A simple definition of term innovation

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

Cell phone innovation
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.

Top 5 Free Online Idea Management Software

Top 5 Free idea management software

Hi Innovator,

These are our top 5 free idea management solutions, based on the design, simplicity of use and available features:

1. Innovation Cloud

Our Top choice.

Free specialized idea management solution for 15 users, 100 ideas and 1GB of storage made and maintained by a software company DataStation from Belgium. They focus on the innovation management and collaboration and are on the market for 9 years now. The Innovation Cloud is a basic version of their Enterprise solution – covering complete innovation process, starting from ideas to launch. Website states some valuable references up to this point: Bayer, DHL, NASA, HTC, Etihad, Toyota, Schweppes, Electrolux, etc.

We went on to try the free version and were amazed with the design, simplicity and the amount of the features we were presented with. It doesn’t require any training, so thumbs up. The software supports ad hoc and challenge driven idea submission. It operates in three phases: submission, collaboration and approval. Voting, files and comments are there as standard, but wrapped up in nice intuitive and familiar design. Application is mobile friendly with big buttons you can’t miss, ensuring that you are always aware of what you need to do next. They announce some pretty cool features coming in the next few months. They are not spamming us with emails to go for an upgrade (25e) and they have some good newsletters with the tips and hints about the usage, best practices, etc. All in all, great tool to kick start idea management and come to the fast proof of concept for internal buy-in.

Downsides: Annoying tutorial at the start. One account per email address.

2. Bitrix24

Bitrix24 is a social collaboration and communications platform for all business operations. It’s owned by Bitrix, Inc, Intranet and Cloud company from  Alexandria, Virginia. It offers a full range of applications and tools to cover different aspects of business management: CRM, Knowledge management, Project management, etc.

They have a built in idea management system in which any employee can express an idea to improve operations and let colleagues evaluate the idea. First, we had trouble understanding the pricing from the website, but it seems that idea management is not listed as a free solution, but we presume it is free for 12 users and 5Gbs of space, so went on to test it.

Two downsides put this software on the second place: Complexity of the screens and the scope of the features. Largely tied to the fact that idea management is not a focus of this software.

3. IdeaScale

IdeaScale is an innovation management platform that uses crowdsourcing to help you find and develop the next big thing. IdeaScale HQ is in Berkeley, CA. They started as government open innovation platform and continued in the same direction, collecting enterprise clients on the way. They have a Free plan for 25 users, 5 Campaigns with profanity filter and mobile use.

They are focused on the open innovation, so once we started a test, we could not hide our work from the public. The software itself is nice, but we struggled with the fact that the privacy is reserved only for the enterprise plans.

4. Canvazify

Team collaboration and brainstorming tool for 5 users. Not exactly idea management, but it has an infrastructure which you can use to organize brainstorming sessions, Kanban views, flowcharts, etc.

You start a canvas and your team can collaborate, comment and add thingies. A cool tool for design thinking, 6 hats and brainstorming.

Still in BETA though, and very limited if your need surpass 5 users count.

5. Wridea

Wridea has been established in 2006 and after 2 years of beta testing phase, the final release has been put online on June 2008. It was developed and owned by Octeth Ltd. a web app development company established in 1999.

With the help of Wridea, you can store your ideas, manage and organize them, collaborate with your friends over your ideas, etc.

Although it is fully free solution, we found that the interface is very modest. So we gave it a 5th place on our list.

Have you seen our full list of the Free idea management solutions?

See other solutions here: Complete List of Free online idea management software

Complete List of Free online idea management software

Complete list of free idea management software


After some research, we at the Innovation  Post blog put together the list of free software solutions for idea management.

Free online idea management software list serves as an ideal starting point for any individual or team who wants to capture and develop ideas with no upfront investments.

These software solutions are specialized in idea management and can be used to test and kick start your idea management initiative:


Bitrix 24







Innovation Cloud




Tally Fox




The number of the free online software solutions is raising constantly, so it is possible that we missed some. We want this list to be complete and up to date, so feel free to suggest other solutions and your experience using them in the comments and we will put it on the list after review.

Thank you.

