Innovation, of late, is believed to be the single most differentiating and unique source of sustainable competitive advantage by many a business leader across the spectrum of the economy, admittedly, across the cultures in present day global economic scenario.
But what exactly is this innovation? Is there any coherent and comprehensive definition that at least most of the stakeholders (high priests of management, head honchos and the common folks on the periphery) would agree even before attempting to do something about it? or think that it has already been attempted with varying degree of "results"?
Well, as most of the phenomenon in the world and as one of the most prescient of the humanrace observed, nothing under Sun is new. Its indeed a revelation in itself or is it sharp realization of the learned few?!
Same as is the case with innovation. From time immemorial, human ingenuity far exceeded the seemingly surmountable challenges of the day. So is it the ingenuity per se? No. An absolute definite no. Then what it is?
Innovation, in my perspective is Ideation + Execution(marshalling a variety of tools, resources, culture, leadership style, environmental factors etc) to yield the desired results. It is this perspective that has been germaned from and validated by the insights of the many a pioneering personalities of yore and current day management thinking.
Innovation = Ideation + Execution
Execution = f(structure, tools, resources, people, culture, environment)
Would this phenomenon has any tangible, sustainable impact ever felt by the corporate or its other stakeholders? Sure. It is. Indeed , business week, has this nifty tool developed in conjunction with Russell Investments, I guess, to track the market cap, share values of the most innovative firms in real time. In addition, all the research and surveys from the Brahmins of the Consulting industry point to the fact that innovation indeed is the single most influencing factor, game changing parameter on the corporate performance, not once but to deliver sustainable resultts.
Well, if innovation has been in vogue for some time now, and if it is already impacting the lives of many ( both the ordinary and corporate citizenry across the globe), then is it limited to just the growth aspect? How many such innovations can occur within a firm? What are the types of innovation a firm can experiment with? which of them is the most leverageable for the sustainable results? Is it something limited to the New age economy of the globe or all pervasive phenomenon that is engulfing the intellectual landscape of the current economy? these are all some of the aspects on which we shall gradually chart out of journey.