Innovation is the adaptation of the practical application of existing concepts and ideas which result in the creation of new products or services or enhancement in providing existing products or services. The process involves a series of interactions between people, organizations, and technology to meet real needs. The basic premise for innovation is to overcome current obstacles, to extend the service scope, to create new applications, and to improvise the efficiency of the service or product delivery. Innovation is the result of an ongoing process and is not a static idea. It requires continuous evaluation and monitoring.
A wide variety of sources contributes to innovation. Technological change and globalization have shaped the innovative processes of many innovators. Innovation can also be a result of the process by which an existing product or service is commercialized. Some innovators are highly motivated by personal or professional goals and attempt to “invent” new technologies or markets. In recent years, some businesses have turned to consultants to help them implement innovative activities such as business case analysis, stakeholder discussions, and business innovation management.
Innovation is useful when it adds value to human welfare, when it increases competitiveness, when it leads to greater social welfare or when it creates new opportunities. Innovation has two broad objectives: the expansion of services and products and the creation of new ideas and new practices. Innovation has been used in all areas of enterprise activity, but innovators most frequently use it for new ideas and new practices.
Business is one area where businesses regularly use innovation to generate new ideas and practices. When a business determines to innovate, the leaders determine what changes would have the most positive effect on their business and whether those changes would require outside help. A business that has been inactive for many years may suddenly decide to innovate. A company may decide to invest in new research or it might decide to change certain business practices.
There are different ways to approach innovation. One way is called disruptive innovation. By this term, we mean an innovation that is disruptive because it causes a major transformation in an existing market structure or practice. The primary drivers behind disruptive innovation are changes in technology, globalization, and the economy. Examples of disruptive innovations include Information Technology, Internet marketing, and disruptive manufacturing.
Strategic innovation is another way of innovation. It involves a series of tactical decisions designed to make the most of an innovative leader’s expertise, talent, and experience. Strategic innovations do not usually alter a company’s business model, but rather to improve on it. Strategic innovations usually come from within the company. Therefore, the strategic innovators understand how to collaborate and share innovation technologies with key stakeholders.