12 Essential Innovation Insights (Part 1)

Comments Off on 12 Essential Innovation Insights (Part 1)
12 Essential Innovation Insights (Part 1) LoadingADD TO FAVORITES

Innovation is a perennial management challenge.  That’s why, for decades, MIT Sloan Management Review has been publishing new research and insights about innovation — from top researchers at business schools as well as from leading business executives and consultants.

Recently MIT Sloan Management Review tapped into its deep “knowledge base” looking for crucial innovation insights that today’s managers might have missed.  In this issue of Business Briefings let’s

Innovation Insight 1: Innovation isn’t necessarily about new things; it’s about new value.

Innovation isn’t just about developing new products or technologies. The authors encouraged executives to think broadly about what types of innovation are possible. They noted that companies within the same industry “tend to innovate along the same dimensions” — whether those dimensions are research and development (R&D), process innovations, or branding. Viewing innovation too narrowly, the authors pointed out, “blinds companies to opportunities and leaves them vulnerable to competitors with broader perspectives.” Sawhney, Wolcott, and Arroniz used examples such as Starbucks, which initially innovated not by producing a different product but instead by creating a different kind of customer experience — what the company termed a “third place” for gathering that was between home and work.

Business innovation, the authors stressed, has to do with new value, not necessarily new things — and comes in many flavors. The authors presented an “innovation radar” so companies can consider twelve different areas in which they might innovate — ranging from method of value capture to operating processes to platforms. “When a company identifies and pursues neglected innovation dimensions, it can change the basis of competition and leave other firms at a distinct disadvantage,” the authors concluded.

Innovation Insight 2: Challenge competitors by playing a different game.

Technological disruption is one way to upend a market, but it isn’t the only way. For some companies, the secret, according to Constantinos Markides of London Business School, is to change the rules of the game.

In researching his 1997 article...

To continue reading, become a paid subscriber for full access.
Already a Business Briefings subscriber? Login for full access now.

Subscribe for as low as $135/year

  • Get 12 months of Business Briefings that will impact your business and your life
  • Gain access to the entire Business Briefings Research Library
  • Optional Business Briefings monthly CDs in addition to your On-Line access
  • If you do not like what you see, you can cancel anytime and receive a 100% pro-rata refund