Innovation Post

What is the difference between innovation management and change management?


Hello again,This post is directed to all those who are new in the innovation field that will definitely be confused with overlapping nature of these two broad terms – Innovation and Change.

To shed some light on the differences between them I will first deliver you their definitions, and then with some effort, main differences that will help you understand your standpoint.



INNOVATION MANAGEMENT is the discipline of managing innovations. It can be used to develop  product/service, process or business model innovation starting from creative idea to launch.

The focus of innovation management is to allow the organization to respond to an external or internal opportunity, and use its creative efforts to introduce new ideas, processes or products to reach market demands.

Common tools include brainstorming, virtual prototyping, product lifecycle management, idea management, TRIZ, stage-gate process, project management, product line planning and portfolio management. (source: wikipedia)


CHANGE MANAGEMENT is an approach to transitioning individuals, teams, and organizations from a current state A to a desired future state B.

It involves the process, tools and techniques to manage the people-side of change to achieve a required business outcome.

Change management’s goal is to minimize the change impacts on workers and avoid distractions. (source: http://www.change-management.com)


Having this cleared, let’s move onto the differences.


Main differences between Innovation and Change management:


Change management largely deals with a lot of known’s, on the other hand innovation management deals with a lot of unknown’s. Every creative ideas has a certain known beginning, but not a known end. In change management point A and point B are well known, it is just a matter of good execution to bring the change to point B.


Innovation management is tied to detecting and developing new areas as organizational goals in terms of Strategy and Vision development, whereas Change management is tied to implementation of such a Vision. An innovation is a disruptive change that will challenge your core capabilities and your core rigidness. While, Change management will demand you to convince your people to follow through a chosen path among different alternatives that have been pondered. Although they seem to intersect in some points the skills sets required are different.

3. CHANGE VS INNOVATION – A change does not necessarily mean innovation, while innovation always means the change.





Serbia has potential for Frugal innovation


In previous post I tried to bring you closer to Frugal innovation and its examples and showed you what impact they have on world most influential markets.


In this post, I`ll try to connect the core of Frugal innovation with Serbia and its market.
To recollect most crucial elements of Frugal innovation I`ll quote my previous post:

Key elements of Frugal innovation:

  1. Outsource all non-core activities
  2. Use technology in imaginative way
  3. Apply mass production techniques in unexpected areas

Serbia in these days is little known by its outsourcing potential, but in fact respected number of Europe`s and North America`s companies choose to outsource their business to Serbia.

Why is that you wonder?
It`s pretty simple: High quality work force for low wages.

Serbia`s standpoint by elements:

1.Outsource all non-core activities

Serbia is ideal ground for Frugal innovations because of large number of capable experts that can solve high level system problems by developing solutions that are cheap, practical, efficient and accessible. There is no longer need for Asia, there is great outsourcing potential with far better infrastructure in the heart of the Balkans and in the Europe itself.

Serbia had one of the toughest educations systems in the Europe that mustered legions of bright and resourceful work force. As Serbia passed through some of the toughest times in its history with recent wars and economical transition, many of those bright people fled all over world to become best and most respected workers in their companies. Many of them stayed behind to try to rebuild what was left.
Serbian intellectual elite is represented with 11% of Serbia`s population overall.  Downside is 22% of overall unemployment (but great for outsourcing). Currently there is 22 000 young students that are seeking job, waiting for the chance to put to use their hard earned knowledge and bring prosper to their employers. In various sectors: banking, ICT, Production and Engineering, smart companies are investing with the support of Serbian government. That fact was recognized by some of most influential companies in the world, that chose to invest in this untapped source of profit. Boy, they were right!

Belgrade, the capital, has been awarded as the City of the Future for Southern Europe 2007 by the fDi Magazine.

  • Selection criteria – economic potential, cost effectiveness, human resources, IT and telecommunications, transport, quality of life, and FDI promotion.

In 2008 the municipality of Indjija was ranked among the Top 25 Most Attractive locations for foreign direct investment in Europe by the fDi Magazine.

