Write an essay on Innovation a Matter of Focus?
This research is an analysis and review of the article published by Accenture in 2010. Accenture’s experienced professionals Water Hagemierer, Alexander Holst and George F. Altenkirch had prepared this report by making a research on 226 European companies including six core industries Telecommunication, pharmaceutical, oil and gas, utilities, steel and chemicals. These industries are chosen because they use R&D in best way. The title of article “Innovation a matter of focus” clearly describes the objectives of the article i.e. for innovation the basic important thing is clear and decisive focus. Without this, innovation will not provide the desired results. This article is all about the innovation like which qualities should an innovator possess for enhancing the efficiency of the innovation, what factors drives the innovation best and what types of innovation strategies best work in today’s globalized world.
Innovation has become a most important part of the globalized world. Thus, it is important to understand the basic nature of the innovation properly. Hence, by analyzing this article, a proper understanding about the innovators, factors that drives the innovation and the concept behind the innovation strategies can be understood clearly.
According to Hagemeier et. al. (2010), all successful innovators follow the different strategies for innovation, means there is no common strategy for successful innovations. This depends on the situations and conditions at the time of innovation. Here situation and condition means the availability of resources, time requirement, weather condition and various other factors. Hagmeirer et. al. (2011) divided the innovators into two categories: R&D driver leader and follower. R&D driven leaders break new ground by spending heavily on R&D while Followers gain the necessary results by spending less time on R&D.
The prime factor that leads to successful innovations is the clear and decisive focus. According to a research performed by Accenture on 200 European companies, from chemical, telecommunication, pharmaceutical, oil and gas, utilities and steel, it is found that successful innovators possess some common and some different grounds. Most of the successful innovators are more intended to follow superior sustainability strategies. Various researchers proved that the sustainability strategies play a vital role in innovation. Kruglianskas (2013) concluded that sustainability is an effective way to produce creativity, generate innovation, foster contradiction and establish big goals. Sustainability forces people to think differently. Sustainability empowers the employees which leads to generate effective innovation. There is a deep relationship between the innovation and sustainability, both drives each other and together enhances the competitiveness (Vilanova & Dettoni, 2011).
According to Hagemeirer et. al. (2010), other common factor found in most successful innovators was that, board members were from different countries. These factors are significant for the highly regulated, global and complex industries like telecommunication and pharmaceutical which need deep insight into both global and local competitive condition. This creates diversity among the board of members. The key thing that should be understood is that there is a negative side also of the diversity in the board of members. If the diversity is not managed properly in the organization, it may lead to the splitting or end of the organization. According to Hewlett et. al. (2013), diversity in the organization benefit most employers, but it is hard to prove. According to new researches, it is found that diversity drives market growth and opens the way of innovation.
Different types of companies have different perspectives about innovation, but it is found that the innovation has become more important in almost all the industries. Utilities and steel companies believe that the importance of the innovation is enhancing their business. A surprising rise in innovation is seen in utility industries. European utility companies are paying more attention towards the innovation. When it comes to product innovation versus significance of process, these are also various important differences. For providing the new drugs, leading companies related to pharmaceuticals might focus on the innovation of the products (Burns & Stalker, 1961). Telecommunication service providers are loomed large by new product discovery. These organization provide various innovative facilities like downloading of games and music etc. as well as current trends of mobile application. In European steel sectors, improved production and streamlines are the best way of boosting performance. These processes are being widely chosen by these industries.
Thus, the factors which drives the innovation can be categorized into two categorized: common factors and uncommon factors. Common factors are the factors which are been used by most of the successful innovators while the others are the strategies which can be categorized according to the types of industry. The common strategies which drives the innovation are sustainable strategies and diversity in the organization. The uncommon strategies varies according to the types of industry like telecommunication industry includes the facility of innovation for making their service better and efficient. For eg. making innovation in the service which can provide fast internet facility. The current trends of free WhatsApp and Facebook enhances the popularity of telecommunication industries. Similarly in the steel organization, making the utility of steel better by innovating through mixing of ores, or making new types of vessels or other steel made things, which makes the work easy also enhances the experience of people (Teece, 1986).
Centralization and decentralization of the innovation strategy also depends on the types of industries like Telecommunication and pharmaceutical companies are more decentralized while utilities, and oil and gas industries and steel industries are more centralized in terms of research and development activities. The innovation strategies that work in today’s globalized world are different for different types of industries but the common thing between all the strategies is focus. Innovator should first identify the purpose of innovation and what organization expects from that innovation. On the basis of that, organization should make the strategy. Without proper aim and knowing what organization wants to innovate, it is worthless to move forward. It will result into a huge loss for the organization.
Thus, innovation has become very important for the industries to be in the competitive globalized environment. Mainly for various industries like telecommunication, steel, oil and gas industry etc., innovation has become necessary mainly in the sectors which are facing high competition. Consider the mobile phone industry. Currently, the organizations like Samsung, Microsoft and Blackberry are launching new models almost everyday by enhanced facility through innovation (Drucker, 2013). The well-known Apple organization is one of the best example of innovation. Even by having so much costly products, people are crazy behind the Apple products just due to innovative nature of the organization.
