Over the last century, innovation management has enabled companies across the globe to surpass older performance thresholds and reinvent business processes for greater efficiency and productivity, according to the Harvard Business Review. Clearly, innovation within management practices has made a large difference to human advancements in terms of the business world.
Why is innovation management so important to companies around the world? Why is this type of innovation different from other types? In what ways can your company continue to innovate? Keep reading to learn the answers to these vital questions.
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Why Innovation Management is Important
The reason why innovation is important for your management practices is because the most successful companies such as Procter & Gamble, General Electric, or DuPont are fundamentally more innovative and creative in their supervisory approaches. If you want to lead a successful company with generous profit growth, you will need to invest in innovation management protocols.
Some examples of innovation in successful companies include:
- General Electric. In the early 1900s, General Electric (GE) had moved forward in improving the industrial research laboratory and embraced management discipline within scientific discovery. This led GE to become more successful and gain more patents than any other company in the United States for the next 50 years.
- DuPont. The company DuPont was a pioneer when it developed capital-budgeting techniques and began using return on investment calculations in 1903. These type of innovative techniques led this company to become one of the most successful in its industry within the United States.
- Procter & Gamble. The business world changed due to Procter & Gamble because of their innovations in terms of brand management, which began in the 1930s. This company has constantly been building on its success by “creating value out of intangible assets,” according to the Harvard Business Review.
These examples illustrate that breakthroughs in management can create more success and bring more advantages to businesses. This improves the business leadership of any organization. There are several conditions that ensures innovation management will have long-lasting benefits for a company, including:
- The innovation technique is based on a factor that goes against management orthodoxy.
- The innovation process is systemic across the organization.
- There is an “ongoing program of invention.”
Now that we have covered the importance of innovation management, the next step to consider is how and in what ways your company can innovate with regard to your management techniques.
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Ways Your Company Could Innovate and Improve Management Techniques
Because innovation is such a complex process, it is essential for companies to have specific practices in place to structure and organize innovation management. One paper from McKinsey & Company outlines eight specific practices that companies will need to embrace in order to lead in innovation.
The eight practices for improving innovation at your company include:
In corporate settings, inspiring words may not be enough to get employees to aspire to specific goals. Therefore, high-level aspirations should be combined with financial-growth objectives that estimate the value innovation will bring the company.
In addition, companies tend to struggle with deciding which ideas to support and scale, which means choosing can become a important practice for organizations to embrace. In order to manage risk in terms of innovation, company leaders will need to “create some boundary conditions for the opportunity spaces they want to explore,” according to the McKinsey & Company paper.
More strategic analysis will need to be conducted in order to make the right choices. Company leaders should also set in motion more projects than they will be able to handle financially in order to make it easy when they need to end the projects that, ultimately, show less promise.
In order to make real discoveries within the business world, innovation will require significant insight to excite the customer base. Superior creativity is always encouraged at companies. One of the fastest ways to make a discovery is to look at major problems that need solving among your customer base and work on creating a technology that becomes a solution to that problem. Lastly, creating a business model that produces money from this solution is vital.
Reinventing business practices and evolving is also key for a successful innovation management process. Successful companies regularly “reevaluate their position in the value chain” and decide to undertake new business models that could bring value to a whole new customer base.
When it comes to accelerating innovation, a fine line needs to be maintained. Companies will need to move forward and make decisions in a timely manner but avoid exposing the company to unneeded risk. Bureaucracy will need to be minimized, but the rush to market cannot overtake the collaboration and learning cycles necessary to enable innovation.
The next step in efforts to innovate is to scale your efforts throughout the company. While scaling up slowly over time may seem like the safer option, it can actually lead a product or service to die out for any business. You will need to scale your company’s resources to deliver products at the volume and quality that customers want.
When it comes to the practice related to extending, companies in the majority of industries have admitted that innovation needs external collaborators, which means that leaders will need to seek out talent and knowledge that moves beyond geographic boundaries. Working with external partners can also include sharing costs and discovering quicker routes to market.
The last step toward innovation is to mobilize, which means companies need to determine “ways to embed innovation into the fibers of their culture, from the core to the periphery,” explains the report. This includes setting financial targets for employees and defining the market space in terms of innovation. These type of aspirations need to become realized through individual projects within the organization.
Now that you have learned about the eight specific steps toward innovation management, it is helpful to learn about some other examples of companies that have embraced innovative management strategies.
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Examples of Innovation Management at Successful Companies
One example of successful implementation of innovation at a company comes from Toyota where the business seeks out relentless improvement, according to the Harvard Business Review. This relentless improvement is at the heart of its management principles. Toyota has embraced first-line employees as innovators and change agents who can solve problems and bring the company to greater heights of success.
Another company that has undergone significant success is Whole Foods. The founder and CEO of Whole Foods has stated that the goal of the company is to create a community that works to “create value for other people.” Essentially, this store includes small teams that work together to manage departments including produce, seafood, and the prepared food sections.
Store-level decisions are not made solely by managers, but are collaborated on within these teams as well. In fact, each team has the right to veto new hires and make other important decisions. This type of innovation management has led Whole Foods to generate more profits. The Whole Foods Market has grown in the last 25 years to as many as 161 stores and $3.8 billion in yearly sales.
Visa is another company that has seen significant growth due to organizational innovation. Visa’s founder banks first developed a consortium in the early 1970s in the United States. Today, the company Visa is a global financial corporation “that links more than 21,000 financial institutions and more than 1.3 billion cardholders,” according to the Harvard Business Review.
Lastly, it is vital to consider the types of technologies and time management solutions that can help bring innovation to your company.
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How Time Management Software Boosts Intelligence and Innovation
Embracing a project management software solution such as Runrun.it software can help you boost innovation by having time-centered workflow management processes in place. Time management software is vital for completing tasks and ensuring productivity is optimal, which will help bring products out the door more quickly and ensure more time is spent on innovation.
The way Runrun.it software works is by allowing users to press the “play” button for every task they are working on at a particular moment. This will then allow the system to automatically track the amount of time a user spends on a particular task.
In fact, the users don’t need to worry about putting lunch breaks into the schedule of the software because it is already automatically configured to consider breaks. At the end of the workday, a time sheet is then generated to let the managers know how many hours were spent on certain projects.
Do you want to boost innovation at your company? Are you looking to track the amount of time employees spend on certain tasks? Then check out the 14-day, free trial of Runrun.it software by clicking here.