Innovation

Innovation is a state of mind:

 

You probably know the myth of innovation as a sudden flash of insight that comes from nowhere. We read about that “aha” moment, or that light bulb turning on in the mind of some inventor or innovator, and this is true to an extent. Einstein really did get flashes of insight while shaving in the morning. However, he was of course working on the particular problems he had insight into, and he did not suddenly have ideas for new kitchen gadgets or movie plots.

 

Einstein’s innovations, in other words, no matter how “sudden” the original ideas were, came from past and present mental work. It is like a singer who works at his craft for ten years and then becomes an “overnight success.” Innovative people only have “sudden” new ideas because they have habitually worked and thought in certain ways for some time. If you want to become an innovative thinker, then, why not start cultivating those mental habits?

 

Attitude helps innovation:

The creative problem-solving technique of concept-combination involves combining two ideas to see what new idea or product results. The crucial point is that you assume there will be a useful new idea. Starting with that assumption, your mind will work overtime to produce something. A shoe and a CD have nothing to do with each other, but it took just a minute to imagine a CD player with headphones that only plays the music correctly if a jogger maintains his ideal pace. When you assume there is something, there you will often find something.

 

Playfulness helps innovation:

A playful mind is a creative mind, (right brain) and while high IQ does not correlate with creativity, put it together with playfulness, and you have an Einstein. Remember, he imagined himself riding on a beam of light in order to arrive at his theory of relativity. Why not start playing with ideas and things, in your mind and in your surroundings. Innovation should be fun.

 

 

Mental Habits Lead To Innovation:

 

Problems can be opportunities in disguise. The word “Problem” may have a negative connotation, such as a difficult or stressful condition, but the truth is that any problem can lead to an innovation that improves our living condition. The clocks we have at our homes as well as the small wrist watches we put on today were necessitated by the need to know the time. Similarly, the outbreak of nasty diseases led to the sanitary sewer systems. Hence, you should start looking for an opportunity in every problem. Even a mundane problem such as not having enough storage space could lead to a new innovation. You may just build a plywood floor in the attic or you could just invent a new type of outdoor storage unit.

 

Innovation begins with understanding the key elements:

Innovation: ‘the door‘ example….

 

To an innovator, metal, wood or glass are not key elements of a door. Rather, a way to get in, the ease of use and accessibility as well as how to keep others out are considered to be the key elements when making a door.

 

For example, a door should be easily and securely accessible such that one can open and close it without the support of any electricity, devices, door knob or a key.

 

Here is quick analogy.

 

Some people (e.g. elders, persons with disability or children) find it challenging to open a door where door-knob(s) require a turn, a push, or pull (hand and/or finger movement-mobility, width-height, force, vision-support functionality factors.) But what if you are making a ‘digital door’, will it have meaningful features such as letting your dog in and out, or controlling the indoor temperature and levels of the sun ray (dark to light)? You get the idea. Of course, you have to be creative and realistic in the innovation process.

 

By beginning with these ideas, you will soon find yourself visualising new ways to make ‘the door’. You could design a door that works by voice activation (nice when your hands are full), or one that shuts and locks itself after certain hours or so. Think of the key elements in things but they must be practical in nature and use, economical for end users, and should have an ergonomic design so it truly adds value to one’s life (experience). Please download your free copy below.

 

 

Innovation Drivers:

In contemporary terms, innovation has taken on several meanings, and has extended to many aspects of life as well as in business. Nevertheless, ‘creativity and design’ is still at its root. From disruptive innovators to cooperatives amoung the new models of business, sustaining players are currently trying to figure out the disruptors. However, firms that are involved in innovation are more conscious of their business environment, and they tend to produce innovations that are meaningful. A firm’s desire for innovation is affected by numerous factors such as corrupt practices in the business environment, availability of skilled workforce, mindset, appropriate tools and access to capital.

 

Below, you can download the innovation drivers diagram showing the eight component drivers of innovation, which are business, technology, manufacturing-productivity, human values, design and interactivity, market behaviour, organizational behaviour, and change and impact.