Critical review and Analysis
The statement in the article “Successful innovators don’t follow the same strategy” is really true, if the successful innovation strategies are described. As described above, there are two categories of the innovators: leaders and followers. The basic difference between the leaders and innovators is that the followers follow the researches of the leaders. This can be understood from the facts that there are various companies in the market which provides mobile phones but why people like to choose from the well-known brands like Samsung, Nokia, Apple, Blackberry etc. The main reason behind this is that, they innovate the facilities, products and services and other organizations just copy those services by adding a little bit extra. Samsung Note 2, Galaxy and Grand are the innovations of Samsung. Similarly, well-known Apple IPhone and IOS are making Apple products different from others. Microsoft Lumia, Metro style interface of Microsoft mobiles made it easy and enjoyable to use smart phones. These can be said as the leader innovator of the mobile phones. While on the other hand, well-known brands like Karbon, Micromax, etc., copy the products of the leader innovators and provide those facilities in the cheaper rates with less reliability. These companies can be called as the follower innovator. Even follower innovators earn revenue because due to these organizations even a middle class person can use the facility launched by the leader innovator due to cheap prices but the gained revenue of the follower organization is always less than the revenue of leader organization. Thus, it is better to be leader innovator to generate high growth and revenue in the market (Utterback & Abernathy, 1975).
As described above, the basic things that matter in innovation is the decisive and clear focus. Without a well-formed and planned targeted innovation strategy, the innovation will not result into the enhanced stock market or flourishing sales. This is also a difference between a leader innovator and follower innovator, a successful leader innovator have its clear and own innovation strategy while the follower innovator moves on the vision of others (Chesbrough, 2013). Thus, the leader innovator requires more to spend on the R&D but the followers don’t require the same. In leading industries like Google, it is working on a project of satellite car. Industry started this project nearly 5 years ago and developed the product in just 3 years. Still the testing and updation of the product is running and still the car is not launched in the market after the successful testing due to the clear vision of delivering the quality and safest product in the market. People are sure about it that Google will accomplish this. This is why the leader innovators spend more time in R&D while on the other hand follower innovators know already how this thing has been performed by the leader organization and develops the same product.
As described, successful innovators share some common characteristics. Most important from these are sustainable strategies and diversity in the board of members. There are two conceptions about adopting the sustainable strategy in the innovation (Kanter, 2015). Various organizations convinced that more sustainable they become the more effort is eroding the competitiveness. According to these organizations, they need to increase cost and the results will not deliver in terms of financial benefit immediately. But if this approach is accepted for the long term, it will result into the huge benefit. If we talk about short term strategies, according to the research, it is found that developing countries don’t face the same pressure which becomes disadvantageous for the organization in using the sustainable approach. In a research, it is found that people in developing countries are not more intended to pay for the sustainable approach. Sustainable innovation requires various types of new processes and innovation which enhances the cost of products (Prahalad & Ramaswamy, 2012). Mainly during the recession, people don’t pay for the sustainable innovation; this affects may even be seen in the developed countries. That’s the reason why many executives consider it more under the corporate social responsibility, not under the objectives.
If the long term objectives are discussed, sustainable strategy for innovation generates relatively high revenue than the non sustainable strategies. The reason behind this is that it takes more time to make people understand about the benefits of the developed innovated product or services through sustainable strategy (Manyika, 2011). On the other hand, products innovated through the sustainable approach should be more costly. When the Chinese phones were launched in the market, people were really crazy behind those as they were available at low prices and provided various facilities. But with time, people understood the facts behind the low prices of those mobile phones and started using the branded phones like Samsung, Nokia etc. People accepted that these companies develop the reliable and quality products which provide the best experience to the customers.
The other characteristics that were found in the success innovators were diversity in the board of members. In most of the successful innovators, the board of members were from various countries. This creates diversity in the organization at the top level of management. Various organizations has clearly understood the fact that diversity, if managed properly, will lead to great benefit for the organization and will generate high revenue (Christenson, Anthony & Roth, 2013). On the other hand, if the diversity is not managed properly, this will lead to groupism within a single organization which results into the multiple cultures in the organization and ultimately leads to splitting or ending of the organization. Especially in case of innovation, if the diversity is used properly, it may be very much beneficial for the organization, as the product or services innovated will be very much efficient. The main benefits behind the diversity are that there are various types of perceptions and ideas according to the different cultures and locality. The leaders of the organization may choose the best options from the available perceptions and idea and implement those ideas in their innovation (Dutta, 2012). Thus, in result, the efficiency of the innovation will also enhance.
Different types of organizations understand the innovations in different ways. Like most of the steel and telecommunication industries believe that the innovation is very much important in this competitive market while various industries where there is less competition, consider it less important. Thus, the strategy and importance of innovation depends on the level of competition in the respective sector. The strategy related to innovation should be prepared by considering each and every factor of the innovation. A proper planning is very much necessary with clear vision and objective about the innovation otherwise, this will lead to huge loss for the organization (Verganti, 2013). This will be just like moving with closed eyes which increases the chances of accident.
Article “A matter of focus” reveals various factors about the innovation. In today’s world, innovation has become a very important factor in the global industries. Today, the meaning of innovation is also changing. In this competitive world, innovation has become a very important factor to consider. Successful innovators play a vital role when we consider the innovation. The innovators can be categorized into two categories, leader innovator and follower innovator. Leader innovators have the clear and decisive focus while follower innovators move behind the concepts of follower innovators. Leader innovators provide an outstanding results by spending more time on R&D while follower innovator only gains the necessary results by spending less time in R&D. Overall, it is beneficial to be a leader innovator.
Successful innovators possess some common characteristics which are sustainable strategies and diversity in the board members of the organization. Sustainable strategies provide a basis to the innovation. According to the research, it is beneficial for the organization only if the organization is aiming for long term objectives. For short term objectives, it leads to the loss (Danenport, 2013). Similarly, diversity plays a vital role in the innovation. It creates various possibilities for the organization. The innovation should be performed by considering all the factors like what are the expectations from the innovation, what should be the final result with proper innovation strategy according to the current situation and needs and requirement of the organization. If proper strategy is not prepared for the innovation, this will lead to various problems and enhanced cost for the innovation.
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