Innovation Makes Leaders
Basically what innovation does is making your business unique and often more progressive in its development.
Looking deeper at positive influence of innovation allows us to notice clear tendency from business stagnation to rapid development depending on what level of innovation takes place in business management and planning.
The logic behind is simple if your business is a clone in its product and business structure, it will more likely to experience difficulties in reaching set goals in comparison with more innovative and therefore flexible competitive predecessor. New and well-grounded approaches greatly raise chances of any legal entity to take the lead over competitors, because one cannot beat competition doing the same things competitor does. It takes implementation of the new progressive vision and steps in business development.
Business innovation is an organizational and behavioral strategy any part of running business should be based on. In other words, it is an alternative way of thinking and doing business. There are times where conservative attitude allows securing reached results and accumulating resources for taking next step, still conservatism in Internet surroundings is to be exception rather than rule.
Human is a conservative creature by nature, especially at a mature age. We agree to face any evolutionism when we start private business or under unordinary circumstances (yet 80% of all people don’t even want to take a risk of starting their own businesses) but once all problems have been settled, the need for "another angle of viewpoint" vanishes, making us highly vulnerable in the face of external changes and environment.
I used the word "risk" on purpose, as we know, any innovation is a risk. Doing what others do may be a wise strategy for slow moving – low profit development and it may be good for big corporation where gross income in several hundreds million dollars can "leverage" their reluctance for adopting innovative measures.
Small business owner does not have such privilege. For him/her it is usually a matter of survival to be innovative or not.
Innovation is a feature and integral part of starting, running and developing business, especially Internet business nowadays. I laid stress on Internet business for the unique competitive surrounding it possesses. While competition in offline business world may "forgive" some "imperfections" in plans, services, products or marketing due to inability of instantly offering a good alternative, business online instantly presents any visitor with thousands of similar choices that can be reached with a click of a mouse.
For every offline business owner having several direct competitors on the same street is a nightmare, demanding taking unordinary steps in order to "keep afloat". For every online business owner hundreds, if not tens of thousands, direct competitors "on the same street" are a usual and inevitable feature of running online business from the very beginning. Crucial part of making a difference here is to implement innovative-based business tactics on a constant basis.
There are many strategies of unique marketing measures that brought success. I have personally emphasized the importance of creating USP (Unique Selling Proposition), but all of these advices are nothing more than a way of innovation implementation.
Whether you are creating a new product, choosing a web-design, setting up customer support or developing marketing plan – be innovative and unique in your approaches.
Every starting solo professional on the net experiences shortage in everything but probably a desire to succeed, so there is no point in reinventing the wheel. Often we are forced to make a compromise. If we speak about marketing strategy your next move may be well-known, widely-used and, therefore, customer-response-depleted or, on the other hand, innovative, unique and fresh, generating exposure you have never anticipated. Unfortinately many of us go the "conservative" way and that is why are doomed to read success stories of others, trying to reproduce what thousands marketers do vainly.
We are given proven tools that work – USP, time management, branding, viral marketing, affiliate programs etc. they represent the invented axe – a proven tool – with help of which we need to cross the "Internet business ocean" and reach desired point "B", but it is for us to decide how wisely to use given axe.
The first one decided to throw it away and swim across, the second built a raft, the third added oars, while the forth one in addition set a sail with a steering-wheel. What are you going to do? Rationalism teaches you to go the best-known forth way, while innovation – set a second sail or invent a steam engine!
Consultative Business Process Outsourcing (BPO)
Outsourcing = Global Momentum
The global business landscape has changed dramatically in the last couple of years thanks to growth of outsourcing. Outsourcing has gained strength as a management strategy for sustaining global growth as well competitive advantage to overcome the challenges of ever growing business complexities. So whether it’s a Fortune 100 transnationals or even a small enterprise, everyone is looking at outsourcing as a key growth engine thanks to the increased levels of process specialization and sophistication. Domain specialization and not just economies of scale are key to the success of any outsourcing relationship. Outsourcing has been recognized to save companies and not just costs.
