Continuous Change as a Norm
Companies, like any living organism, must become
learning organizations that change and adapt to suit their changing business
environment. The constant formation of new units within a corporation is one
means of gearing up to change.
According to Bill Gates, if you don't practice
the change management that looks after the future, the future will not look
after you. "...The tendency for successful companies to fail to innovate is
just that: a tendency. If you're too focused on your current business, it's
hard to look ahead..."
To determine the improvements to make in
response to the change, you should continuously:
Innovation as a Mindset and Corporate Strategy
knowledge-driven world, new technologies appear at shorter and
shorter intervals. "Knowledge constantly makes itself obsolete, with the
result that today's advanced knowledge is tomorrow's ignorance", stressed
Peter Drucker. Innovation thus should be not a one-off event, but a continuous response to changing
circumstances. Sustainable innovation system doesn't not just help to
solve a problem but creates a new capacity, opening up opportunities for
Do not confuse innovation with novelty. Novelty,
says Drucker, "only creates amusement", and will not last into the future.
not limit innovation to development of new products only. New processes
and methods can be more powerful in helping you to win
Forming the Business Audit
Business audit will track the performance of
your company and of its management against a
strategic plan and against
The corporate manager responsible for innovation
needs to establish "the business X-ray" which "furnishes the information
needed to define how much innovation a given business required, in what
areas, and within what time frame". It would help to establish the gap
between what already exists and what is required to achieve the corporate
objectives: "the gap has to be filled or the company will soon start to
die". Actually, the company needs to aim beyond the measured gap because of
the high probability of failure and delay. "A company therefore should have
under way at least three times the innovative efforts which, if successful,
would fill the gap3".
Changes - the Source of Opportunities
Innovation is the specific tool of
entrepreneurs. Doing new things, or doing old things in new ways is how
entrepreneurs exploit change as an opportunity for a different business or a
different service. Entrepreneurs see change as the norm and as healthy; they
always search for change, respond to it, and exploit it as an opportunity.
Innovation can be approached methodically, by a
purposeful and organized
search for changes and by identifying the
opportunities that such changes might offer. In your search, focus on
opportunities, not problems, these changes can bring along. Results come
from exploiting opportunities, not solving problems.
Internal and External Sources of Changes
The changes creating new opportunities for
innovation can be both within the enterprise or industry and outside them. A
three-level business intelligence system is thus to be established to collect
and analyze information from within the enterprise; industry and market
structure; and external sources, such as demographics, changes in
perception, and new knowledge.
Innovators who want to exploit new knowledge
need to apply a careful analysis of the knowledge available and the
Develop your company into a
organization that "is continuously expanding its capacity to create its
future" by continuously learning new ways of doing things and also
continuously forgetting old ways of doing things. It will help you to adapt
to and survive in the changing business environment and to fulfill you
Principles of Innovation
"Innovations had better be capable of being
started small, requiring at first little money, few people, and only a small
limited market." That gives the innovator more time and space within
which to correct inevitable errors.
The purposeful and effective innovation results
mainly from analysis, system, and hard work.
used to be a linear trajectory from new knowledge to new product. Now
innovation is neither singular nor linear, but systemic. It arises
from complex interactions between many individuals, organizations and
environmental factors. Firms which are successful in realizing the full
returns from their technologies and innovations are able to match their
technological developments with complementary expertise in other areas of
their business, such as manufacturing, distribution, human resources,
marketing, and customer relationships....
Innovating for the Present & Preparing for
No-one can predict the future. You can however
to discover the secrets of the present. Innovation is not about taking risk
or predicting the future - it's about focusing on the opportunities of the
present. Understand the present, study what is known and turn this knowledge
into future opportunities.
Synergy Between Innovation and Kaizen
Continuous Improvement Strategy
If innovation is considered as a one-shot deal,
its effect will be gradually eroded by intense competition and deteriorating
standards. The Japanese Kaizen strategy can provide
innovative and continuous improvement efforts. Kaizen means a constant
effort not only to maintain but also to upgrade standards. Standards are
considered as tentative by nature and a subject to improvement as soon as
ongoing standard has been mastered.