What does innovation mean to you?

English: author: PARK advanced design manageme...
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When we talk about innovation it’s easy to come up with the Apple example but is this the business innovation we should constantly keep a look at? I believe this is a very limited approach as innovation is not only in the product we sell but also in the way we do our business – and this is a core ongoing task in business management.

Innovation is shifting away from pushing products out of labs, towards creating value for customers. And finding out what customers value means getting closer to them. That’s why creating value can mean innovating business models, servicing, processes or marketing. According to a recent survey, over half of CEOs are focusing more on business model innovations.

Being innovative is a long-term and continuous process. Companies are challenged to create the business of tomorrow even as they focus on keeping the organisation lean today, with more immediate incremental improvements supplemented by long-term big bets. Effective innovators have structures and practices in place to make innovation more systematic. This allows them to ‘control’ accidental discoveries, and to be continuous innovators. Such structures include a grassroots approach – empowering employees to act like entrepreneurs – as well as strong leadership backing and centralised support.

Innovation processes are also opening up, for example to suppliers, customers or even the world at large. These changes often need to be accompanied by changes to the operating model. In fact, it’s the complete change of operational models as a result of digitalisation that drives many forms of innovation. Many great innovators are embracing what digital means for their business while others are inventing new operating models to target the under-served in markets once thought unreachable.

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9 thoughts on “What does innovation mean to you?”

  1. I think from a business and economic perspective innovation is simply the sub-set of change management where there is identifiable evidence of knowledge creation or transfer.

  2. Just wanted to say that I used to be recommended this blog by my cousin for a year now… I finally got here and I find it really useful. Thanks!

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