INNOVATION MANAGEMENT: Key Elements and Strategies

innovation management

Many businesses apply the concept of innovation management, particularly in competitive industries such as technology and science. Employees of a firm can use innovation management to build a culture and structure that stimulates innovation and boosts their chances of generating an intriguing new product or service. If your firm would benefit from new ideas, learning more about innovation management may be advantageous.
We define innovation management, explain why it is necessary, detail the key topics and methods of innovation management, and examine the dangers associated with this article.

What is Innovation Management?

Innovation management, often known as an innovation management system, is the process of managing innovative ideas, from conception through implementation. This method consists of four distinct steps:

  • Generating: Brainstorming and employee involvement are used to unearth buried notions.
  • Capturing entails recording ideas in a form that allows them to be easily shared with important stakeholders.
  • Evaluating: Discussing and evaluating novel ideas to discover if they meet your requirements.
  • Prioritization entails deciding which creative ideas will be implemented in order to maximize time and other resources in your organization.

High-level business targets that provide considerable value for your organization are informed and informed by innovation management. Certain activities and behaviors will be the outcome of your innovation, just as your innovation will be the result of your business vision and any difficulties that develop.

To adopt efficient innovation management practices, excellent communication at all levels of the organization is required, as well as a collaborative environment to find extra inventive ideas.

What is the Importance of Corporate Innovation Management?

Companies that do not innovate will perish, just as Blockbuster, Borders, Polaroid, and Kodak did. It’s worth noting that these aren’t mom-and-pop shops or early-stage startups; they’re massive brands with vast resources that formerly dominated their sectors.

If brands like these may perish due to a lack of innovation, then so can any company. However, innovation alone will not suffice; a collaborative culture that encourages employees to submit brilliant ideas and supports individuals with an entrepreneurial spirit is required.

Otherwise, whether they are in the trenches or in higher-level management, these employees have little motivation to speak up and share their perspectives. You can dramatically improve your development process and uncover new items by managing and fostering innovation.

Organizations that do not embrace innovation management risk introducing obsolete solutions to their market. This inhibits your ability to keep up with the competition.
Instead of relying on their old strategy of in-store rentals and purchases for movies and video games, Blockbuster failed to stimulate innovation. Netflix was able to dethrone Blockbuster by first selling DVDs delivered to your door. Soon after, Netflix refocused by offering digital streaming for a diverse range of entertainment selections.

Blockbuster built its own fate by disregarding the industry’s inevitable transformation while having all the resources it needed to maintain its dominant market position.

Key Innovation Management Elements

Competency, Structure, Culture, and Strategy are the four pillars of innovation management. Because any new concept can be considered an innovation, keeping these pillars in mind can help you stay organized.
Let us examine each pillar in greater detail:

#1. Competency

Your company’s core competencies are the things it does best internally and better than the competition. However, doing something well does not automatically imply that it is significant, because your competencies may not always coincide with the demands and needs of your market.

It’s important to identify your employees’ competencies from those of your firm as a whole when it comes to innovation management. Your staff may have unique skills that only apply to specific situations. Your organization’s core competency, on the other hand, rests around its capacity to direct and arrange these capabilities around a market solution.
As a result, for organizational competency, search for the following skills:

  • Collaboration with other partners and stakeholders.
  • Increasing the worth of your current resources.
  • Setting specific long-term and short-term objectives.

Strategic management systems for achieving objectives and monitoring progress.
It is advantageous to have someone within your organization who has prior experience with innovation management. However, with the correct mindset and a focus on developing your company’s skills in this area, you may transform it into a significant strength.

#2. Structure

Whereas competency is primarily concerned with capability, structure refers to the organization’s systems and business processes. Controlling innovation is critical, and the framework enables it.

The whole is larger than the sum of its parts. It can help your organization run more efficiently and generate more potent ideas.
For example, if management treats employee ideas as if they are proposing a major, wholesale change all at once, the managers may be dubious and contemptuous. With this mentality, many ideas may never be heard, or they may be discarded without a fair hearing.

The fewer obstacles that stand between an original concept and your core clients, the better. Innovators are rule breakers by definition, deviating from the usual ways your organization does things.

#3. Culture

When it comes to managing innovation, your culture will either accentuate or detract from your success. The appropriate culture attracts and keeps innovators, while the wrong culture repels them.

The first approach to fostering a pro-innovation culture is to support certain behaviors while rejecting others. Among the behaviors and cultural characteristics that promote innovation are:

  • The best concept wins – Greater innovation will be fostered by a culture that ensures employees that their ideas will be evaluated on a meritocratic basis. Instead of bottlenecks and hierarchies in selecting which ideas to embrace, anyone with a proposal that corresponds with company goals can move the organization ahead.
  • Rapid Market Entry – In today’s world, the company that takes an idea to market first often wins because it can gain market share before competitors do. You can iterate on products and services that have a shorter lifecycle.
  • Ongoing Learning – Employees should be encouraged to take their learning seriously. Teams that are always learning keep their minds sharp and can spot chances for innovation more easily.
  • Failure as a Natural Part of the Process – One of the most significant impediments to long-term growth is the notion that a proposed solution that did not work out was somehow “bad.” Not all ideas will be approved, which is fine; nevertheless, your staff must be aware of this (and hear it openly from your organization’s executives).

