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FAQ

What you've always been about innovation wanted to know but never dared to ask.

Innovation in companies

What is innovation

This is innovation:
A innovation is a novel solution that is accepted in the target group. This target group, also known as the “market”, is usually the company's customers, but can also be employees (internal target group). A novel solution is still available innovationif there is no market success. Inventions and good ideas are therefore not innovation. Transferring an existing solution to a new market can also be used as a innovation are designated when there is a market success. Ultimately, it is always an innovation when a problem is solved for someone that was previously unsolved. It does not matter whether the person was aware of the problem or not.

Why is innovation so important?

That's why innovation is so important
By innovation companies can set themselves apart and differentiate themselves from their competitors. You can offer solutions that others cannot. This allows you to ask for prices that others cannot ask for. innovation is therefore an important tool to avoid the tough price war between many products that look identical. Also called a commodity trap. As the number of competitors increases, innovation the more important. For many companies, innovation is also important in order to maintain a positive image and to attract competent employees when there is a shortage of skilled workers.

How does innovation work?

This is how innovation works:
Successful innovation starts with a recognized customer problem (phase 1). A team of volunteers with a high level of self-motivation takes on the topic (phase 2). After a clear understanding of the problem, the market, the technical framework and the wider environment (phase 3), existing solution modules are collected and, if necessary, new ideas are developed (phase 4). The team bundles the multitude of ideas into a few promising concepts, creates prototypes and considers the economic viability of the concepts. Assumptions are continuously validated on the market and in the target group before the best concepts for implementation are proposed to corporate management (phase 5). The company management decides the implementation of the best concepts and heralds the implementation in the innovation is introduced on the market, if necessary further developed and scaled (phase 6).

What types of innovation are there

There are 4 types of innovation:
Innovations are differentiated according to what is really new.

Technology innovation. In the Technology innovation These are new materials and functions that make the previously impossible possible. Examples include touchscreens, quickly rechargeable batteries or shatterproof glass. Technology innovations are not sold as complete products, but are only part of the respective products.

Product innovation. The Product innovation is a new bundle of functionalities that did not exist in this combination before. Examples are the smartphone, the first fully automatic coffee machine or video streaming platforms. Product innovations do not have to contain new technological solutions, but can be pure recombinations of existing technologies. Product innovations are rare and time-consuming, but have great business potential.

Service innovation & process innovation: If several participants interact in a new way, one speaks of Service or process innovation.Service innovation they say when the customer is involved in these processes. Examples are online payment methods, self-payer checkouts or video consultation hours with the doctor. If the customer is not actively involved, it is called Process innovation. Examples are automated production processes, digital travel expense reports or sensor-based machine maintenance.

Business model innovation: If money is earned in another way, one speaks of Business model innovations. Examples are private car sharing, the sale of compressed air instead of compressors, or employee training courses financed by advertising. Business model innovation has only recently started operating in a structured manner. The topic is therefore in its infancy on the one hand, but also has great business potential on the other.

What is disruptive innovation?

This is disruptive innovation:
When a innovation shakes and shakes previously established markets and business relationships, then one speaks of disruptive innovation. The shock arises from the fact that customers suddenly change their buying and usage behavior and reject established providers and use other offers. Examples are AirBnB, Uber and PayPal. A technology can never be disruptive; Only the acceptance of a new solution by customers on the market can be disruptive. Business models that generate high margins over a long period despite falling customer satisfaction are particularly prone to disruption.

Ability to innovate

How do you create a culture of innovation?

How to create a culture of innovation:
Culture is what people do when nobody is watching. So culture is directly linked to actions and habits. Like any culture, a culture of innovation is only created by replacing old habits with new ones. Culture of innovation means that innovations that are successful on the market are created out of habit. This culture can only be created by going through the following steps in the ADKAR model:

  1. Awareness: An understanding that innovation is important to the company
  2. Desire: The need to contribute to innovations yourself
  3. Knowledge: Knowing how innovation is created
  4. Ability: The ability to be practical
  5. Reinforcement: An environment that positively reinforces the new habit

How do you measure the ability to innovate

How to measure the ability to innovate:
The easiest way to measure is Ability to innovate about the achievement of goals. To do this, it must be clearly defined which goals a company wants to achieve with innovation. This can be, for example, the proportion of new products in total sales or the customer's perception of being the most innovative company in the industry. Without set innovation goals, the Ability to innovate can only be measured using standard features. For example, about the nine fields of action in the innovation system. It measures how well the company is positioned with regard to the fields of action: innovation culture, innovation project management, innovation strategy, market, competence, technology, innovative products & services, innovation process as well as structure & network.

What does innovative thinking mean?

