Innovation management

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Innovation management is the discipline of managing processes in innovation. It can be used to develop both product and organizational innovation. Innovation management includes a set of tools that allow managers and engineers to cooperate with a common understanding of goals and processes. The focus of innovation management is to allow the organization to respond to an external or internal opportunity, and use its creative efforts to introduce new ideas, processes or products.[1] Importantly, innovation management is not relegated to R&D; it involves workers at every level in contributing creatively to a company's development, manufacturing, and marketing. By utilizing appropriate innovation management tools, management can trigger and deploy the creative juices of the whole work force towards the continuous development of a company.[2] The process can be viewed as an evolutionary integration of organization, technology and market by iterating series of activities: search, select, implement and capture.[3]

Innovation processes can either be pushed or pulled through development. A pushed process is based on existing or newly invented technology, that the organization has access to, and tries to find profitable applications to use this technology. A pulled process tries to find areas where customers needs are not met, and then focus development efforts to find solutions to those needs.[4] To succeed with either method, an understanding of both the market and the technical problems are needed. By creating multi-functional development teams, containing both engineers and marketers, both dimensions can be solved.[5] The lifetime (or product lifecycle) of new products is steadily getting shorter; increased competition therefore forces companies reduce the time to market. Innovation managers must therefore decrease development time, without sacrificing quality or meeting the needs of the market.

Common tools include brainstorming, virtual prototyping, product lifecycle management, idea management, TRIZ, Phase–gate model, project management, product line planning and portfolio management.[citation needed]

Measuring Innovation Management[edit]

There are two phases the first phase involves the design of the innovation and the second involves its implementation. The measure of innovation at the organizational level relates to individuals, team-level assessments, and private companies from the smallest to the largest. Measure of innovation for organizations can be conducted using surveys to establish internal benchmarking. There is now an emerging body of work around the Management Innovation Index as an effective analytic that uses regression analysis enabling the measurement of organizational innovation that focuses on the four organizational pillars of innovation - culture and environment, strategy, innovation practice and the personal traits, beliefs and attitudes of managers to creativity and innovation. In addition, the Management Innovation Index maps the flow of creative inputs through the organization's operating system that produces the organization's innovation, i.e. the creative outputs.[6]

Manage Complex Innovation[edit]

To manage complex innovation, ask the right questions

Innovation is the change that outperforms the previous practice. To lead or sustain with innovations, managers need to concentrate heavily on the innovation network, which requires deep understanding of the complexity of innovation. Collaboration is an important source of innovation. Innovations are increasingly brought to the market by networks of firms, selected according to their comparative advantages, and operating in a coordinated manner.

When a technology goes through a major transformation phase and yields a successful innovation then it becomes a great learning experience, not only for the parent industry but for other industries as well. Big innovations are generally the outcome of intra- and interdisciplinary networking among technological sectors along with combination of implicit and explicit knowledge. Networking is required but network integration (networking of networks) is the key to success for complex innovation in today’s era where diverse technologies are available at its best. Social economic zones, technology corridors, free trade agreements and technology clusters are some of the ways to encourage organizational networking and cross-functional innovations. To win with innovation in a flat world we definitely need complex networking and crowd-sourcing.

Universities offering Innovation and Product Management[edit]

University of the Arts London, Central Saint Martins has a Masters in Innovation Management [1]. University of Applied Sciences Upper Austria, Wels Campus [2] offers Masters as well as Bachelors Programme in Innovation and Product Management.This is one of the few courses offered in English language in Austria. University of Luxembourg offers Master in Entrepreneurship and Innovation (http://www.univ.lu/formations/fdef/master_in_entrepreneurship_and_innovation_professionnel).

Another course which is called MSc. in Global Innovation Management (GIM) is a unique 2-year programme offered jointly by the University of Strathclyde (Scotland), Aalborg University (Denmark), Hamburg University of Technology (Germany) and, Swinburne University of Technology (Australia) which enables graduates of first degrees in engineering, science and technology to successfully manage the innovation process across international boundaries. [7]

North Carolina State University offers a one year Master's of Global Innovation Management degree, a joint program with IAE Graduate School of Management in France. The curriculum is designed to give engineering, science and other technology-oriented students a strong exposure to core business management skills while providing in-depth exposure to a host of global innovation management issues. It was designed specifically for students who are looking to create a personal competitive advantage for today’s global job market. [8]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Kelly, P. and Kranzburg M. (1978). Technological Innovation: A Critical Review of Current Knowledge. San Francisco: San Francisco Press. 
  2. ^ Clark, Charles H. (1980). Idea Management: How to Motivate Creativity and Innovation. New York: AMACOM. 
  3. ^ Tidd, Joe and Bessant, John (2009). Managing Innovation: Integrating Technological, Market and Organizational Change 4e - first ed. with Keith Pavitt. Chichester: Wiley. 
  4. ^ Trott, Paul (2005). Innovation Management and New Product Development. Prentice Hall. ISBN 0273686437. 
  5. ^ Boutellier, Roman; Gassmann, Oliver and von Zedtwitz, Maximilian (2000). Managing Global Innovation. Berlin: Springer. p. 30. ISBN 3-540-66832-2. 
  6. ^ Kerle, Dr R. Creativity In Organizations - How can creativity become a prime contributor to the strategic objective of the organization (2011
  7. ^ "MSc Global Innovation Management". 
  8. ^ http://www.poole.ncsu.edu/mgim/index.php/about/program-overview/