 

pdf_file| » Download Free Innovation (3714 downloads)

 

 

Innovation – can you take advantage of it?

 

Innovation is simply the foundation of new beginnings. Through innovation, we can find new products, learn new techniques, offer better quality and a more simplistic style and even help to bring the dollar out a little farther. However, what many business owners do not realize is that you can use innovation to help move your business to the next level, one that is better for the customer and better for you. Can you ask for more than that?

 

There are several ways in which you can use innovation to help transform your business. For example, it can be as simple as having access to the right information so that you know what the latest and greatest is. Alternatively, you can even hire on individuals and companies to help provide you with the tools that you need to take your business to the next step.

 

Think it is too difficult to manage on your own? Consider hiring on change management teams to help you complete the process. On the other hand, simply hire on a group of creative people to manage innovation on your own. You would be amazed at the quality that can be improved as well as the efficiency of even the simplest of tasks when you call on innovation in some form.

 

It is challenging to get started. Innovation research will be needed, brainstorming will have to be done and ideas will have to be brought to the forefront. But, there are enormous resources available to everyone in every type of business out there. Books, websites, organizations and many more avenues are available to you.

 

The bottom line even looks better when you use innovation that is targeted and accurate. Even though you are spending time, resources, and money on finding the answers, learning how to make it better for you will help you increase your business’s profit margin. Innovation changes every single day. Do you know what it can do for you, yet?

 

 

 

The Importance of Innovation:

A regular and repeated argument in commercial circles is the one that debates the order of importance between the factory floor producing the product and the sales team ensuring that it finds its place in the market. While the latter ensures the generation of essential income to fuel and grow the company, without something to sell they wouldn’t even have a job let alone the commodity with which to generate sales. A regular chicken and egg debate if ever there was one – or is it?

 

To my mind both camps are eligible for the title of “most important” for this platitude must surely belong to another group even further back along the chain, the “innovator”. For without the guy who dreams up the product in the first place there is neither need for production or sale of the same. So, surely, it is the inventor, the ideas man, the designer who has first claim to assuring the success of any corporation regardless of its size or market influence.

 

How many factories exist now thanks to that Eureka moment of the innovator who sits up in bed at three in the morning armed with a thought that could change the World, or at least influence a small part of what we require to make it a progressive place within which to live?

 

The truth is we all need each other to complete a productive circle that involves many essential contributors to making an idea a commercial viability. To my mind there should be a much easier line of communication between industry and innovator than there would appear to be.

 

How many thousands of “would-be inventors” are there out there with ideas they have devoted their lives to but find it almost impossible to find commercial interest for, to aid or further their development. Most have no idea where to start when it comes to presenting an idea or even what rules apply to ensuring that their “genius” is not misguided. Organizations exist who are supposed to help but even they can be hard to find if unfamiliar with the territory.

 

Innovators are therefore left to find whatever route they can to reach a possible “buyer” for their idea. Many are not interested in producing the product themselves or getting over involved in its marketing, they are happy to leave that to the experts, leaving them, the creatives, free to continue further product development and the conception of new ideas.

 

 

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Why Work at Developing Innovation?

 

  1. To Recognize Market Needs and Opportunities:

How many gaps in the market have gone unfilled for generations?  At first, you might scratch your head and say, “No way, not everything that can be marketed has been.”  The best place to start is with you.  Look at things that you wish you could change.  Brainstorm different ways to meet those needs and ways to market them to others who are just like you.

 

  1. To Capture Potential Value:

You might be surprised at what putting a brand new spin on a “ho-hum” product can do.  A few examples are:  artists using saw blades to create rustic paintings, or even the Vietnamese using thrown away rubber tires to create sandals.

 

  1. To Develop New Products and Services:

A sharp eye for undeveloped customer needs might put you on point for a brand new product or service that will put money in your pocket.

