The perspectives of different innovation techniques

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This report reviews the perspectives of different innovation techniques, their types and how they were implemented in an organisation. Throughout this report I will examine both the individual and organisational levels of change that took place because of the innovation techniques they adopted. Drawing upon existing theoretical and empirical evidence this report develops and presents a conceptual model of the relationship between creativity, innovation and competitive excellence.

INTRODUCTION:

When we talk about innovation, generally people get confused with creativity. According to Man (2001) both of them are often used interchangeably. If we take a broader look then we will see that creativity is coming up with some new ideas; on the other side innovation is more than generating ideas, it is the implementation of these ideas into action (Earl, P. And Wakely, T. 2005). According to Peter Cook (1998) in today's era when we are moving towards globalisation, organisation needs to come up with new innovative things, so that they can stand better and compete with other organisations. For example in 1960, British motorcycle industry was at its peak. Triumph, Norton and BSA were the UK's third largest export dollar earner, but by mid-1970s the Japanese manufacturers captured the large proportion of market .Similar thing happened to Sainsbury, till 1995 it was the leader in UK supermarket industry, but by 1996 they were overtaken by Tesco (Earl, P. And Wakely, T. 2005). The lesson to be learned from all this is that, competition is never ending struggle for survival and to survive, one need to keep improving their products.

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Innovation can be differentiated mainly in two categories which are radical innovation and incremental innovation. Radical Innovation is the one in which everything is started from scratch ,while in the case of incremental innovation we make the changes in existing capabilities of the product. To come up with any kind of innovation, one should have proper knowledge and learning capabilities, as both of them are vital to add quality and value in the innovation process. According to Wang and Ahmed (2002) single loop and double loop learning should be used for incremental innovation, while triple loop learning should be used for radical innovation. The diagram showed below basically gives an idea about how these innovations can be implemented in different fields.

Source: Adapted from Tidd, Bessant and Pavitt, 2005.

The below diagram provides the list of all the determinants of innovation and two levels of innovation.

LITERATURE REVIEWS:

1- Popy Umbrella Mart:

Popy umbrella mart is an SME (Small and Medium Enterprise) sited at Alleppey in Kerala also known as Venice of the east Popy is a national leader in umbrella and also a leader in creativity and innovation. The mission of this SME is to show constant progress in the range of its products and services so that they can meet their patrons requirement. Their production level is likely only half the requirement of the customers in and outside Kerala. Popy had to disconnect their website from internet in relation to their incapacity to convene the extra orders generated through internet from India and other countries abroad.

Following are the recognitions Popy grabbed:

It was the 1st company to be awarded with Popular ISO 9001 for its brilliance.

Won Quality Award in 1999 for constant innovation in bringing variety of products.

Its process of manufacturing has exhibited excellent brilliance in providing quality product, modernism in product & its marketing, meeting the competition level.

They have received the honour of best liked product in Kerala after Milma (State Milk Marketing).

The long years of experience of Mr. V.T.Skariah the M.D and the modern management inputs from his son Mr. Davis an MBA has helped Popy to build up immense understanding in dealing with culture of customers & employees in Kerala & to develop a culture of innovation in their firm. They first tried & identified areas where improvement was necessary, secondly found out the part manufacturers in India & Abroad, carefully learnt the requirements of their employees in creativity and innovation. Popy very well interacted with their target audience through the medium of advertisements in media to interact with the kids they extensively used kids and animated cartoons in their advertisements to pass out their message. Research and Development for Popy is carried out under the supervision of M.D & General Administrator they collect details from kids about latest heroes of cartoon characters whom they like much, this resulted in some very wonderful Varity of products, which are mentioned below:

Innovations made by Popy:

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Umbrella with prints of famous cartoons on them this became a trend among the kids

AC umbrella with ultra vibrant coating.

Water proof umbrella with WPWR coating.

Light house umbrella which lights up when opened.

Comic umbrella with cartoons over it.

Popy significantly captured 50% of Indian market shares through their creative advertisements &product specifications which other didn't hold within their product Popy created a standard for Indian umbrella manufacturers , Since the rivals of Popy could not give the specifications as of Popy's they could not hold for long in the market and slowly their market disappeared .Popy gave full liberty to its employees to nurture their creativity & innovation complete record of each product i.e. from its serial number , who assembled the product, who made the stitching etc is maintained which apparently go with the Peters and Waterman's idea of freedom with accountability .

