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Innovation has never before been as present as it is today, everyone talks about innovation, everywhere you read about innovation. But what exactly is innovation and what does innovation management mean?
Innovation “is derived from the Latin word” innovare “and stands for renewal. From an economic point of view, innovation is something new that brings benefits for an organization and/or society.
Terms that are often associated with innovation are idea and invention. An invention or invention is to be distinguished in that it has not yet been exploited and used as a creative achievement of a new problem solution in comparison to innovation. It is exactly the same with the idea that a creative thought is something new.
In all cases “new” is always relative. It can be new for this situation, the company or the world.
nnovation management deals with all measures to promote innovations in organisations and to generate benefits, for example:
- New products and services to conquer new markets.
- Improved products and services to stand out from the competition.
- Improvement of internal processes in order to strengthen the company from within or to save costs.
- Development of new business models to exploit new sources of income.
Tasks and fields of action in innovation management
Innovation management forms two major pillars:
- On the one hand, the creation of framework conditions so that ideas are generated everywhere in the company and turned into successful innovations. This is very much about organisational development activities.
- And on the other hand, the actual innovation, the active search, development and implementation of ideas. This requires creativity and project management, for example.
Innovation management is very versatile. The fields of action of innovation management include among others
- Future management: Identification of trends and future opportunities and risks.
- Development of the innovation strategy and planning of innovation activities such as an innovation roadmap.
- Organization and distribution of roles in innovation management, such as decision-making structures and process ownership.
- Idea management for finding, developing and evaluating ideas.
- Innovation process for transforming an idea into a successful innovation: concept development, business plan, solution development, prototypes, implementation and marketing.
- Creating a culture of innovation that promotes innovation.
- Portfolio management and innovation controlling (e. g. innovation indicators) to manage innovation activities.
- Dealing with patents and property rights.
- Open innovation and innovation networks to leverage external innovation sources and resources.
- Change management in the course of innovation projects.
The diversity of innovation management activities also makes it clear that they are interlinked in all areas of the company. Innovations are everyone’s business.