Innovation – It is Essential to Competitiveness

Numerous
forces, including a rapidly expanding marketplace (globalization)
leading to diversity among consumers, increasing competition, decreasing
budgets and personnel are as much at the heart of difficult challenges
confronting technology companies these days as the tight economy. Even
in the best of circumstances, staying competitive is more difficult than
ever. In the worst of situations it can feel down-right desperate.

The
“rise-and-fall” nature of today’s environment is evident all around us.
The secure, stable markets of yesteryear are rocked by disruptive
technological advances and increased competition while small start-ups
rise seemingly unchallenged, to great heights. Why? The conditions that
determine competitive advantages are changing at an unmatched velocity.
Creativity and innovation are the keys to the success of organizations
in bracing up to and rising above these challenges.

After three
decades of dismissing product innovation with claims that it doesn’t
increase the bottom line, many companies have now come to the conclusion
that ongoing product innovation is the
essential factor for organizational success. The former attitude comes
about in no small part because history abounds in examples of
organizations that have expended tremendous amounts of money and effort
on product innovation programs that had little direct value in the
marketplace.

Almost all now appreciate the role of product
innovation in their prosperity, most are still in search of effective
and efficient ways of producing that innovation. Aligning resources and
practices or culture when there is a lack of background in generating
product innovation is a daunting and formidable task.

In fact,
improperly conceived product innovation programs can be almost as
dangerous as a “sit still” policy. In the mid-1970s for example Exxon
correctly identified office automation as a significant opportunity.
They also correctly understood that they shouldn’t attempt the product
development internally and purchased a company in the space. What they
did misjudge was the speed of product innovation in the office
automation arena which was vastly different from their own. The result
was unmitigated failure as they were never able to innovate near the
front edge of the curve.

The truth is, successful product
innovation should match the capabilities of the organization, the needs
of its customers, the realities of available technologies (and their
actual progress) as well as the impact of new emerging technologies,
budget, the market impact and organizational goals.

With
everything going on in every market, the environment and economy, the
circumstances speak volumes to many organizations about the need for
change. The marketplace opportunities currently point toward the need
for breakthrough product innovation over the incremental variety. This
requires imagination, insight and a fundamental organizational structure
that can examine and exploit creativity – one that enhances innovative
efforts to realize both short and long terms goals.

But how? To determine the electronic product innovation strategy best suited to the situation, consider these factors.

With
this information in hand, a productive and flexible innovation process
presents itself and a logical sequence for tasks emerges

An organization can
hold its competitive edge and stay ahead through a focus on and
effective use this golden key – innovation. Innovative companies are
those that keep their eyes & ears open to opportunities presented by
change and that can respond with fresh ideas and correctly targeted
action to keep them growing and profitable.

Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.