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What Is innovation? Innovating IDEAS..
Author : sudha
Category : General Topics
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What Is innovation? Innovating ideas, What innovation be. Is innovation is similar to invention

What Is innovation? Innovating IDEAS..

Innovation

The term innovation derives from the Latin word innovatus, which is the noun form of innovare "to renew or change," stemming from in-"into" + novus-"new". Although the term is broadly used, innovation generally refers to the creation of better or more effective products, processes, technologies, or ideas that are accepted by markets, governments, and society. Innovation differs from invention or renovation in that innovation generally signifies a substantial positive change compared to incremental changes.
Inter-Disciplinary Views


Society:

Due to its widespread effect, innovation is an important topic in the study of economics, business, entrepreneurship, design, technology, sociology, and engineering. In society, innovation aids in comfort, convenience, and efficiency in everyday life. For instance, the benchmarks in railroad equipment and infrastructure added to greater safety, maintenance, speed, and weight capacity for passenger services. These innovations included wood to steel cars, iron to steel rails, stove-heated to steam-heated cars, gas lighting to electric lighting, diesel-powered to electric-diesel locomotives. By mid-20th century, trains were making longer, more comfortable, and faster trips at lower costs for passengers. Other areas that add to everyday quality of life include: the innovations to the light bulb from incandescent to compact fluorescent and LEDs which offer longer-lasting, less energy-intensive, brighter technology; adoption of modems to cellular phones, paving the way to smart phones which meets anyone’s internet needs at any time or place; cathode-ray tube to flat-screen LCD televisions and others.
Business and Economics
In business and economics, innovation is the catalyst to growth. With rapid advancements in transportation and communications over the past few decades, the old world concepts of factor endowments and comparative advantage which focused on an area’s unique inputs are outmoded for todays global economy. Now, as Harvard economist Michael Porter points out competitive advantage, or the productive use of any inputs, which requires continual innovation is paramount for any specialized firm to succeed. Economist Joseph Schumpeter, who contributed greatly to the study of innovation, argued that industries must incessantly revolutionize the economic structure from within, that is innovate with better or more effective processes and products, such as the shift from the craft shop to factory. He famously asserted that “creative destruction is the essential fact about capitalism.” In addition, entrepreneurs continuously look for better ways to satisfy their consumer base with improved quality, durability, service, and price which come to fruition in innovation with advanced technologies and organizational strategies.

One prime example is the explosive boom of Silicon startups out of the Stanford Industrial Park. In 1957, dissatisfied employees of Shockley Semiconductor, the company of Nobel laureate and co-inventor of the transistor William Shockley, left to form an independent firm, Fairchild Semiconductor. After several years, Fairchild developed into a formidable presence in the sector. Eventually, these founders left to start their own companies based on their own, unique, latest ideas, and then leading employees started their own firms. Over the next 20 years, this snowball process launched the momentous startup company explosion of information technology firms. Essentially, Silicon Valley began as 65 new enterprises born out of Shockleys eight former employees.

Organizations
In the organizational context, innovation may be linked to positive changes in efficiency, productivity, quality, competitiveness, market share, and others. All organizations can innovate, including for example hospitals, universities, and local governments. For instance, former Mayor Martin O’Malley pushed the City of Baltimore to use CitiStat, a performance-measurement data and management system that allows city officials to maintain statistics on crime trends to condition of potholes. This system aids in better evaluation of policies and procedures with accountability and efficiency in terms of time and money. In its first year, CitiStat saved the city $13.2 million. Even mass transit systems have innovated with hybrid bus fleets to real-time tracking at bus stands. In addition, the growing use of mobile data terminals in vehicles that serves as communication hubs between vehicles and control center automatically send data on location, passenger counts, engine performance, mileage and other information. This tool helps to deliver and manage transportation systems.

Still other innovative strategies include hospitals digitizing medical information in electronic medical records; HUD’s HOPE VI initiatives to eradicate city’s severely distressed public housing to revitalized, mixed income environments; the Harlem Children’s Zone that uses a community-based approach to educate local area children; and EPA’s brownfield grants that aids in turning over brownfields for environmental protection, green spaces, community and commercial development.