“Serbia is forecast to make the largest improvement in the business environment in the region of Eastern Europe between 2009 and 2013. Out of 16 countries included in the research, Serbia will be leading the region in terms of business reforms by a wide margin”.

PricewaterhouseCoopers ranked Serbia as the 3rd most attractive manufacturing and 7th most attractive services FDI destination among emerging economies.

Ernst & Young recorded nearly 150 inward investment projects in Serbia in 2007, 2008 and 2009 – the 2nd best performance in the South East Europe region.
So as fertile ground to super quality outsourcing, Serbia gets + for good foundation for Frugal innovation. Low cost, high quality workforce is perfect ground for Frugal enterprise.

Source: http://www.siepa.gov.rs/site/en/home/1/about_siepa/

2.Use technology in imaginative ways

Precisely that potential of bright and resourceful citizens, gives Serbia unique ability to generate low cost, but brilliant products and services.

Confronting limited resources, bad economic state, and tough legal restrictions Serbian experts are largely used to work with limited resources, bad conditions and to seek direct and cost-efficient ways to indulge market needs. Interesting fact is that universities and institutes apply the least patent applications, especially business related. So, one of the recent great initiatives is combining technology potential of the academic research and their spin-offs to industry leaders investors and business intelligence. Using DataStation platform as an infrastructure in future will allow more intimate connection between university and industry, and hopefully spawning large amount of useful and efficient ideas, products and services for start-ups. This way technology that is developed, can be really used and commercialized.

Downside is definitively embarrassing outcome of IP protection rights for the patents and inventions. Serbia has 299 patented products and services this year from several thousand of registered inventors. That is compared to 14.435 patents from Germany just a fragment. Luckily, there are ongoing initiatives in strong innovation entities within Serbia that are constantly working on spreading the knowledge and help with IP rights protection and constant encouragement of creativity and innovation overall. Innovation landscape is changing for sure.

Serbia`s innovators are well known winners of many worldwide competitions. For example, they collected and won 6 gold medals and 3 silver ones on the worlds most prestigious fair of science and innovations based in Moscow, called “Archimedes” . There is quality on the work here.


Best results are in medicine, pharmacy and industrial machines, construction projects.

Hazelnut chopper – Former workers in construction of aircraft parts from Utva in cooperation with Milan Grubanov from Pančevo, constructed unique chopper that can chop and classify over 100 kilograms of hazelnuts per hour. This automated machine could make major difference in in region as one of the best competency advantage from the rest of the competition. (source: http://www.b92.net/biz/vesti/srbija.php?yyyy=2011&mm=12&dd=11&nav_id=564828)

Strawberry Tree – Several students of Serbia led by Miloš Milisavljević won the European Commission competition of renewable sources of energy with their project in the category of “Cuts in Public spending”.  From 309 projects, as youngest participants their work on Public solar light mobile recharger took the throne by right. They call it “Strawberry Tree”.  (source: http://www.blic.rs/Vesti/Drustvo/247679/Studenti-iz-Srbije-pobedili-na-takmicenju-Evropske-unije )

Fuel-efficient engines for cars – Professor dr Vujo Gordić, graduated engineer from Užice, won the International festival of innovation, knowledge and creativity “Tesla Fest 2008”. Gordić invented engine that for same amount of energy spent creates 12,68 times greater torque than traditional internal combustion engines. That means that for the same amount of fuel, car that is using his engine can travel 10 times greater distance than standard SUS engine car.

3. Apply mass production techniques in unexpected areas

Strong IT companies and software engineers lead the way for this section. Major productivity, efficiency and quality of developed solutions in ICT sector is prime jewel in the crown of Serbia`s market. Combining best practice techniques from industry and PM methodologies with local mentality and resourcefulness leads IT companies to thrive.



DataStation – Cloud based innovation management software platform.

Using Cloud and SaaS model from its birth 2005, and applying custom techniques and methodologies in combination with world best practices to uncover one of the unique and best software solutions for innovation management in the world. Young, unique and diverse IT company with special mission – to push the boundaries of software engineering beyond to excellence with the touch of peculiarity.

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Engage outsourcing potential, low cost high quality work force and strong ICT.

Scratch the surface, there may be a diamond underneath.