Evolving Outsourcing Relationships
Organisations now regard outsourcing as a key initiative for overall growth and not just as mere cost saving exercise. Hence organizations are increasingly seeking best-in-class outsourcing specialists and not just large best of breed outsourcing service providers. This is especially true in the IT & engineering verticals as organizations even outsource new product development tasks to specialized offshore vendors. Research intensive, customer focused outsourcing relationships now have to include the following to remain competitive:
• Innovation Update. Quarterly, bi-annual, or annual innovation reviews (also known as innovation boards) focus typically on state of the market, industry trends and relevant information, technology updates, solution demonstrations, site visits, etc. Leverage other industry peer groups to understand what is happening in your industry, the outsourcing industry, and other sectors.
• Benchmarking. Clients should always activate their benchmarking clauses and focus on best practice as comparators of innovation—not just cost comparisons. Benchmark both functional excellence and outsourced environments.
• Stakeholder Satisfaction Surveys. Perform monthly, quarterly, and annual customer satisfaction surveys. They should be “360 degrees”—covering multiple dimensions and all internal and external stakeholders.
• Deliver on Partnering Promise. Hold regular collaborative planning sessions. Where people are briefed on the strategic and business objectives. Service providers need to come up with implantable strategies on how best they can meet their clients’ business challenges. This makes the outsourcing vendors to think and act above simple tactical delivery.
• Value sharing framework. A transparent value-from-outsourcing sharing mechanism on a case-by-case basis should be harnessed to pay for business services delivered. Inclusion of regular mutual rewards for both your organization and that of the service provider boosts people motivation at all levels.
• Service Excellence. All SLAs must be tied to process excellence or customer delight will not happen. Project milestones, “go-live” events, and pilots are tangible means of tracking process maturity & excellence. Other measures include customer satisfaction, productivity, Six Sigma (defects), work elimination, etc.
• Outsourcing Management. The internal governance team should have a transformation or innovation owner, sufficient staff & budget to help drive innovation and must hold the provider accountable for innovation. Reassure and demonstrate to the provider that the relationship is long-term; otherwise they will be inclined to disinvest in innovation and the relationship. Your organization must retain process management expertise at a level at which you can clearly articulate future state requirements, evaluate proposals brought forward by the service provider, and work with your organization to get the business case for change.
• Executive Visibility / Support. Senior executives from the service provider side must have high visibility and access. This includes steering committees, reciprocal headquarter visits, joint speaking engagements, regularly scheduled calls, quarterly and annual briefings.
• Behaviour/Communication/Culture. Be prepared to invest in and encourage business process transformations that are aligned to business goals – rather early in any outsourcing relationship. Transformation requires a partnership mindset, not a transactional orientation. Innovation is often not brought to bear because clients do not ask for it, define what they mean by it, and motivate the provider to deliver it, or put restrictions around it. Clients rarely help the provider to understand what is important to them.
Outsourcing has now scaled the maturity milestone globally and hence is increasingly consultative in nature rather than being mere business vendors. Outsourcing relationships now proactively meet business challenges as specialist BPO vendors invest to stay ahead of the learning curve.
Outsourcing is often regarded as a change catalyst and hence clients are increasing using outsourcing initiatives in their growth strategies/ employee career planning initiatives. Joint client-service provider partnering is key to this new consultative approach where both invest in transformations and not just fund reactive process management.
Innovation: The Life Blood Of Your Business
If you’re running or managing a business and want it to be around for a long time, you need to spend a good part of your time innovating. That’s because, in a fast-moving world, where people expect things to get better and better, and cheaper and cheaper, innovation is your route to getting ahead of your competition.
Here are 7 ways to put new life blood into your organization through innovation.