#4. Strategy

In a nutshell, your strategy is the long-term plan you put in place for your firm to achieve its financial and other objectives.

With the appropriate plan, you can confidently launch new ideas and choose the best path forward from a variety of possibilities. Without a clear plan, you risk going around in circles or chasing concepts or initiatives that will not benefit your business in the long run.

Strategy also entails resource allocation, and it should guide your innovation management process depending on the resources you have available. This allocation may fluctuate over time as you devote more (or fewer) resources to the development of new concepts.

Where Can One Look for Innovation?

An organization’s approach to developing innovation might vary; they may build it, collaborate with providers to generate it, or purchase it from a third party. Internal, external, and startup innovation are the three broad categories of sources of innovation.

#1. Internal innovation

Internal innovation, as the term implies, occurs within a company. Innovation can emerge from any area inside an organization, not simply the innovation or R&D department. Encouragement of innovation across the board can be difficult in large global corporations due to constraints like proximity to innovation departments, language barriers, and even timezone issues.

Internal innovation is when cultivating an innovative culture really pays off. To overcome internal innovation hurdles and differentiate your product, ensure that management is on board and that the organizational environment supports free-thinking and innovative behavior.

#2. External innovation

External sources of innovation can emerge from anywhere beyond the organization’s doors. Third-party consultants, vendors, academic partners, accelerators and incubators, as well as innovation networks, can all be sources. An open call for innovation, mediated by an innovation management software supplier, is a popular approach used by innovative organizations to motivate external groups to contribute ideas. Today, open calls are one of the most effective methods of sourcing innovation.

#3. Innovation from startups

While theoretically lying under the umbrella of external innovation, startup innovation merits its own category. Startups are now at the forefront of disruptive innovation. As much as the term “innovation” is bandied about in corporate boardrooms, implementing an innovation strategy can be difficult in large firms due to antiquated organizational structures.

Startups are unique in that they use agile and lean approaches to create environments that are more likely to support innovation. As a result, as part of their innovation strategy, corporations want to partner with and acquire startups. Given the prominence of startups in the innovation sphere, this is understandable.

The Innovation Management Process

It is critical for the proper management of innovation initiatives that ideas are gathered and then put through a methodical development process. An innovation funnel is a tool used by innovation teams to visualize the process of idea generation to solution output. The model revolves around:

  • Diverging ideas: The first phase in the innovation funnel is to collect a large number of ideas. Organizations can use a variety of strategies to get ideas and innovation from both internal and external groups. Ideas are accepted based on preset criteria established in accordance with the program’s overarching strategy.
  • Ideas that are coming together: The next phase is to capitalize on the most innovative ideas. The process of converging ideas entails narrowing and filtering concepts that are important to the business. In order to analyze and develop the finest ideas, stakeholders from all relevant departments must be included. It is critical to test and evaluate ideas at various stages.
  • Choosing key performance indicators: The third component of the innovation management plan is metrics. Before releasing any new innovation to the market, innovation teams must determine how they will track business analytics and measure the performance of their projects.

Strategies For Innovation Management

There are three strategies for innovation management that a corporation can use alone or collectively for various types of initiatives. Among these methods are:

#1. Incremental

Incremental innovation is based on making tiny, consistent improvements to a product, service, method, or process over time. Companies that practice incremental innovation may opt to deliver their products and services on a regular basis with minimal adjustments since it appears more dependable.

For example, a computer business may decide that rather than developing an entirely new computer product, it will instead focus on developing a better computer model each year. These improvements may not always make headlines, but consistent improvement can help grow the firm and entice repeat buyers.

#2. Revolutionary

A breakthrough innovation is one that enables a company to drastically change a product or service while remaining in its industry. This is especially common in technology, where high levels of competition and rapid innovation make breakthroughs lucrative.

For example, a phone company may design a smaller and more advanced chip for their next phone, making it considerably more powerful than earlier models. While this is more than just incremental innovation, it is unlikely to impact the industry as a whole.

#3. Disruptive

A disruptive innovation is one that completely alters a market by creating a substantial gap that competitors cannot simply cover. A corporation that develops a disruptive innovation may receive significant press and may challenge consumers to understand and embrace the innovation.

While disruptive innovation has many advantages, it is far more difficult to achieve than other types of innovation. Examples include the rise of the smartphone and the hybrid car when gas-powered vehicles were the only option.

Innovation Management Challenges

Innovation management has numerous advantages, but it is not without risks. These include:

  • It may take a long time to develop a company culture that values innovation management.
  • Employees at all levels may be averse to change if innovation has not previously been prioritized.
  • Employees and businesses who do not have a growth mindset may find it difficult to innovate.
  • A shortage of cash or other constraints may prevent employees from creating or rendering what they innovate unsuitable for investment by the organization.
  • If there isn’t enough commercial support in other areas, or if customers don’t grasp the product or service, innovative ideas may fail.
  • Putting a lot of money and time into an original idea that fails might be a waste of time and money.

Last Thoughts

Creative, game-changing ideas can emerge from anyone in any firm, whether it’s the senior CEO or an intern in the customer service department. The techniques and methods in place for innovation management will determine if those brilliant ideas are implemented.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like