A good innovation strategy will involve identifying a problem or opportunity, finding the right people, developing the right innovation process and strategy, and training employees on the requirements. When the goal is to” innovate “and adopt “innovative” ways of doing things in the workplace, the entire organization must be committed, focused and willing to change. A successful innovation process requires knowledge, expertise, systems and people all working together in an integrated fashion. An innovative and creative workplace has high morale, high staff satisfaction, high productivity and effective working conditions.
There are four major aspects to Innovation, each related to business modelling. Business modelling, also called strategic innovation, is about how business can be better served through innovation projects. Strategic innovation projects, sometimes called “mission-oriented” innovation projects, include some activities that have direct influence on the organization’s operations and quality or customer service. Business-modelling includes using R&D to develop new products or processes, using consultants for product or process re-designing, hiring IT professionals to build or improve internal networks, and using business consulting to implement new business strategies. All of these activities require a good understanding of innovation, how to implement it, and what the costs might be. They also need a good understanding of the organisation as a whole, including its people, budget, culture, legal framework, and business models.
The second step in the innovation process is to determine how to implement the innovation agenda in an environment that is supportive of it. First, it needs to be understood that there are many sources of innovation, and not all of them can be implemented in the business. Some ideas are not feasible for a given business because of resources, space, or time constraints. This means that the ability to make the innovation work comes from carefully evaluating each idea before bringing it forward for implementation. Ideas should also be evaluated based on their potential impact on business, on employees, on the overall economy, and on competitors.
In addition, there needs to be a commitment to the use of innovation. Not only must employees be engaged in the innovation process, but senior management should be committed to innovation too. If senior management does not believe that the business has the innovation capabilities necessary to proceed, then they should not be pursuing it. Similarly, if there is not a culture of innovation within the business, and top management is unwilling to make the investment in innovation capabilities, then those capabilities will not be available to employees, either.
Another important area of consideration is the business modelling that goes along with an innovation strategy. When businesses undertake innovation projects, they must determine their realistic cost and benefits. This includes the cost of implementation, the cost of any new technologies that will be required to implement the project, and the impact on profits, if any. Costs must be assessed in terms of dollars, so that the scope of the project can be established as accurately as possible. Benefits must also be assessed in terms of dollars, to establish if the project is worthwhile, both in terms of its return on investment and its effect on company revenue.
An innovation audit is designed to help business managers consider their innovation capabilities, and to measure those capabilities against internal and external market trends. A good audit will look at all areas of the business, both current and future. For example, an area of current concern may be research and development spending, which can grow significantly over time. The purpose of an innovation strategy is to set the wheels in motion for future growth, and an audited report can highlight areas that need improvement.
There are a number of approaches that organizations can take to improve their understanding of the innovation process. One approach is to develop a dedicated Innovation Management team. This team can consist of people who are specifically trained in strategic planning, management and auditing. Other approaches include creating an innovation dashboard, which combines past, present and future company information for a single purpose. Finally, a basic level review, where the focus is on identifying what is working and what is not working, is also an effective way to understand the innovation process. This may be used in conjunction with other internal and external strategies to improve the effectiveness of the overall innovation strategy.
In all, an effective innovation strategy is one that is able to manage the long term investments that companies make into the r&d. Companies that are able to demonstrate a long term plan for investing in innovation technologies, are more likely to successfully compete in today’s economy. In addition to being a key driver of innovation, it is important for a company to implement the strategy consistently. By doing so, the company demonstrates commitment to ensuring that it is a key force in driving innovation and that it is aligned with the needs of the marketplace. Innovation is one of the most important tools that any company can utilize in today’s economy. Therefore, companies that show an understanding of the value and importance of innovation are more likely to achieve sustained competitive advantages.