<b>1. Create An Innovative Climate. </b>Goran Ekvall of Lund University in Sweden has defined three conditions needed for a climate of innovation. They are: trust, dynamism, and humour. One of Ekvall’s case studies was a Swedish newspaper where the team working on the women’s section consistently outperformed all the other teams. The reason? Quite simply, this group trusted one another, had a high level of energy and shared a common sense of humour.
<b>2. Develop Washing-Up Creativity. </b>According to the Roffey Park Management Institute, most flashes of inspiration come to people when they are away from work and not forcing their conscious brains to find solutions to their problems. For some, ideas come while mowing the lawn or taking the dog for a walk or playing golf or waiting on a railway station. For Isaac Newton, it was an apple on the head while sitting in the garden. For Archimedes, it was in the bath. For others it’s while doing the dishes; that’s why Roffey Park calls these flashes of insight: “washing-up creativity”.
<b>3. Make New Connections. </b>Making new connections between existing features of your product or service is a popular way to innovate. Akio Morita, chairman of Sony, said that he invented the Walkman because he wanted to listen to music while walking between shots on his golf course. His team simply put together two seemingly incompatible products: a tape recorder and a transistor radio.
<b>4. Find Out What People Need. </b>Necessity is a great spur to innovation. Take, for example, writing paper. The Chinese had already made paper from rags around the year 100 BC but because there was no need for it, nothing came of it. When it did reach Europe in the Middle Ages when writing was all the rage, the supply of rags and worn-out fabric soon dried up. That’s when a French naturalist made the discovery that wasps made their nests by chewing wood into a mash that dried in thin layers. Within 100 years, all paper was made using the idea of wood pulp.
<b>5. Test, Test, Test. </b>Product testing is the way most inventors and organizations go about innovation. It may not be the quickest route to success, but it is often the surest. Jonas Salk, for example, discovered the polio vaccine by spending most of his time testing and testing and continually finding out what didn’t work. Thomas Edison, the inventor of the filament light bulb, recorded 1300 experiments that were complete failures. But he was able to keep going because, as he said, he knew 1300 ways that it wasn’t going to work.
<b>6. Adopt and Adapt. </b>One relatively easy approach to innovation is to notice how others deal with problems and then adapt their solutions to your own. It’s known as “adapt and adopt”. It’s what watchmakers Swatch did when they realized that the more reliable their watches became, the less people needed to replace them. Their solution? Borrow an idea from the world of fashion and collections by turning their watches into desirable fashion accessories. Now people buy Swatch watches not just to tell the time but because it’s cool to do so.
<b>7. Take Lessons From Nature. </b>If you really want to be inventive, you can’t beat nature. The world of nature gives us an endless supply of prototypes to use in our own world. Take Velcro, for example. Velcro was patented by Georges de Mestral in 1950 after he returned from a hunting trip covered in tiny burrs that had attached themselves to his clothing by tiny overlapping hooks. De Mestral quickly realized that here was an ideal technique to fasten material together. A whole new way of doing things was suddenly invented.
The history of the world is the history of innovation. Thomas Kuhn called each acceptance of a new innovation a “paradigm shift”. For once a new innovation becomes accepted, the world has changed for ever and can never go back to the way it was.
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 didn’t suddenly have ideas for new kitchen gadgets or movie plots.
Einsteins 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?
<b>Mental Habits Lead To Innovation</b>
Problems can be opportunities. "Problem" may have a negative connotations, such as being a hassle or stressful, but any problem can lead to an innovation that improves our lives. Not knowing the time lead to clocks small enough to put on our wrists. Nasty diseases lead to sanitary sewer systems. Start looking for opportunity in every problem. Even a mundane problem like not having enough storage space could lead to a new innovation. You may just build a plywood floor in the attic, but you could invent a new type of outdoor storage unit.
Innovation begins with understanding the key elements. Metal, wood or glass are not key elements of a door to an innovator. A way to get in, a way to keep others out – these are key elements. Begin with these, and soon you’re imagining new ways to make a door. You could design a door that is opened by your voice (nice when your hands are full), or one that shuts and locks itself when anyone else approaches. Think of the key elements in things.
