Knowing what are the critical factors and there dependences for sustaining innovation success is vital to understand so an organization can place the appropriate resources behind them. The question is, which are critical, which naturally occur when others begin to be put into place, which seem to have limited or no real effect on changing the dynamics of innovation?
Knowing these and having these clearer shown as a ‘return on impact/investment’ (ROII) has real business value. Today, we lack a clear system model that brings the critical innovation factors out and gives them their appropriate values, and then can equally provide the ability to model different future states and conceive future scenarios through different impact-investments.
So what are the challenges of the knowledge-driven economy that innovation needs to drive?
They are increasing new characteristics of markets- constant change, product life-cycles are shortening and knowledge is consolidating which leads to additional competitiveness from firms
- New types of innovation are taking different forms to address these changing circumstances (product, technology-led, service, business model, process and operational driven, open, in design thinking, needs related, research driven and in marketing and extending existing products in different ways. We need to really understand these
- New needs of combining different stakeholders are pushing higher expectations to get winning products or services to market on time, every time that are exciting, new, engaging and often transformational. This calls for new ways of collaborative working. The middle manager especially has to rethink the way of working to embrace innovation more.
- New approaches to innovation management that are encompassing efficiently and continuously innovating working together has become the prime driver for achieving both top-line innovation growth and bottom-line efficiency, the two main challenges facing business today but needing this combining and blending of innovation and efficiency through new, effective ways. We cannot operate in a “business as usual” way, we need to make this more an “innovation business as usual” way.
- New technology innovation is prompting firms to access and implement the most appropriate technology according to their need, often to simply keep competitive. There is this need to distinguish between sustaining and disruptive aspects as technology is constantly changing. Incremental improvements of technology need to change and often there are requirements of ‘leapfrogging’. To consistently move ahead you need to recognize sometimes overshooting, otherwise you constrain the organization to adapt and grow as fast as often the market requires. Also pressures from both customers and shareholders influence often where firms engage and with what appropriate technology, but it is increasingly disruptive and disturbing to the existing structures and systems. Building a more responsive, adaptive organization open to explore and adopt is critical to move towards. We need a greater “fitness capacity” that can transverse the different innovation landscapes.
- The increasing pressure and need for innovation management concepts, tools and methodologies not just simply technological ones but relational tools in the way of doing business and achieving insight, externally and internally are growing in demand and understanding. The important part of any adoption of new tools, techniques, methods or processes you need to understand the consequences and to do that you need dedicated resource capable of interpreting the potential impact and value. Knowing your innovation dynamics becomes critical.
There are countless challenges to adapt and become fitter to innovate. Fitness comes from deeper understanding of the parts that make innovation up. These are far from static; they are dynamic and constantly changing. You have to provide an adaptive organization to manage these and many more than the 5 areas mentioned above.