Processes:
Sources of Innovation

There are several sources of innovation. According to the Peter F. Drucker the general sources of innovations are different changes in industry structure, in market structure, in local and global demographics, in human perception, mood and meaning, in the amount of already available scientific knowledge, etc. Also, internet research, developing of people skills, language development, cultural background, skype, facebook, ect. In the simplest linear model of innovation the traditionally recognized source is manufacturer innovation. This is where an agent (person or business) innovates in order to sell the innovation. Another source of innovation, only now becoming widely recognized, is end-user innovation. This is where an agent (person or company) develops an innovation for their own (personal or in-house) use because existing products do not meet their needs. MIT economist Eric von Hippel has identified end-user innovation as, by far, the most important and critical in his classic book on the subject, Sources of Innovation. In addition, the famous robotics engineer Joseph F. Engelberger asserts that innovations require only three things: 1. A recognized need, 2. Competent people with relevant technology, and 3. Financial support.

Innovation by businesses is achieved in many ways, with much attention now given to formal research and development (R&D) for "breakthrough innovations." R&D help spur on patents and other scientific innovations that leads to productive growth in such areas as industry, medicine, engineering, and government. Yet, innovations can be developed by less formal on-the-job modifications of practice, through exchange and combination of professional experience and by many other routes. The more radical and revolutionary innovations tend to emerge from R&D, while more incremental innovations may emerge from practice – but there are many exceptions to each of these trends.

An important innovation factor includes customers buying products or using services. As a result, firms may incorporate users in focus groups (user centred approach), work closely with so called lead users (lead user approach) or users might adapt their products themselves. U-STIR, a project to innovate Europe’s surface transportation system, employs such workshops. Regarding this user innovation, a great deal of innovation is done by those actually implementing and using technologies and products as part of their normal activities. In most of the times user innovators have some personal record motivating them. Sometimes user-innovators may become entrepreneurs, selling their product, they may choose to trade their innovation in exchange for other innovations, or they may be adopted by their suppliers. Nowadays, they may also choose to freely reveal their innovations, using methods like open source. In such networks of innovation the users or communities of users can further develop technologies and reinvent their social meaning.


Value of Experimentation:

When an innovative idea requires a better business model, or radically redesigns the delivery of value to focus on the customer, a real world experimentation approach increases the chances of market success. Potentially innovative business models and customer experiences cant be tested through traditional market research methods. Pilot programs for new innovations set the path in stone too early thus increasing the costs of failure. On the other hand, the good news is that recent years have seen considerable progress in identifying important key factors/principles or variables that affect the probability of success in innovation. Of course, building successful businesses is such a complicated process, involving subtle interdependencies among so many variables in dynamic systems, that it is unlikely to ever be made perfectly predictable. But the more business can master the variables and experiment, the more they will be able to create new companies, products, processes and services that achieve what they hope to achieve.

Goals/Failures:

Programs of organizational innovation are typically tightly linked to organizational goals and objectives, to the business plan, and to market competitive positioning. One driver for innovation programs in corporations is to achieve growth objectives. As Davila et al. (2006) notes, "Companies cannot grow through cost reduction and reengineering alone... Innovation is the key element in providing aggressive top-line growth, and for increasing bottom-line results."

One survey across a large number of manufacturing and services organizations found, ranked in decreasing order of popularity, that systematic programs of organizational innovation are most frequently driven by: Improved quality, Creation of new markets, Extension of the product, range, Reduced labor costs, Improved production processes, Reduced materials, Reduced environmental damage, Replacement of products/services, Reduced energy consumption, Conformance to regulations.

These goals vary between improvements to products, processes and services and dispel a popular myth that innovation deals mainly with new product development. Most of the goals could apply to any organisation be it a manufacturing facility, marketing firm, hospital or local government. Whether innovation goals are successfully achieved or otherwise depends greatly on the environment prevailing in the firm.

Conversely, failure can develop in programs of innovations. The causes of failure have been widely researched and can vary considerably. Some causes will be external to the organization and outside its influence of control. Others will be internal and ultimately within the control of the organization. Internal causes of failure can be divided into causes associated with the cultural infrastructure and causes associated with the innovation process itself. Common causes of failure within the innovation process in most organisations can be distilled into five types: Poor goal definition, Poor alignment of actions to goals, Poor participation in teams, Poor monitoring of results, Poor communication and access to information.


 

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