Popy is highly labour intensive and going for automation process under the supervision of Davis but it has yet to achieve the level of quality obtained in manual process. Its outsourcing satisfies the self-leadership need of the people of Kerala, their plan is they give out the raw material and get back the fully processed goods from these outlets.

Rival of Popy: The existence of John's umbrella mart near them keeps them alert in terms of modernism & eminence.

Modern Innovations: Davis introduced the use of computers in designing & innovating umbrellas as well as introduced mechanisation in manufacturing.

3M

In encouraging the talents of employee and use of innovative ideas 3M is one of the most pioneering firm its eminent for domestic brands such as Post-it Note, Scotchgard, Scotch tape, etc with the history of 100 years the company has produced over 55000 goods and has leadership in major markets.

Creating Innovative Organizational Culture:

The 3M Story highlighted some of the features in its organizational culture which foster Innovation:

1. Recruiting and Retaining Talent - 3M hired people who are creative they had 6 traits in their recruitment brochure. Creativity, broad interests, self motivated, resourceful, hard working, problem solvers.

2. Creating a Challenging Environment - New business units were opened they had to develop new products & find new markets this Renewal process gave rise to diversification.

3. Knowledge Sharing - 3M encourages staffs to associate, cooperate and share their awareness and trouble.

4. Rewarding Innovation - 3M rewards its staff for being inventive. The twin Career ladder paths gives technical staffs a chance to be promoted as vice-president level without taking organizational or professional responsibilities.

Innovation Drivers

Collins and Porras summarized five innovative drivers from the 3M findings:

1. Give it a try and quick- the idea is to try many things at a time & keep the best one that works.

2. Accept that mistakes will be made - 3M believes in learning from their mistakes and moving ahead & not repeat the same mistakes.

3. Take small steps - Doing small inexpensive experiments & thus developing through it is the tact 3M applies to its operations.

4. Give people room they need - Staffs are provided with incentives job security & the technical staffs are given 15% of their work time to put in the projects of their own choice & initiative.

5. Mechanism - build that ticking clock - Tangible mechanisms are available for staffs to experiment new ideas.

Common Mistakes in Innovation:

Below mentioned are 5 mistakes pointed by Dev Patnaik that a firm can make while trying to grow:

1. Over-reliance on Pilot Initiatives -Some firms initiate on projects whose focus is on a single product or plan A single approach like brainstorming cannot fulfil the demand expected Successful companies such as Procter & Gamble take Portfolio approach to innovation.

2. Unhealthy fascination with Unique Charismatic Examples - Magnetic leaders from flourishing firms don't always serve as good role model for other firms.

3. Misapplication of other Companies' Approaches - It's good to learn from successful firms but equally dangerous to simply follow their applications because this may lead to failure of the innovation process

4. Descent into a Cycle of Self-recrimination - the teams that handle innovation may feel their problem is insoluble films can always make use of their success stories to benefit the organizations strength& capability.

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5. Resignation to Superficial Changes - some firms prefer aesthetic changes such initiative is inadequate to change a organisations culture.

Amara's Law:

The former president of the Future institute Mr. Roy Amara states that we are likely to over rate the result of know-how in short run and underrate the effect in long run. The above is well explained with the help of an example of iPod; its effect on the production of music has not been fully understood. There are huge longer-term implications. Similarly, RFID is more than about tags. There are huge implications for how businesses operate and how society accepts the potential of being tracked. Internet start-ups like Amazon.com, Google, and Alibaba.com have successfully acquired real business with many customers.

The prime motive of Amara's law is to make innovators understand that the innovation which doesn't go well along with today's market, might have great impact in the near future. So one should not put them down very quickly. For example Mobile phones have gradually made their impact in the market. So it's always better that innovators use incremental approach in order to cope up with the uncertainty of the market.

Conclusion:

Creativity and innovation is a must in today's economy for firms to stay in long run. This case discusses the ways in which successful firms make innovation a part of their organizational culture, the above quoted all the innovative methods put up by 3M and Popy Umbrella Mart are examples of innovation however it's not necessary that what one firm feels is good idea must be felt by other firms too, Ideas and choice varies. This case also underlines the importance of assessing long term impact of innovation.

Appendix 1: Tables and Charts

Exhibit A: Top 50 World's Most Innovative Companies.