Innovation management involves the process of managing an organization’s innovation process, from the initial stage of ideation to its final stage of successful implementation. It encompasses the decisions, activities and practices of designing and implementing an innovation strategy.
According to Gartner, an IT research and consulting company, innovation management is a business discipline that aims to drive a sustainable innovation process or culture within an organization. Often, these innovation management initiatives use a disruptive method of change to transform the business.
In the age of digital transformation, organizations are faced with the need to innovate more and innovate quickly. Innovation drives business growth and helps organizations stay ahead of their competition. Managing innovation helps generate new Business plans and creates new products, services and technologies designed for the changing market. Good innovation management also increases customer satisfaction and employee contract.
Innovation management methods
In general, innovation can be incremental, revolutionary or disruptive.
- Incremental: In an age where companies must constantly reinvent themselves, incremental innovation helps them thrive by constantly improving current products, services, processes or methods.
- Breakthrough: A breakthrough innovation refers to technological advances that can raise the level of a product or service, within an existing category, ahead of its competitors.
- Disruptive: Breakthrough innovations are ideas capable of radically changing market behavior after their implementation.
Successful innovation management
For the innovation management process to be successful, it is essential that the company supports a culture of innovation and that employees feel valued. This will encourage employees to generate quality ideas in return.
Organizations are today take advantage of collaborative technology like social media for feedback, which helps generate a constant flow of ideas from stakeholders both inside and outside the company.
To make innovation management an integral part of the business, many organizations follow a disciplined and cyclical approach. Ideation is the first step towards innovation, and incentives and feedback help to encourage a constant flow of ideas. The next step in a well-managed innovation process is to identify the most valuable and viable ideas. Companies can then go ahead to create prototype products based on the shortlisted ideas and implement them to see how they work. In the last step of full implementation, it is important to evaluate the outcome to see if the desired business goals have been achieved once the ideas are implemented.
It is also necessary to engage top management in a discussion of innovation management to ensure that the ideas generated are in line with business objectives. Organizations are also increasingly looking for innovation managers, with specific skills, to drive innovation and oversee the innovation management process.