad hoc review of submitted ideas by a small number of individuals not related directly to the company strategy and values
Emphasis on collaborative techniques both with the workforce, partners and customers.
- Focus Group collaboration to brain storm and prioritise potential innovations based on strategic sub-themes
- Network social networking discussion tools
- Facilitated collaboration reviews using anonymous IT techniques
- Knowledge management innovation retrieval, assessment and publishing
- More formal reviews at a senior management level
- Targeted innovation themes that are researched to create ideas and to create breakthroughs with a defined objective, funded and managed
- Peoples’ performance is developed to include formal training in innovation techniques and is measured
- Defined innovation process for the organisation including review and relationship to business plans
- Innovation organisational process cascaded throughout the organisation and known to everyone as participative and rewarding
- Process to review and assess meaningful innovations including virtual laboratories and incubators
- Predictable outcomes from the innovations collected
- Innovation centre of excellence that identifies and encourages people and groups in the organisation that are innovation stars
- The wisdom innovation elders in the organisation that promote, mentor and encourage people and groups throughout the organisation to innovate. These elders should include external people and internal people such as Phil Treleaven of UCL, UK, or innovation maturity people such as myself.
Many companies who lead in innovation have a process where their research or their “idea pool” can create incubators to nurture, develop, trial, test and support new innovations. Some companies create a virtual laboratory for incubating new processes, new services and products, testing efficiency or demonstrating it will work to capture greater investment, based on sound financial models. They either restructure their organisation to entertain the fundamentals of the incubator or they start a separate organisation to service the market.
Charles Leadbreater is an interesting speaker who points out that more often than not it is your customers where the innovation comes from and you need to include them as well as your work force in innovation.
Professor Phil Treleaven UCL UK, research and teaching interests cover Financial Services (e.g. computational finance and algorithmic trading) and the Creative Industries (e.g. anthropometrics surveys using 3D Body Scanners). In Financial Services we have major and unique collaborations with Reuters, Deutsche Bank, Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs and other leading investment banks, who have donated a virtual trading floor.