Innovation can be defined as the act of developing new ideas in order to get new products and services for the market. The challenge here is not just having the idea. The greatest challenge in invention is bringing the new product or service into the market. Innovation is not an easy task as it involves technological transformation and reconstruction to make it workable. Statistics say that 90% of innovations flop the first time after implementation. At the same time, why should we still go through the process of innovations despite everything? Global financial crises witnessed in the recent past have laid a major limitation to business innovation, which has in turn lead to economic stagnation (Erin 24). Studies state that 90% of business believe innovation and want to practice it in their businesses since it has turned out to a very strong tool in strategic planning of a business. Businesses have also realized that innovation is the most effective way to bring growth for a business. Innovation is needed today more than ever before. Aspects such as technology change, revolutions and climate change are affecting our businesses every day and it is only innovation can make things better by widening the employment base.
In the past, it was very easy for companies to operate effectively without having any major innovations. However, in the recent past, some trends have emerged due to factors such as globalization and out sourcing that automatically drive the innovation process. It has become a necessity for every company to steer up enterprise innovations in to keep abreast of the competition in the market. For instance, for ABC company that deals with manufacturing of machinery cannot do so well if it does not have a competitive advantage over other companies manufacturing the same thing product.
It is completely impossible for a company to grow if innovation trends are not put into consideration (Mintzer, 23). Diamond states that one of the main factors that affect innovations in a company is industry maturity (56). The theories of industry evolution stipulate that the factor is affecting competitiveness shifts to different levels as the business matures. However, as the company matures in the market, you find that most companies define their needs and hence this makes the company shift its production to suit the needs of the customer. At this point, there is a move of interest from competitiveness to embracing business processes for efficiency in production. This is because they feel more secure in producing products that will sell in the market faster rather than getting innovations, which one is not sure if it will bring good returns to the company as soon as needed
It would, therefore, be to state that the higher the demand, the more innovations expected in a company. It is obvious that innovations need a lot of capital to carry them out and, therefore, companies that are not selling their products well in the market tend not to venture in innovations since they are not doing well already. Bronson presented and categorically verified three key hypothesis: a) the most complex the needs of a client are, the more important invention is and the higher the prospect of its commercialization because in this case innovation becomes a basic need. b) The more customers expect inventions; the more goods are commercialized (201).
Despite the many factors affecting enterprise innovation, it does not mean that all new solutions should be avoided because innovations are very vital. It is just wise to ensure that all the innovations processes are well calculated before we indulge in them. Implementation of new technology would be the best solution to innovation. Before a company jumps into any invention, it would be a good thing to identify the problem that is needs invention to solve it. To avoid unnecessary losses, it would be good to have sustainable innovation process. In the process, it is good for the participants to know that it is okay to fail.
An interview with Paul Kyland states that there is no specific furtive for innovation. To achieve innovation in a company, you have to ask for innovation ideas from the employees. The most discreet method is to gather a group of brilliant individuals who are enthusiastic to do new things differently and put them in a setting where innovation is being anticipated. He further emphasized there is no growth without innovation.
As mentioned above, customer demand is one of the aspects to bring up the need for innovation in a company. This is because it is only through innovations that the company comes to know the opportunities exist at the moment for the company and those that are likely to come up in future in connection with the customer demands. For a company to be termed as successful, it has to be receptive to the current customer needs and ensure that they are fully fulfilled. Therefore, if a company can know what the clients are likely to demand in future, it will enable to make a plan for its clients demands early enough. This gives the company a direct advantage over all other companies. In 2015, there was a significant increase of innovations carried out for both service and manufacturing sectors. This is due to the realization of how important innovation processes are for a company. The graph below shows the findings.
The most common type of innovation in U.S.A. was process innovations, which added up to 40% for manufacturing and 31% for services. Marketing innovation was the least among companies in U.S.A., which was 27% for both service and manufacturing.