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’ll often find something.
Playfulness helps innovation. A playful mind is a creative mind, and while high IQ doesn’t 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.
Customer Intimacy and Empathy are Keys to Innovation
"Above all, we know that an entrepreneurial strategy has more chance of success the more it starts with the users — their utilities, their values, their realities … the test of an innovation is always what it does for the user…it is by no means hunch or gamble. But it is also not precisely science. Rather, it is judgment." — Peter Drucker, Innovation and Entrepreneurship
Just because a company is spending money on research (such as markets, customers, or new technologies) and development doesn’t mean they will get innovation. Innovation, as with advertising, training, or many other organization investments, depends on the quality of the investment as much as the quantity of resources put in it. A high proportion of innovative new products, services, and companies flop. That’s often because managers build better mousetraps without first making sure there are any mice out there. Or that people still want to catch them.
Many innovations come from a deeper level of customer and market understanding. They go beyond what current customers say they need. They solve problems that customers either don’t realize they have or didn’t know could be solved. These innovations create needs and performance gaps only once customers start using them and get turned on to the possibilities.
Every product and service we now take for granted was once silly, interesting, or just an odd curiosity. What would we have said to a market researcher asking about a video machine for our TV when there were few movies to rent? How about CD players when there were no CDs to buy? What about a bankcard to withdraw cash from an ATM? How about a personal computer? In the fifties, how highly would we have rated the need for jet planes when our business was conducted within a few hundred-mile radius of our office?
These are a few examples of the thousands of innovations that customer or market research and competitive benchmarking would never have identified a need for. The companies who pioneered these sorts of innovative breakthroughs had years of spectacular revenue growth and market leadership.
Walking in Our Customer’s Shoes
"The need for innovation on an unprecedented scale is a given. The question is how. It seems that giving the market free rein, inside and outside the firm, is the best — perhaps the only — satisfactory answer." — Tom Peters, Liberation Management: Necessary Disorganization for the Nanosecond Nineties
Innovation is a hands-on issue. It calls for an intimate understanding of our current customers and markets, potential new customers or markets, team and organization competencies and improvement opportunities, vision, values, and mission. We can’t develop that intimacy from a distance. Studies, reports, surveys, graphs, and measurements wouldn’t do it.
Effective innovation depends on disciplined management systems and processes. But it starts with people. People searching for creative ways to do things better, different, or more effectively. People trying to understand how other people use, or could use, the products or services their organization could produce. That makes innovation a leadership issue.
Beyond the management tools of surveys, focus groups, and the like, innovation leaders find a multitude of ways to live in their customers’ world. They’re learning how to learn from the market, not just market research. Innovation leaders look for ways to align the organization’s product and service development competencies with latent or unexpressed market and customer needs. Since customers don’t know what’s possible, they often can’t identify innovations that break with familiar patterns.
At the other extreme, leaders recognize that their organizations are constantly in danger of developing products and services with little or no market appeal. So many new (or extended) products and services come from empathic innovation. These are innovations that flow from a deep empathy and understanding of the intended customers’ problems and aspirations.
Through living in and empathizing with their customers’ world, innovation leaders focus their organization’s development capabilities on solving problems or meeting needs that customers may not realize could be done.
As my first consulting company, The Achieve Group, was working with current and prospective Clients to move beyond the training field to organization improvement, we stumbled across the need for senior management education, strategy formulation, and implementation planning sessions. This came from working closely with Clients struggling to get people in their organization trained and using new approaches to customer service, quality improvement, and teams. It became clear that how the senior management group pulled everything together and led the effort was the key stumbling block or stepping stone to the whole effort. After experiments, pilots, and few failures, Achieve’s highly successful executive retreat process evolved and developed to meet a need no one had anticipated.
