Innovation is about the process of building or introducing something new or significantly improved in the form of, for example, a product, method or service, technology, work practice, idea or business model. It’s often closely associated with R&D but in reality it extends well beyond the traditional R&D laboratory or office to include consumers, markets and commerce. The Oslo Manual on guidelines for collecting and interpreting information on innovation identifies four categories of innovation: product, process, marketing and organizational. Some people think it’s a weasel word. We don’t agree.
Innovation is widely recognized as being fundamental for sustained economic growth and human development, being governed, as it is, by the creation, exploitation and extension/communication of knowledge. Innovative activity is influenced by a diverse range of factors including the incentive system for individuals and enterprises; the regulatory and investment climate; labour skills and markets; and property rights. Innovation is not just for high income countries, it’s equally relevant to the developing and less developed country groups.
While innovation sounds to be an appealing and positive concept it is, at the same time, a tricky and elusive indicator to measure, stimulate and manage. It’s not just about ideas or entrepreneurship. Ideas, for sure, are interesting but to have a transformational impact ideas have to be implemented or executed and more often than not by people or organizations that are different to the idea originator. Disruption is often required on the steps to effective implementation.
What can we do for your organization to build innovation activity?
1. Establish an innovation measurement framework for continuous monitoring and management.
2. Create guidelines for gathering and interpreting innovation data.
3. Identify the linkages with your innovation system, operations and value adding at your organization.
4. Help integrate innovation management within your risk management framework.
5. Help create an innovation culture in your organization.
6. Review your national, industry or corporate innovation centre.
Our approach to Innovation
Our basic belief is that innovation can and is highly likely to save and preserve the world in which we live. It is probably the most important policy and strategy to get right at either a corporate, government or SME level. It’s also possibly the most neglected policy and strategy opportunity. Innovation is at the centre of sustainable development and international competitiveness. Without continuous improvement in products, processes, marketing and organizational structure it is almost inevitable that sustainability deteriorates and international competitiveness declines. Conversely, with an effective innovation system in place opportunities for sustained growth can be exploited and international competitiveness enhanced. Innovation has to be integrated into the organization’s strategy and planning processes to enable it to be embedded into values and culture. This requires leadership, commitment and ownership of innovation activities. That’s the starting point for our approach.
Innovation development and management examples
● More than 10 years of innovation research and consulting with government, industry and private companies and cooperatives including design of national industry policy frameworks with innovation an essential component.
● International Competitiveness Advisor World Bank – project to improve competitiveness through improving capacity of the Ministry of Finance’s Directorate of Economic Affairs to facilitate innovation in the private sector.
● Creation of innovation measuring and monitoring framework.
Interesting links for innovation and technology adoption