How do we define Innovation Management
For the purposes of management the following definition of innovation is usually used:
“Systematic process for the creation of fundamentally new or improved products, services, processes, organizational structures and other activities that lead to an increase in the perceived value.”
This definition has several important elements. First, innovation requires systematic efforts by many people in order to generate qualitative ideas that are developed, evaluated, tested, implemented and refined during the life cycle of the product. This means that innovation comes from the high-level cooperation between all departments. Therefore, among the most innovative companies are those who have flat hierarchy where the horizontal interaction between their experts from different fields is much more natural and organic.
The second essential element is whether the innovation is radical or incremental. It consists in the difference between something fundamentally new and unprecedented or an improvement of something that currently exists. Huge part of successful innovations are incremental and constitute minimal, sometimes unnoticeable improvements. Often these innovations are only part of the whole.
And last but not least – innovation depends on the perception of consumers. No matter how brilliant the idea seems to be, only the market is the one that decides whether it will turn into innovation. The first tablets of “Microsoft” attempt to make their way back in 2002, but the perceived value is too low and they remain in history as an unsuccessful product. Nowadays, although tablets are primarily used for playing and browsing social networks, consumers perceive them as extremely comfortable and pleasant and they experience a huge market success. Here is the difference between invention and innovation. Everything remains just invention, if there is no one to buy it and use it.