Innovators’ Role at Hard Times
One Research Scientist at the Hewlett-Packard (HP) Imaging Systems laboratory said Carly Fiorina was a marketing person put in change of engineers who cared nothing about the art and beauty of technology. She just wanted saleable stock to bring to market. He exhorts that when she walked into the HP Labs for the first time, she said that their new company slogan was "Invent." Then, she told them that the technology industry would never again be as exciting and profitable as it was in the ’90s. That they’d all need to grow up now and face that fact.
This was not the first time; a CEO had preferred cash to innovation. Carly’s pitfall was taken care of, anyway. Though, she has a point while saying innovators need to have business sense. Especially when time is not that right for long-term R&D projects. Here is a list of five things innovators need to be sure that they are in place in order to make innovation worthwhile.
Innovation needs to reflect the company’s macro and micro visions. Every company has one macro vision. Microsoft wants every computer’s operating system to be running their software. Cisco says every network needs to be based on Internet Protocol and running over their products. It is not difficult to grasp that one sentence that defines why that company exists. Micro vision is a lot more difficult to get as it is a sophisticated message delivered to the market. Depending on innovator’s access to the product marketing team, it may lead you to the right answer or to a dead end. No matter how organic and difficult the micro vision is; important move would be to look at the core values micro vision stands for. The question innovators need to answer is what are the trends that are unlikely to change over 5 years and build their dream over it.
Innovation is needed for competitive advantage, not for fun purposes. This is hard to get most times but innovation has a meaning for the company. Definitely that meaning is not fun or to show how geek of an R&D team the company has. The real meaning is; innovation puts company ahead of its competition. Innovator may not be excited with what s/he has at the end of the day because of the level of his/ her involvement with the project. However, as long as strategic value is delivered for the company, the job will be considered fully done. Innovation is to forge you ahead, not to excite its innovator where it will only be appealing to his/ her equivalents.
Innovation has two ends. Number 1 is innovating for the next-generation needs with an edge. Number 2 is making existing technology cheaper and/ or simpler. It is not so clever to follow sophistication over simplicity, because the winner is always the latter. Delivering sophisticated technology in a simple way is the greatest thing, an R&D team can deliver; if strategy is set as number 2. The truth is, Number 1 is enticing to an innovator but needs more time to deliver, while number 2 is boring but more effective for strategic purposes. Companies with R&D labs need to have a nice mixture of both to keep the excitement level at acceptable rates.
Every innovation has a time. The important thing is to flesh it out at the right time. If it is delivered early, it is called pupa. Company needs to hold onto the technology until it is the right time. 18 months early release is good enough for a pupa technology to be announced. If innovation delivered to the market is too late, it will be called a tardy so integration to the solutions without any big announcements is necessary. Innovators are supposed to read the time well.
Innovation’s core source is evolving. For a long time, North America has been considered as the HQ of innovation. However, both Europe and Asia are striving to be more involved in the process. Understanding where the idea bulbs are is extremely important to an innovator.
Today’s corporate world is asking innovators to make the connection between innovation and business on their mind. No matter how hard it is; they need to assume this new role to move their company to the next stage.
Innovate Your Way To Success
Large successful corporations started as small companies. They were once unknown entities thriving on with their limited available funds. In a world where large corporations dominate the market, small companies would easily collapse.
So what have made these used to be small companies stay in the market? Innovation breeds success. When these companies were just starting out, they were not afraid to try out something new. Innovation is taking improvement to a much higher level. Whereas improvement is just making an existing process or product better, innovation is creating changes and discovering new methods.
Innovation is thinking out of the box. To be innovative, one must not set limitations to what he could do. Chances for success stops the moment limitations are set upon the horizons.
When things might seem hopeless, innovation could give more options. Companies that are just starting up definitely needs a lot of innovation. External factors might lack confidence in what a company can possibly do. Funds might be low but it shouldn’t hinder a company from succeeding. Innovation is capable of creating opportunities when none could be found.
At first, ideas generated might seem absurd but when these ideas are taken further, these create more feasible possibilities. Success stories usually begin with formulating ideas and creating ways to materialize them. At the onset, ideas are usually ridiculed and thought of as silly imaginations which couldn’t be done.
