should you do a web search for definition of the above, this is what you’d probably get;
Innovation is a new way of doing something or “new stuff that is made useful”. It may refer to incremental and emergent or radical and revolutionary changes in thinking, products, processes, or organizations. …
I know, bad habits die hard….i cannot start anything without defining it first, reminds me of my maths teacher(s), “write the formula first” or my science teachers and subsequent marketing lecturers…define first then go ahead to explain/justify/defend.
that has worked for me a lot in the past, academically, other areas? not so much… think of an instance where i approach this smoking hot chic and go like “pick-up line, a short witty statement often used to get a person’s attention at the onset of a romantic venture, screw me if i am wrong but don’t I know you from somewhere?” she walked away.
Many companies have gotten it but some just keep missing the point. Much more than before, we live in a fast dynamic age where it’s not just strategically brilliant to have the next best thing, rather it has become a basic survival tactic, even in the most static industries, dynamism is demanded. In IT related fields 6 months has been too long to hold the bragging rights but IT has so advanced it has spilled into everything from manufacturing to government, it has not only brought with it its convenience but also its short life-cycles into anything. have you tried saving for a super cool gadget? it will be out done and outdated by the time you raise half the amount *looks on wall at iPhone 3G picture, sheds a tear*
Light bulb moment
So, innovation had been defined by most but understood by few. Everybody has come across the dictionary definition and when it comes to application of the same, it does not seem as easy.
my take? just look at what drives innovation and work back from there. no, not like reverse engineering, mor like from the middle back, reverse engineering is a more or less a bench marking technique or a copy cat thing rather than a paradigm steering tool.
when broken down innovation boils down to 3 main components or drivers if you may.
Money, people and technology.
one could argue that the three merge in into an ambiguous mess but they do have very definite borders that separate them.
Ideally to drive innovation you need all three. however any one of them can be created by the other two. you can acquire the right technology with the right people and with enough money, you can attract the right people with the right technology and money and you can make money with the right technology and skilled enough people to work it.
innovation is a child of focus and commitment and that is why not any of the three drivers can be created by just any one of the others.
whats my point, if you want to beat competition at innovation every time, you need the right people, the right money and the right technology. you know its right when it’s all flexible. money in fixed capital will not drive innovation, people without open minds will not drive innovation, technology that does not inspire change and dynamism will not drive innovation. examples of companies that have gotten all three; Google, Facebook, Safaricom (arguably), 3M, Apple…the list may be long and across industries, but if you ask me, Tech-oriented companies seem to get it easier.
People, Money, Technology.