Invention and Innovation Management:

Essential Ideas for Business Success...

Invention and Innovation Management:

Essential Ideas for Business Success...

"It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change." ~ Charles Darwin

We are constantly reinventing, re-imagining and recreating ourself. Our business is an Opportunity Magnet with an engine of pure Innovation — which stays well ahead of our competition. THINK: Yes or No?

Related Ideas:

Change Management... Constant Improvement... Imaginative Business Practices... Innovative Business Growth... Innovative Product Development... Innovative Thinking... Invention Management...

Executive Summary...

Both the short term, as well as long term success of your business is dependent on two huge words: Invention and Innovation.

Whether you call it R & D or Innovation Management, your job is to produce HITS... what marketing people call "want satisfying solutions to people's problems."

Think of this function as the act of pure creation based on your company's values and long term vision.

Your mission sets all the underlying strategies for your success. The first visible element of your mission is how to convert your VISION into products and services people naturally want to buy.

Innovation Management is the second Factor of business success, because once you have set course to pursue your MISSION, you must — for forever and a day — stay just ahead of your customers wants and needs.

Innovation is the key to building a business that stays fresh and relevant to a fickle consumer who is constantly on the hunt for the new and different.

Click Here For Lots More On This Function...

There are, quite literally, thousands of books written on the importance of continuous innovation, reinvention and change management. Most resources are designed to help you gain inspiration and prepare you for the act of pure creation.

"The best way to predict the future is to create it." ~ Peter Drucker

Creativity is often defined as the ability to bring into existence something new or different. Creativity is the basis for "disruptive innovation and continuous re-invention." Doing this well requires bold, breakthrough thinking to upset the status quo... even if it is successful.

Leaders in highly innovative companies are comfortable with and committed to ongoing experimentation that leads to "Creative Destruction" because they know that this is where future revenue opportunities and the potential for growth resides.

The idea behind Creative Destruction is to look at your business from a "hot, new NEXT" perspective where you measure innovation and invention by the percentage of sales that come from products or services that didn't even exist 3-5 years ago. Some business, such as high tech, have to "creatively destroy" their businesses every 18-30 months just to stay relevant. This means that some 95% of their revenue today, comes from products that didn't even exist 24 months earlier!

How fast you get rid of aging products/services, and replace them with the NEXT, is the ultimate standard for long term success. The fact is, unless YOU deliver what your customer wants, your fiercest competitor will.

Innovative leaders are those who steer clear of the status quo bias — the tendency to prefer an existing state of affairs to alternative ones. Embracing a mission for change makes it much easier to take risks and make mistakes by controlling the internal reinventing process in 5 key areas: Associating groups of different ideas together to form new ideas... Questioning... Observing... Experimenting... and Networking with others of vastly different backgrounds.

It is important to remember that change is always occurring and that management frequently gets complacent and blindsided to both competition and opportunity when it becomes fixated on maintaining status quo, business as usual thinking.

This function of business success used to be called Research and Development under old management systems — and was frequently delegated to a specific department to go find/develop new products or services.

Today, the most successful companies recognize that every leader, manager and team member is responsible for observing what the customer wants (usually before the customer even knows it) and delivering on those needs — creating hit after hit (think Apple) or engaging the customer with WOW services (Amazon, Starbucks or eBay) that redefine the competitive landscape.

"If you have the same ideas as everybody else but have them one week earlier than everyone else then you will be hailed as a visionary. But if you have them five years earlier you will be named a lunatic." ~ Barry Jones

Excellence At This Function Means You Can Say...

  • Every person on our leadership team, indeed, every employee is constantly on the lookout for new, novel and better ways to serve our customers...
  • We spend a great deal of time, and ample budget, in testing, trying and unleashing new ideas, products and services...
  • We have a close ear to the ground and involve our customers early in the product/service development process...
  • My company is seen as the leader in innovation and invention in our industry.
  • We are experts at "Creative Destruction" and completely reinvent our business every 24-36 months.

Improve This Function Now...

This Golden Function is composed of the following sub-functions and actions — things which must be done to guarantee your success.

See a weak spot or area of interest? Click on the action link to dive in and learn more. There's wealth of information behind each click!