That means thinking innovatively:
Those who think innovatively come up with new solutions that promise success on the market. Three dimensions have to be considered so that a novelty can be successful on the market.

  1. Need in the target group: For a successful innovation, there must be an unsolved problem or need on the market. The target group does not necessarily have to be aware of the need.
  2. Technical feasibility of the solution: An idea for a solution that is technically feasible in the foreseeable future is also crucial. This also includes the ability to find or think of technically feasible solutions
  3. Profitability for the company: Only what is permanently economical for a company can be offered on the market in the long term and thus be a market success. Financing, price, market entry and the competitive situation play a decisive role

Thinking innovatively means thinking about the three dimensions of need, feasibility and profitability.

What is error culture?

This is error culture:
The way in which errors are viewed in a company and how errors are reacted to is called an error culture. One speaks of an innovation-promoting error culture when it is customary to evaluate errors as in principle inevitable and limitedly harmful, so that the fear of errors does not lead to inability to act, because every risk is to be excluded. This habit includes looking at one's own mistakes as well as the mistakes of colleagues and customers. Rather, mistakes are seen as an opportunity to learn through trial and error and to gain new insights on the way to successful innovations. In unfamiliar territory in particular, trial and error can lead to insights more quickly than risk-avoiding, holistic planning.

How do you increase the ability to innovate?

How to increase the ability to innovate:
Basically, you increase the ability to innovate by changing behaviors and habits that make the Innovation goals stand in the way. These hurdles can be found in the nine courses of action of the innovation field. Depending on the company's objectives and starting position, it is more important, for example, to get a grip on innovation project management, a clear one Innovation strategy implement or work on the structure and network.

Innovation management

What is innovation management?

This is innovation management:
At the organizational level, ensuring that innovation is carried out successfully and efficiently and, if necessary, counteracted, is called innovation management. This includes the consideration of the innovation portfolio as well as the reporting to the company management, the effective setting of goals and the support of individual innovation projects.

What does an innovation manager do?

What an innovation manager does:
Innovation managers organize the innovation activities in the company and support the innovation goals. A common misconception is that Innovation manager Would develop and implement innovations. Typically, however, this is not the task of the innovation manager. Innovation is created by the specialists in the company, not by the Innovation manager. Just as quality is created by the skilled workers and not by the quality manager.

What is a search field?

This is a search field:
A search field describes an industry, a trend, a topic, a target group, a technology or a region in which a company would like to produce innovations in the future. Search field because innovation is often associated with exploration, where customer problems, ideas and innovations can be "found". Nevertheless, innovation involves a lot of work that goes far beyond searching, finding and inspiring.

What is an innovation field:

This is a field of innovation:
As Field of innovation denotes a large, unsolved customer problem. Unlike in the search field, the Field of innovation can no longer be searched for. The clear understanding that the customer has a problem that is worth solving enables the structured processing of the future innovation to begin. Typically wears a Field of innovation a company for many years and can be a wide variety of Innovations bring forth.

Innovation methods

What are idea management?

This is idea management:
Idea management refers to the collection, promotion and processing of ideas in the company in order to create optimizations or innovations from them. Idea management emerged from the company suggestion scheme, where suggestions for improvement are often implemented directly and make work easier for employees. Idea management has not proven itself for the development of innovations.

What is open innovation?

This is open innovation:
Including solution ideas from many sides in the innovation process is called open innovation. Ideas and contributions come, for example, from customers, partner companies, employees in all areas, professional idea developers or the interested public.

What is design thinking?

This is design thinking:
Design thinking describes the process of placing the user at the center of innovation development, recognizing his needs and developing, testing and further developing solutions in iterative steps. Design thinking consists of a growing number of individual methods, principles and concepts. The active marketing work of international universities and those founded from them Design thinking consultations has a high prevalence of Design thinking guided. This partly creates the impression that Design thinking is synonymous with innovation development, although actually only a small section of the innovation process is covered.

What is TRIZ?

This is TRIZ:
TRIZ is an extensive methodology for structured inventing, technical problem solving. The Russian acronym TRIZ stands for Theory of Inventive Problem Solving and is mainly used in technology and product innovation. Contrary to popular belief, TRIZ contains hardly any creativity techniques but mainly analytical tools that have emerged from the evaluation of hundreds of thousands of patents. The best-known TRIZ tool is the contradiction matrix, which can be used as a solution template for any technical challenge.

What is co-creation

This is co-creation:
The joint development of results within a group of people is called co-creation. Often the development of ideas or the solution of identified problems are in the foreground of co-creation workshops. While open innovation focuses on the participation of groups of people who are otherwise not involved, co-creation is particularly about the simultaneity of work in the workshop format. On the other hand, there is a division of labor in which work steps are carried out one after the other or in parallel, but spatially separated and without direct feedback from different people.