Covid 19: Time for us to innovate

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It sure has been a long time since I wrote anything. In that time, I have went back to school twice.  After 15 years, I finally got my Bachelors and I am proud to say I graduated with First Class. After which, I continued with my MBA. That kind of explained the absence. I was already writing too much for school which was great as I have more content to share with you now. However, at the same time, we are also now facing the global pandemic, Covid-19.

With globalization, knowledge-sharing and technological growth, consumer demands are changing rapidly, triggering a tougher competition. Products and services need to be aligned with consumers’ demands for better features that will satisfy their needs. Considering how businesses has evolved in the last decade or so, it is no secret that the almost every industry is driven by innovation. Products and services risk becoming obsolete when companies do not innovate promptly (Karamitsios, 2013). Porter argued that competitive advantage is achieved through innovation (Porter, 1990). This is truer than ever in the current climate where the world is facing Covid-19.

Innovation is the catalyst for growth. It brings about continuous improvement of existing products and paves the way for new products that provide better value to customers (Chiaroni, Chiesa & Frattini, 2010). Businesses that innovate can ensure their presence in the marketplace. Today, innovation has become a crucial strategy for market positioning and contributes to the success through revenue growth and improved capabilities. It is imperative to note that innovation does not only apply to products and services. Innovation also applies to processes, improving existing methodologies or creating new ones. An innovative process can facilitate product innovation. An effective process is defined by organisation routines that are placed to systematically expedite and facilitate generation of ideas to commercialization. Additionally, in an organisation, the leader who mandates the structure and influences decision making and set priorities plays a key role in facilitating innovation. Leaders can influence through decision-making and their behaviour which will be observed by others.

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The 4P Innovation Model (Tidd & Bessant, 2009)

Tidd and Bessant suggest that there are four aspect of innovation as shown. The 4P innovation model has four independent axes representing the innovation aspects:

1.      Product innovation: changes in products or services offered

2.      Process innovation: changes in methodologies of how the product or services is delivered

3.      Position innovation: changes in the context in which the products or services are framed.

4.      Paradigm innovation: changes in the business model of the organisation

Innovation is noted as a series of activities that are related to each other (Trott, 2002). Gopalakrishnan and Damanpour suggest that innovation is as a process which has several stages (Gopalakrishnan and Damanpour, 1997). Tidd and Bessant innovation process framework can be selected to plan for innovation challenges strategies respectively.

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Search:

This is the stage when the company review the internal and external environment and consider any threats or opportunities that requires for a change.

Select:

At this stage, according to the business objectives, companies will decide which of the threats or opportunities are worth reacting to (Tidd, Bessant and Pavitt, 2005). In order to create innovation, the company must use creative ideas that will generate value (Linder, Jarvenpaa and Davenport 2003).

Implement:

Implementation is essential to translate new ideas into new products or services and processes (Goffin and Pfeiffer, 1999).

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Companies innovate to:

  •  grow the business and generate profit,
  •  create competitive advantage

Even when an innovation fails, there are still valuable lessons such as what can be done differently for the future. It is essential to note all failures and successes as lessons for future references.


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