To be competitive in this changing world, we have to put efforts on coming up with new ideas, products, and services that add value to our organization. This solution we call “innovation”.
Innovation has become and is a symbol of modern society, keyword for success and financial growth, an imperative for companies and enterprises. Now-days, innovation is all over ICT and car industry, but also every cosmetics have some innovation formula, most companies have innovation section on web pages and not to mention medicine and pharmacy who offers an innovative drugs. From a business perspective, it is a way to improve business and make more profit, and from a perspective of a regular everyday normal guy it became just a buzzword.
The word itself is overused and if you check with a single Google search you’ll find about 557,000,000 results in 0.32 seconds! Definitions vary and innovation means different things to different people, industries and even to different science.
Popularity that (term) innovation gained in the last decade, made us think what people mean when they say we need more innovation or we need to be more innovative?
After reviewing dozens of definitions from a diverse set of relevant sources, we decided to provide a simple description of innovation that our regular everyday normal guy can understand.
Most important characteristics/dimensions of innovation are:
- Creating something fresh! Innovation starts with an idea and “something” here may refer to process, product or service. As innovation is always about bringing something new, there are two paths of this dimension of innovation:
(a) Creating something new, unique, original. Starting something for the first time. It is basically like inventing the wheel.
(b) Improving something that already exists in a way of making it better than it was before. This way innovation doesn’t have to be about reinventing the wheel.
- Creating value! Creating something new is not enough for the definition of innovation. There are a lot of new things that are of no use or have no value. Innovation always has a tangible outcome that has value. Innovation must be valued, which means that it meets real need or resolves a real life problem. This reflects on commercialization of the idea itself.
- Innovation is a process. It has it’s structure and involves multiple activities. It’s a result. It’s an outcome. It’s something you work towards achieving “something fresh”. Mostly is a team work, team of people of diverse knowledge and expertise working together to produce something fresh. Technology helped to overcome the geographical barriers with innovation management solution that allows you to gather team in online environment around some new challenge. By encouraging and acknowledging your people whenever they come up with a new idea, you create an environment, where innovation is a part of the everyday life and work. It has always future dimension and is a positive change.
Innovation is the reason our lives have improved since the beginning of civilazation. Innovation always means progress and in this changing world progress is expected. As technology is now in every part of our lives, we do expect that next generation of our android or iOS smartphone, will have some new features, like a faster CPU, improved battery life, more pixels on camera. But we can’t all be scientists, engineers and developers to create something new. But we all have came up with some ideas about improving our performance at work in order to work better, faster, easier. If those ideas are implemented, that is a successful innovation.
There is a significant need for a simple approach to finding new ways of overcoming the challenges that modern society bringing and innovation is logical response on it. If you have some other point of view on this subject, please leave your definition of innovation or your anecdote of an innovation in action as a comment to this post.