In this chapter we have explored a number of factors that set the context of innovation in business and which will recur as themes in later chapters.
Innovation is the primary source of growth in a stable economy. Large or small companies may be innovative. Several factors drive their need for innovation, including changes in markets, technology and customers. But the strategic aims of company leaders play a significant role
The focus of innovation changes as the underlying technologies mature. The emergence of a dominant design marks a point when competition shifts away from the core attributes towards other factors such as quality and services.
As markets develop, different types of customers with different motivations emerge and innovation efforts must adapt accordingly. The way innovations diffuse through a population or market depends strongly on the characteristics of the innovation itself and on the adopters (customers).
Companies increasingly collaborate with others during the innovation process, a practice known as open innovation. Changes to the business model are often valuable to support other innovations and may be a profitable source of innovation in themselves.
Interview with Mariam Ismail
Measure the actual growth and profitability benefits arising from your innovation investments. Don’t rely on input measures alone to assess your innovativeness.
Think about the possibilities for open innovation. Look around for opportunities to benefit from partnerships with other companies and organizations.
Apply the insights provided by diffusion theory to individual innovation projects.
Be ready to modify the focus of innovation as your market develops.
Understand your own business model and consider carefully how new products and services may be supported and enhanced by alternative business models.