Early notions of innovation, in a commercial sense, centred on a simple process of investment in research and development activities. Such notions merely led to the development of supply-side initiatives. However, as the UK's Department of Innovation, Universities & Skills (DIUS) notes, innovation draws on a wide variety of sources. It is driven as much by demand as by supply.
Innovation is not merely the extension of basic science, from laboratory to marketplace. It includes the creative application of existing knowledge, processes and technologies. Here, creativity is key; but innovation is not solely about creativity.
As the DIUS notes, economic growth theory postulates innovation as a primary source of long-term productivity growth. Individually, innovation is the outcome of firm's efforts to produce new or improved products, introduce more efficient processes, and implement organisational or managerial changes or new marketing and design processes.
This broad concept of innovation therefore requires investment in innovation-related training, design, investment in machinery, equipment and software, and in marketing. No area of the organisation can be considered immune from requirement of benefit of innovation. "A firm’s innovation performance depends on its ability to bring together knowledge, ideas and market awareness into new or improved goods and services that better meet customer needs."
As the DIUS suggests, organisational innovation can be modelled through an appreciation of:
• Technology/knowledge dissemination (which is picked up in the innovation survey through equipment/software + external knowledge)
• Complementary organisational and management capabilities and change (not the main topic, but cannot be left out of the picture)
• Management of the innovation process itself.
Innovation & Creativity
in Management & Organisations
Market Analysis ♠ Strategic Response ♠ Communications