With the very competitive market that we have today, innovation is important. One small innovative idea could spell great success for a company. Innovation gives the lead from other competitors. Opportunities will continue pouring in as more and more ideas are generated.
In a day, millions of ideas are generated, but only a few of them really make it out to the market and fewer stays in the market. In business, pursuing that brilliant idea would make a significant difference. Starting from scratch is not at all a problem. That’s precisely what innovation is – creating something out of nothing. A lot of businesses benefit from this.
Innovation could also be applied to marketing strategies. New approach to business marketing would lead to better product advertising. Customers are always dying to try out something new. There are always room for improvement, as well as lot more room for more new business ideas. In the fight to stay in the market, those who have shown surprising and breakthrough ideas are the ones that stay.
Most of the time, failures are inevitable but these do not dampen the spirits of an innovator. Being innovative does not happen overnight, it is a product taking each outrageous idea to the next higher level.
Failures contribute to successes. Successful companies definitely had their share of failures. Usually these might even outnumber their successes. However, success due to just one innovative idea reap greater effects than a million failures. Those failures will just then be considered chapters of a great success story.
Anybody could be innovative if they chose to be so. All it takes is just a lot of freedom to let the thoughts wander about. Businesses are in cutthroat competition with each other. Whoever gets to discover new ways and products usually gets the edge.
Being innovative is defying every limits set by yourself or by other people. When others might think that it won’t be possible, innovators take it as a challenge. To be innovative means developing strong visions and working on those visions for the success of the business.
Usually, innovation would initially draw negative reactions. It would shake up the existing status quo. It is not afraid to take calculated risks. When this happens, it would broaden the opportunities for the business, thus giving it greater chances for success.
Teaching Large Companies To Think Like The Little Guys
Q: I am an executive at a large company and in our industry we are seeing a trend wherein smaller companies are gaining market share at an alarming rate. Our CEO believes the reason for this is that smaller companies are more prone to innovation and more entrepreneurial than larger companies. He has instructed me to form a committee to study this trend and make recommendations on how we should deal with it. I’m an executive, not an entrepreneur. Any advice would be very much appreciated.
— Name withheld by request
A: Your question reminds me of the time my teenage daughter tricked me into doing a chemistry project for her under the pretense of asking for my advice. “But, daddy, you’re just so smart…” The result was that her/my experiment got a C instead of an A and almost started a fire in the chemistry lab. Reckon daddy wasn’t so smart after all: at least that was the opinion of the principal, her teacher, the fire marshal, and ultimately, my manipulative, yet adoring daughter.
However, you’re in luck, Mr. X, because I know considerably more about innovation and entrepreneurship than mixing combustible chemicals.
Judging by your use of the buzzwords “innovation” and “entrepreneurial” I’d bet your CEO’s opinion (which I believe is dead-on, by the way) may have come from the Conference Board’s CEO Challenge 2004, which reported that 87% of the 540 global businesses surveyed cited innovation and enabling entrepreneur- ship as priorities for their companies. Furthermore, 31% of companies surveyed considered these issues to be of the "greatest concern.”
FYI, the Conference Board is an 88 year-old, not-for-profit, global, independent membership organization that “conducts research, convenes conferences, makes forecasts, assesses trends, publishes information and analysis, and brings executives together to learn from one another. “
What many Conference Board members are learning is that they are getting their big corporate behinds kicked by smaller, more innovative, entrepreneurial companies that are not burdened by the need to have a meeting once an hour or to bury every great idea under a mound of red tape. You said it yourself: your CEO told you to set up a committee to study the trend. You might as well paint a big black hole on the wall and have everyone take turns trying to run through it. Committees and superfluous meetings are the biggest wasters of time and money in the corporate world and rarely produce anything even remotely resembling results and they are indicative of why smaller companies are gaining ground on their larger brethren.