When companies come to know that innovations make the company that participates in it to have a unique selling point, it will take innovation more seriously. Innovations help companies respond to trends and competition from others. Often, customers view innovations as value adding to the products and hence they are more confident in the products. Innovations are a solution for companies producing products that are saturated in the market as well as a resolution to shifting market economies. As a result, the consumer is even willing to pay more for the commodity or service as compared to others in the market. Investors try to win the good will of their customers by participating in these innovations.
Innovators are risk takers. When caring out an innovation practice, nobody is sure if it will work or not. However, at the same time innovation is the best thing that can never happen to a company to ensure a competitive advantage. As mentioned above for excellent results of innovation a company has to have a defined team of people who are enthusiastic about the whole issue. If a company does not innovate categorically, many messes may be realized. The company needs people who can ask questions if there is any problem. The reason why innovations in many companies fail is that there is no one who can be held responsible for the issue. The team of innovators should do enough research on the innovations that are being produced and approved before the exercise goes further. Research is very important because it determines the workability of the innovation even before any resources are put to do the exercise. The results of the research should include models that show how workable it is (Landes, 90). If the research shows that the exercise is workable, the next thing would be to compare the teams proposed innovation with others that have been done before to give some unseen hints of possible hiccups expected. If still the team of innovators feel that, the process is workable it then goes to the actual implementation of the innovation. The results of the process should define the next step to be taken by the team. Improvements and amendments are always a good idea even before coming with the final thing. Finally, failure to have a workable innovation does not mean it is the end of everything. If a company has a trustable team, it will always have successful innovations. Most companies fail because innovations are done by so many people at the same time and it is not possible to track what went wrong (Rogers, 34).
Innovation by the company should not be determined by how many people have done it. It is a very risky exercise but at the same time, very important if a company wants to stand out. It would be a good thing also to measure the value of the innovation before undertaking it. If the innovation is likely to bring tremendous returns for the company, it gives motivation for the team to participate in it. Such motivation is a positive thing in the innovation process. Once the innovation goes through implementation should be done as soon as possible and get feedbacks from the clients. From the feedbacks, the team of innovators should be able to make adjustments depending on what the feedback is.
The main strategy to solve the challenges facing innovations would be to get a defined team of experts to perform the innovation process. However, not all companies would be for the idea that a team of a few people representing the whole company would do a good job. The innovations may not make sense if the customers themselves are not involved in the innovation. People may argue that getting only a few people to do the exercise would bring some shortcomings as far as more innovation ideas are concerned (Arkinson, 44). One may also argue that the selected team of experts to the process may not be the very best after all. The other way to do it would be to get ideas from both the company workers and the customers of the different innovations that can be carried out. Then a team of people scrutinizes all this closely. This would be a good idea because there is a wide range of ideas from all directions but at the same time it will be a lot of work breaking down the information acquired to what is applicable and what is not. In this case, before the workability of the innovation is realized there has to be a majority rule vote to reject or accept the implementation since it involves a large number of people. This process is likely to take longer but if people are focused enough the results would be much better because there are more people to criticize or support hence the results are fine. Finally, for fruitful innovations there has to be a balance in the innovation exercise. it is vital to give the more creative people in the company more freedom on radical innovations and in the decision making. Leaving it all to the analyst who may have the theoretical point of view rather than the practical point may lead to inaccurate outcumes.
Innovation can be termed as a strategic factor for the success of any business enterprise. However, the applicability of innovation in a business may be challenging due to both internal and external factors affecting the business. Enterprise innovation is the major secret towards sustainability of the company. Innovation ensures economic independence for a company and, therefore, a direct assurance of growth. Most companies can have a more healthy competition if there is the presence of enterprise innovations as compared to process innovations. Customer demand is another unavoidable factor that determines innovations. It is always a good thing if an organization determines the sales potential of its products. The higher demand there is for products from a company, the more likely innovations will take place because the company always wants to satisfy the needs of its customer. If customers start demanding for products brands unavailable by a specific company, the most likely thing would be that the company is looking for the ways to invent the product unless they lose the customers. Technology is another aspect that is affecting innovations. Technological advancement can destroy a companys innovation trials, and this may be a big loss for the company because inn...
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