Introduction

From the world-famous Artificial Intelligence to serverless computing, the business community has witnessed innovations that revolutionize operational capabilities. But, as a mobile app or website has a product life cycle, the same goes for innovation. Every innovation has a lifecycle, from its inception to the point where it becomes a reality. Managing this lifecycle becomes paramount for the imagination to come alive. It is the sole reason why innovation management becomes essential. 

The innovation management market is growing at a compound annual growth rate of 12.6%. The market is set to generate revenue of around $1663 million by 2025. The innovation management market is segregated among verticals like healthcare, pharmaceuticals, aerospace, defense, Banking, eCommerce, IT, and telecommunications. 

So, let’s get to know the left-right and center of innovation management!

  1. What is Innovative Management?
  2. Importance of Innovation Management
  3. Different types of innovations
  4. Innovation Lifecycle Management

1. What is Innovative Management?

Innovation management is all about managing the entire lifecycle. Right from the ideation stage, developing an innovation, planning, and executing the innovation to making it operable. But, there are different types of definitions of innovation management. Some experts also refer to innovation management as a process of introducing something new and developing it. 

Now that we have some idea about innovation management let’s understand why you need it?

2. Importance of Innovation Management

Innovation is discovering something new or enhancing an already existing process. But, if you are wondering why it is essential? Then here are some benefits that it brings to the table,

  • Innovation helps make the customer experience better.
  • It also helps to enhance the productivity in processes.
  • Enables businesses to offer more value
  • It makes complex functions or activities easy to use
  • Improvement in business performance and growth opportunities

Let’s get to know

3. Different types of innovations

A) Disruptive Innovations

Disruptive innovations are the ones that change the entire industry. Take the example of the first iPhone back in 2007, and it revolutionized modern smartphones. Before the iPhone, there were phones with smart technologies, but the iPhone brought elements like a scrollable touch screen that changed the market. 

B) Radical Innovations

Radical innovations are those that are beyond the disruptive innovations as they create a market of their own. Take the example of SpaceX, the innovative startup by Elon Musk is now a large enterprise backed by NASA and other space agencies. It has created a market where space agencies hire reusable rockets from the firm to launch satellites. 

C) Incremental Innovations

Incremental innovations are far more practical solutions in terms of execution and management. It does not need to develop a new idea and is more of innovation into the existing tools. Take an example of the serverless technology by AWS(Amazon Web Service) called Lambda. It is an innovation of already existing serverless technology based on virtual machines. 

D) Structural Innovation

Structural innovation is all about using a tried and tested ideas in a different domain. There may be a technology or collaborative tool that a department in your enterprise uses which you implement across the organization, and that is what we call structural innovation. It is also one of the most popular concepts in terms of innovation management with practical applications. 

Take an example of Slack’s collaborative tool created by a game development firm that collaborates for projects with unique messaging features. So, they decided to implement the same on a broader scale. 

Now, we know about innovation types, let’s understand more about the innovation management life cycle.

4. Innovation Lifecycle Management

Every innovation has a life cycle that follows the patterns of Problem search- Solution Ideation- Developing the solution- Scaling the solution – Expansion, and sustaining the business. 

A) Problem Search

This phase is all about searching for the real problem for which you are going to innovate. For example, if you are going to build software, what is the need for this solution? Should be your first question, and what is the real-world problem that the software will solve? It will be the crux of your problem definition. 

B) Solution Ideation

It is all about brainstorming, research, and peer suggestions that will help you formulate a solution. One of the fundamental concepts of innovation management is to manage the planning stage, and the ideation phase is where it all starts. 

Take an example of Tesla Motors; here, the electric vehicles concept was not a new idea, but the real challenge was to use it practically. So, General Motors were the first to design an electric car for mass production called EV1, which never took off, and the company bore heavy losses. But Tesla motors innovated the design by first replacing the batteries with Li-ion one that lasts long and then creating efficient car architecture to back it up. 

Here, the only difference between these two products was innovation management at the planning stage.

C) Scaling the Solution

One of the critical aspects of innovation management is to scale the solution. Let’s take the example of Slack. At the Greekwire cloud summit 2019, the CTO of Slack, Mr. Cal Handerson, said that they never thought of building an app for more than 10 million active users per day and stressed the scaling of a product. 

D) Expansion

It is a phase where the innovation management process focuses on the expansion of the business. It means that a company will keep developing innovation and looking for alternative ways to grow. 

E) Sustaining the Business

Sustaining the business is the last stage of the innovation lifecycle, and management of this phase becomes quintessential for any firm. The reason for stress over the sustaining phase is that there is a point when the growth of innovation reaches saturation, and that is when you may look for ways beyond simple alternatives.  

Conclusion

Innovation management is not just about managing the idea and its planning but has much more to it. If you have a path-breaking idea, it will need the nourishment of proper management to flourish. So, it becomes paramount to learn the entire innovation management process for successful execution. If you want to make a career as a Creative Leader, Jigsaw Academy’s 5.5-month PG Certificate Program in Design Innovation and Strategy can be of help!

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