Change Management

1.  INCMCZ  Encourage team members to expand themselves and our company beyond normal ranges without fear of being penalized for failure.
2.  INCMOC  Create a company environment that reduces the fear of change and focuses on the benefits of a new improvement.

Constant Improvement

1.  INCICD  Eliminate a company practice, process, product or service in its entirety and replace with a brand new and/or improved one.
2.  INCIFI  Create a list of innovative ideas to improve company functions, products or services. Prioritize the list. Focus on one item at a time.
3.  INCIKZ  Nurture a constantly improving organization by implementing small steps to improve everywhere possible, every day.

Imaginative Business Practices

1.  INBPLB  Review all business functions to invent new methods, steps, processes that get more done with less time and cost.
2.  INBPUU  Update and upgrade all customer points of contact including company's products, services, packaging, practices, facilities, and equipment.

Innovative Business Growth

1.  INBGBD  Focus on creating and implementing brand new areas for the company's growth.
2.  INBGBF  Research and predict the future of the company's industry and future wants and needs of its customers.
3.  INBGCC  Discover new ways to connect, communicate, and be relevant to existing and future customers.
4.  INBGOE  Actively direct and reward all team members to be looking for new business opportunity all the time, everywhere.
5.  INBGRM  Research the market as a panorama of possibilities for new markets.
6.  INBGUI  Discover untapped markets/customer types who are not currently being served or are being "under-served" by our company.

Innovative Product Development

1.  INPDBE  Analyze barriers to market entry for new products/services for our company's and competitor's ability to match or exceed new concepts/products.
2.  INPDCP  Initiate a formal Critical Path Method to take a "good idea" to a working model or prototype as efficiently and quickly as possible.
3.  INPDLC  Estimate the life-cycle of each product/service and plan now for changes as each one continues to mature.
4.  INPDPD  Invent and innovate brand new and/or better products and services that will improve the current customer experience.
5.  INPDPT  Master the process of rapidly prototyping every "good" idea to make it easier for others to collaborate and to test the theory.
6.  INPDRE  Identify competitor best ideas and reverse engineer the process/methods used to create equal or better products and services.
7.  INPDRG  Review, rethink and reengineer all company products and services to produce maximum customer satisfaction at minimum cost.
8.  INPDSK  Team up with current customers to discover and collaborate on how to solve their current problems for them.
9.  INPDWO  Identify and expand potential customer segments that could benefit from our existing company product/services.

Innovative Thinking

1.  INITAP  Encourage a company-wide "Can-do" attitude and inculcate a company-held belief that "Anything is Possible."
2.  INITCC  Make serving the customer the #1 purpose of our company. Confirm all functions serving this customers centric philosophy.
3.  INITCF  Identify, understand, empathize, anticipate and then invent new and improved experiences for the customer.
4.  INITCI  Create collaborative teams with members from inside and/or outside our company to increase and improve innovation.
5.  INITCR  Establish and nurture a company environment that encourages creativity and innovation.
6.  INITCS  Implement a method to solicit & collect crowdsourcing ideas for innovation/improvement for our company's practices, products/services.
7.  INITDM  Develop an organizational system for efficient and effective implementation of new ideas throughout all other functions.
8.  INITIM  Develop and update Innovation management manual for all innovation responsibilities, activities and operations.
9.  INITIN  Start or join a business incubator with complete outside entrepreneurial and professional services support.
10.  INITNP  Solicit feedback, opinions, perspectives and suggestions by means of multiple surveys to customers and all company stakeholders.
11.  INITOT  Begin and end each new initiative with "Outside-In" thinking. Identify and confirm each new concept that truly benefits the customer.
12.  INITRD  Encourage and support research and development to arrive at new and improved company practices, products and services.
13.  INITTF  Master the art or acquire the benefit of forecasting services to track the trends relevant to our company and its customers.
14.  INITTO  Acquire tools, techniques and services that assist and expand our company's ability to be innovative and creative.

Invention Management

1.  INIMAR  Research new methods, procedures, materials, tools, software, customer opinions and preferences to improve our company's ability to serve the customer.
2.  INIMBS  Research universal, comprehensive business/product/customer concepts applicable to our company's business or products.
3.  INIMPI  Patent, copywrite and/or legally register all proprietary information and products as a normal business practice to secure intellectual rights.
4.  INIMTS  Install procedures for identifying current and potential company trade secrets and securing them from public knowledge.