Innovation Management: A Quick Guide

Innovation, entrepreneurship and innovative thinking! There’s barely any business function or discussion you can get without hearing the term these days.

Innovation has become one of the biggest subjects of the last few years, and while a great many people are sick of hearing about it all over the world, the word and the idea behind it are out too last.

We’ve had a lot of discussions about managing innovation, but if there’s one aspect that’s been pretty clear from the outset, it’s that while there was a lot of different ideas and perspectives on the issue, there’s very little agreement on how successful innovation management is really.

As this has proved to be an ongoing topic of discussion, we have decided to build a write a quick guide, in which we’re trying to clarify the overall picture and discuss all of the most important innovation management issues.

What is innovation management?

First of all, we ought to focus on what innovation management is.

Innovation management is also a subject of much discussion as a concept. Some contend that the very concept of creativity implies that it cannot be controlled, while others are steadfast believers in building procedures and systems for the aim of developing more innovation. As you might expect, the truth isn’t black and white. So, let’s take a step back first and remember what the word means.

The Merriam-Webster dictionary refers to innovation as “the introduction of anything new.” This is not the same as merely inventing something new, such as a product, as it still has to be introduced and implemented into the world.

“Innovation management” therefore refers to the transfer of all the activities necessary to “introduce a new thing” which, in action, means things such as designing, setting priorities and developing decisions and putting them into practice, for example by introducing new products or by launching innovative internal processes.

It’s easy to deconstruct the word by simply looking at the description. Innovation management is essentially a method of putting out and incorporating new things and improving a company in one way or another.

As the definition shows, there is an infinite number of various forms of innovations. This is the primary cause of several of the discrepancies in innovation: people only use the common term when they just refer to a small segment of innovation, and even then, purely from the viewpoint of their own company and previous experiences.

Innovation management has evolved and there is even small business innovation management software available for it.

The key aspects of innovation management

Because virtually every new development in an enterprise can be deemed to be linked to innovation, it can be very difficult to understand what innovation management means in reality.

Innovation management can be broken down into 4 main aspects:

1. Capabilities

2. Culture

3. Strategy

4. Structures

This is only a quick overview of the massive topic of innovation management. If you want to dive in there a whole new world to explore.

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