Monday, December 20, 2010

Translating embedded knowledge into innovation (especially for SMEs)

Innovation is a broadly used term with many different interpretations. It is often easier to point to an example of innovation than try to define what made the actual innovation possible. Innovation is often defined in terms of:

“the ability to do things differently and to continuously reinvent products and services.”

We contend that this definition is too restrictive as it implies that innovation is tied to and must deliver new products and services with no consideration of the success or otherwise of these products, or of the benefits of operational improvements.
QMI Solutions’ preferred definition is that:

“innovation is the ability to convert a clever idea into commercially successful outcomes.”

Without commercial success it just remains ‘a good idea’. This good idea can relate to success in any area of the business, not just products and services, as long as it leads ultimately to competitive advantage.

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