Innovation can be defined as an ability to devise something better, one who makes things, builds things, or designs something better, than what existed previously. Innovation can be either a modification of existing products or services or it can be the invention of something completely new. Innovations are most commonly described by economists as “the introduction of a new product, process, or procedure in a given economy”, because it is difficult for innovations to become general. In other words, if something already exists, you cannot patent it because everyone has done it. But if you introduce something new, no one has done it before, therefore you can patent it.
Most businesses consider innovation to be disruptive innovation. If you are in the business sector, you will certainly be familiar with this term. As an entrepreneur, you need to be careful about introducing new ideas or new products in your business. You also need to take care about the way you manage innovation and the costs associated with it.
For many years, Dr. Ron Jonash’s research has been focused on creating business strategies that can create positive outcomes in an organization through the innovation of superior quality processes. His research has proven that leaders who embrace his model, as well as other similar positive outcome-oriented strategies, often excel in their businesses. His work has led to the development of what is known as the Jonash Test, which measures both the process innovations and the new market share that are created by these strategies. An ideal strategy will have a significant positive impact on overall profitability, but in most cases this will not occur. The reason why this occurs is because it takes time for an innovative idea to build the right kind of corporate culture.
Creating a business strategy that is aligned with Dr. Jonash’s innovation model, which focuses on creating superior quality processes that make innovation practical, is very important for senior management to do. The strategy needs to clearly identify the benefits that the company will realize through the implementation of these innovations, as well as providing a clear link to how these benefits will become a reality. This link is what makes innovation practical in a company.
Another area where innovation is considered to be a useful part of a business strategy is when the company must differentiate itself from its competitors in order to remain competitive. Companies must come up with new ideas and actions required to make innovation practical in their operations. In doing so, the company must be clear about what it stands for and how these values drive the business forward.
In an interesting podcast interview, the late Steve Jobs discussed the value of creativity and innovation. One of the main points that he brought up was the fact that many innovations that we see come from creative people, who are not necessarily academic professors, doctors or industry leaders, are actually innovations that happened in the private sector. These people are usually considered innovators, rather than leaders, which means that their innovation strategies are more carefully thought out and executed than the strategies put forth by established leaders in the industry. A podcast interview that followed this discussion, and one that I had also conducted, shed light on some other aspects of the value of creativity and innovation.