Innovation refers to the proffering of a new idea, product, method, or advanced modification in a pre-existing field. In today’s world, innovation is sought out more than ever before, even so as it becomes one of the trendiest buzzwords in our vocabulary. Innovation management is now widely recognized as a necessary strategy to streamline and boost an organization’s productivity.
While some argue that innovation itself is not something that can be managed, innovation management refers to directing and supervising all the ideas and actions involved in introducing something new.
What is Innovation Management?
Innovation management refers to the entire process of managing new ideas, right from their conception to taking the necessary actions to make them a reality by introducing them to the world. This involves generating new ideas by brainstorming and sharing ideations. These ideas are then recorded and organized in a discernible way for the management and stakeholders to sift through and evaluate to see if they suit the company’s or organization’s brand.
Lastly, some ideas are given priority over others in terms of execution to maximize the organization’s existing resources and yield the most benefits. Effective communication and cooperation between the members of the organization are necessary to optimize problem-solving and innovation.
Importance of Innovation Management
According to Forrester, 53% of global organizations are investing in emergent innovation and idea management strategies to maximize and optimize innovation. In many ways, nurturing innovation is what makes a company survive in the long run.
Encouraging an Environment of Innovation
Nurturing a culture of innovation drives product innovation practices in an organization that bring forth new ideas from within the company itself and helps the company remain relevant in the long run and keep up with its competition. This also allows active participation of the employees of an organization so that they can reach quick solutions to complex company problems. This gives employees with an entrepreneurial spirit an incentive to share their insights and stand out.
By encouraging innovation, an organization can launch new products and services, all the while reducing costs on the consumer and thus becoming a more attractive option than its competitors. Enhancing the company’s development process and thus performance in the market makes them stay ahead of the game.
Another advantage of introducing innovation management is decentralization. Members or employees at different levels of the organization possess a different skill set and different areas of expertise. This allows them to focus on specific aspects of the innovation process, which streamlines the company's functioning. Since essential ideas have to be approved at higher levels, decisions can be amended and edited according to their feasibility at the command of higher-level executives.
Loss of Relevance
By not adopting innovation management, companies risk becoming outdated in the market and falling behind the competition. Companies that don’t innovate will become irrelevant over time and die out. Industry giants like Blockbuster, Polaroid, Kodak, and Borders that seemed to have many resources and were well-known names died out because of a lack of innovation.
When competitors see a gap in the market, they adapt and evolve according to consumer wants, and those who don’t are left behind. If this can happen to brands that used to dominate their respective industries, it can happen to any company as well.
According to Gartner’s CIO Survey, innovation management is one of the most effective digital innovation strategies but also one of the least used. At MIT ID Innovation, we offer Online Design Thinking and Innovation Management Courses that encourage students to hone their innovation capabilities and learn techniques that can be used to transform systems and prepare them for the world of tomorrow.