The fact that innovation and entrepreneurship run rampant in smaller companies, but is often suppressed in larger companies is nothing new. Management guru Peter Drucker first addressed the issue in his 1985 book, Innovation and Entrepreneurship. Drucker wrote that one of the most often-asked questions in many a 1985 boardroom was, “How can we overcome the resistance to innovation that plagues most organizations?”
The question they should have been asking in 1985 and the question that you should be asking today is not only how can you overcome the resistance to innovation and entrepreneurship within your own organization, but how can you make your organization more receptive to innovation and more open to entrepreneurial practices?
Therein lies the key to your recommendation. To compete with the small boys, the big boys must create an environment in which innovation and entrepreneurship run rampant. Everyone in the organization, from the CEO to the executives to the managers to each and every employee must become innovation generators and entrepreneurial thinkers. You must create an environment where shooting for the stars is the norm instead of the shooting down of ideas.
To put it simply, you must turn your lumbering giant Goliath into a raging horde of Davids. Now I don’t mean that you should arm your employees with slings and rocks and turn them loose on upper management, although that could be really fun to watch. What I’m talking about is turning your organization into an innovative, entrepreneurial machine where everyone from the CEO to the janitor works to make the company more competitive and profitable.
One reason that large organizations are resistant to innovation is that everyone is so busy just keeping the wheels in motion and putting out fires and dealing with the day-to-day drama of big business that no one has the time to even think about innovation. And Heaven forbid they have to think like entrepreneurs. No one has time to even consider the opportunities that innovation and entrepreneurial thinking might bring. They are too busy to see that their product is becoming dated and their market share is becoming smaller. They are too busy to see the smaller, more innovative companies speeding up in their rear view mirrors. Competitors in your rearview mirror are larger than they appear…
So, here’s how you begin. First off, you should develop an innovation plan that outlines how the process of innovation will work within your entire organization. If someone has an idea for a new product, for example, the innovation plan would explain the process by which their idea should be brought to the attention of management and how it can be shared with others throughout the organization. The plan should also detail how entrepreneurial employees will be rewarded if their idea is accepted and further rewarded if their idea brings future profits to the company. Here is where most big companies drop the ball. They take a great idea, brush aside the person who thought of it, then hand the idea off to upper management so it can be buried under a mound of red tape, never to be heard from again.
This is a key point: to make innovation work you must reward the innovators monetarily or by letting them take a key role in bringing their idea to fruition. It’s my opinion that you should do both: pay them and promote them.
Secondly, innovation and entrepreneurship must be promoted within your organization as the norm, not the exception. There must be a clear understanding that the best way to preserve and perpetuate the organization is through innovation and entrepreneurial thinking. If you can get everyone in the organization thinking like entrepreneurs, innovation will soon run rampant.
This is how you create the raging horde of Davids.
Next week we’ll talk more about how large companies can become more innovative and entrepreneurial so they can compete with those pesky little guys.
Here’s to your success!
Innovation Innovating Breakthrough Invention Patent
KWD: 13/417= 3.11%
Innovation Innovating Breakthrough Invention Patent
Innovation innovating breakthrough invention patent pertains to innovation done to an embodiment or certain parts of prior art.
Conditions for Obtaining an Innovation Innovating Breakthrough Invention Patent:
1. Non-Obviousness – meaning that the technology of the innovation innovating breakthrough invention patent must be different enough from the prior art so as to not be obvious in view of the prior art.
2. Novelty – meaning that the technology of the innovation innovating breakthrough invention patent is not "anticipated" or identical to an invention disclosed in a single piece of prior art.
3. Utility – meaning that the Innovation innovating breakthrough invention patent must have a useful purpose. Virtually all Innovation innovating breakthrough invention patent meet the utility requirement which has largely been used to prevent the patenting of "quack" inventions such as perpetual motion machines.
No patent protection is available for:
* an innovation innovating breakthrough invention patent known or used by others in the U.S. prior to the date of invention by the Applicant.
