Recent advances in technology and management practices have ushered in an era of open market economy and a fiercely competitive marketplace. It is scarcely amazing then that the differentiators of yesteryears are history today.
There is more to innovation than mere inventions, it is the art of doing things differently too. While breakthrough innovations may happen rarely, it is incremental innovations at a more frequent interval that helps an organization move ahead of the competition.
Since the days of the first entrepreneur innovation has been the most discussed and least practiced of all management practices. In contemporary times Innovation has become the most sought after management tool and companies the world over are adopting innovative practices to continue staying in the profitability space. This could well be attributed to the fact that in an economy which is knowledge based innovation is pivotal and holds the key to success. Thus it is evident that if competitive advantage has to be sustainable then one of the most critical differentiator is innovation.
PROCESS OF INNOVATION
One of commonest misconceptions within industries is that innovation is about better and more efficient processes. The real time scenario being that this is more about changing the very way that managers do what they are expected to do and thus enhance organizational performance.
STEPS TO INNOVATION
When implementing innovation within an organization it is imperative that some specific steps are adopted:
Develop a Vision Statement which is simply a mental image of what the business must aspire to achieve and thus energize the organization to work towards the objective with youthfulness and ambition while ensuring a sense of purpose and direction.
Create a Mission statement which should ideally translate the vision into practice with specific and quantifiable goals and milestones. Thus while Vision is the dream Mission is the ‘do’ if innovation is to succeed.
Strategic innovation is formulated based on the mission statement of the organization and is invariably the mode which delivers innovative value to the entire value chain which may include the customer, suppliers and employees of the organization.
INSIGHTS TO INNOVATION
The secret to successful innovation then is not limited to thinking differently alone considering the fact that they also need to link in their innovation to the mission and vision statement of the organization. In a crux the vision statement is the dream, the mission is the vehicle for implementation while strategic innovation is the tactic which ensures a successful and innovative organization. This needs to be done with a top down commitment within the organization if employee ‘buy in’ is to happen. This is the basis of strategic innovation, as it ensures creating value for the customer and the organization alike.
Thus it is more than evident that there is more to innovation than the mere possession of the ability to think differently. It needs to be closely integrated with the mission and vision statement of the organization and must proceed in a specific direction so that it enhances organizational visibility and acceptance in a structured model.