 

  1. To Gain Market Share from Competitors:

Anything new is exciting, and Americans have to try it out.  Whether it turns out to be a passing fad or a market that will make a permanent place in society, there is a buck to be made.  Don’t forget that passing fads make a comeback.  I have recently noticed that Cabbage Patch dolls and Strawberry Shortcake are on the rebound.

 

Developing innovation and getting your creative juices flowing may take some time and energy, but the payoff could just be your pot of gold.

 

 

 

Innovation – the lifeblood of business success:

I once saw a t-shirt that said, “Innovation or Extinction”. Though cost cutting and efficiency contribute towards the success and growth of any business, it is innovation that is the key factor that drives sustainability and profitability. Only those businesses that continuously offer innovative products, services or processes can enjoy long-term success.

In order to stay ahead of the competition businesses need be innovative at the front-end, which is concept development as well as the back-end, which involves implementation of those concepts. However, this can prove to be problematic for many managers mainly because it is at odds with the analytical and rational processes they have studied in business school.

Innovation is about making non-linear jumps and learning to take the available information and transforming this raw material into workable concepts. That is the secret of why, given the same set of circumstances, many businesses succeed while others fail.

New ideas drive innovation, which if implemented, drives business growth. Globalization has given rise to increasing competition and businesses that do not innovate, can rapidly get left behind in the race to the top. Without new ideas and new products, consumers could soon get tired of the product or service you are offering and could get tempted to move on to your competition. With no other incentive to be loyal to your product, the consumer will either look for a new product-offering or for a better price.

With nothing else to offer, you will be forced to lower your price, decreasing your profit margins. If this strategy still does not manage to lure customers, you will be under pressure to reduce the price further, creating a negative cycle that could be hugely detrimental to your business. The only way to break out of this cycle is to stay continuously innovative and add value to your product.

Businesses that are constantly innovative attract the most talented employees who feel encouraged to show some initiative in voicing new ideas and implementing new processes. If employees are not given the opportunity to create or test their ideas, they will move on to the competition, taking their ideas with them.

 

 

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Technology Innovation Scoring Goals:

It is interesting to note and analyze that a substantial number of European organizations have traditionally been leading their North American and Asian counterparts in the implementation and benefits from advanced data systems.

 

The question of how a company can organize and plan within the engineering-construction industry to maximize innovation and benefits is always a worthy focus. From our work with global companies, the following best practices seem to emerge:

 

Companies continually define measures of work effectiveness, which lend themselves to critical analysis and the push for more effective tools and work methods. Whether these measures are industry-based, such as that supported by Independent Project Analysis (IPA) or CII, or in-house metrics, is not critical, but that there is a way to measure the value of change and innovation.

 

Innovative ideas are rapidly rewarded with some funding, but then must support rigorous financial and organizational analysis as more expenditures are requested. Our best practice companies involve senior management in this process and it is viewed as a seminal part of their job. During this process, both financial and management buy-in is achieved.

 

A project success is measured not only on the ability to deliver a fit-for-purpose facility, and within the financial expectations, but also whether it is continually upgrading the methods and tools employed. Best practice companies do not tolerate a project or a functional manager having a flat “not on my project” philosophy.

 

Innovation is performed in small steps, typically six months in calendar duration, during which time a set of predefined objectives need to be met. Key here is the establishment of the value producing chunks, with predefined success criteria. Companies take large projects and divide them into phases. It produces urgency and deliverables continually.

 

With this short leash, innovators are provided the full organizations support to succeed. Accomplishments are celebrated, missed expectations are quickly rectified or the project is rapidly re-evaluated and stopped. Innovative companies clearly establish expectations and success criteria, freeing the champions to concentrate on achieving those objectives.

 

As in so many parts of business, the need to communicate to the greater organization is paramount. At Trinity we focus on four different constituents: senior management, the project team, those who are going to receive the implementation, and lastly, the general company population. Communicate at all phases of the process, allowing the company to be aware as the innovations mature.

 

So why do some companies perform innovation so well, and others are hit-or-miss? Check your playbook and whether you have a “game plan” that is part of the company infrastructure. The goal production will go up dramatically!

 

 

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