* an innovation innovating breakthrough invention patent or described in a printed publication anywhere (U.S. or abroad) prior to the date of invention by the Applicant.
* an innovation innovating breakthrough invention patent or described in a printed publication anywhere (U.S. or abroad) more than one year prior to the U.S. filing date of the patent application.
* an innovation innovating breakthrough invention patent in public use in the U.S. more than one year prior to the filing date of the patent application.
* an innovation innovating breakthrough invention patent on sale in the U.S. more than one year prior to the filing date of the patent application.
An innovation innovating breakthrough invention patent continues to be a grant of a "bundle of rights", specifically the rights to prevent others from
3. selling; or
4. offering for sale the patented invention.
No right to make, use, sell or offer to sell the patent. A patent application must contain: (1) a written description of the invention; and (2) claims particularly pointing out and distinctly claiming the invention.
1. The description is simply a detailed account of the structure, operation, and function of the invention, written in such terms as to "enable any person skilled in the art to make and use" the invention.
2. The claims define the boundaries of the intellectual property and must be carefully drafted to avoid the teachings of the prior art while providing maximum legal protection for the invention.
Innovation The Survival Mantra
Indian art material Industry is a vast scattered market consisting of different variety of attractive products like different types of brushes like synthetic brushes, painting brushes, artist brushes, Oil pastels, crayons of different types, painting accessories, poster colours, fabric colours, liquid water colours, colour pencils, drawing books, colouring books, easel boards, canvases, palettes, markers, paints, coloured chalk and many more. The industry is said to capture maximum business from the consumer market directly, which accounts to 70% of their revenue.
The core Indian art material market of around Rs 500 crore is said to be growing at a rate of 4 – 5 % but there is intense competition in this industry as the industry is highly unorganized which proves to be a downfall for this sector. With the duty rates coming down the art material imports have risen sharply in the last couple of years and several Chinese and Korean brands are available in the market. International majors like Faber Castell etc have also ventured into the market. Maximum competition has come in the school colour range where the Indian manufacturers like Camlin Limited who has been in this venture for years, Pidilite Industries who has launched a new range of art materials for children (crayons, water and tube colors, etc) under it’s Acron brand and others had to reduce prices to fight competition. There was almost 15-20% reduction seen in prices since the last 5 years.
The Indian manufacturers have to face a tough time in the market. The threat of new entry affects the firms already existing in an industry and if a new rival can easily get in, then the market becomes more competitive, hence the firms must put some barriers to stop others from entering. Now the Indian firms also have the burden of VAT, which is levied by the Indian government at a flat rate of 4%. The only tools in their hands are manufacturing new, innovative and attractive products in the market that compel the consumers to buy their products. Also branded goods have a hold on top of unbranded goods, as now people prefer to buy branded products expecting satisfaction of a good quality product. But in a developing country like India still this phenomenon is not put much into practice, the middle and lower class still prefer to buy the cheap imported goods as their low price factor is indeed a tempting offer. But with proper awareness and guidance the Indian consumer’s opinion can be reversed. The existing leaders should create a brand identification, the new entrants thus will have to try and take satisfied brand loyal customers away from the leaders which makes it a difficult task for them to conquer.
Also new marketing activities like new products being introduced to serve different market segments are being implemented to strengthen the brands. In the children’s product sector too many brand ambassador products are seem to be working well. For e.g., it is seen that children prefer to buy products with cartoon character’s photographs or gifts attached as compared to others. In 2005 too such products sale show an uptrend curve rather than the normal art material products.
Today the market has expanded and it’s not a child’s play anymore. The threat of substitute products also comes into concern. If substitute products are readily available, then the firms are likely to suffer. The power of buyers should also be taken as a considering factor. The industry keeping in mind the innovation key in their hands can compete with the unorganized sector and imported goods sector that prevail in the market. Though many are of the opinion that through brand building initiatives, good quality and innovation mantra they have managed to survive in the industry in 2005 and plan to do the same in 2006.