Innovation in Business
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Innovation is the process of creating new, improved, and more effective products, services, ideas and products. Innovation is essential in business to sustain survival and growth of the business a highly dynamic and unpredictable markets. In the case study, the innovation process of the product started with a trigger or the need for a product that would suit a given purpose. The need was to have a product that would mark and provide easy reference to pages of hymnal. This trigger was not part of the business system and created the need to have a product of given characteristics. The product needed to be superior to the present bookmark, which could not serve the purpose. The other characteristic is that the product needed to maintain the state of the pages. After identification of the problem, the executive explored the available resources that could help solve the problem (Claiborne, 2007). This created an avenue for creative thinking and design for the resources that could create a product of the desired characteristics. The research team assisted in the identification of this resource or raw material to be used.
The research team argues that the resource was underutilized because it was not fit for its primary purpose. This is an example how innovation can revive and improve on old and unused products into profitable state. The next stage in the innovation is the creation of prototype batch and testing or the application of the product in the market and market response. In this stage, the manger realized the product had many uses apart from bookmarking pages. In that line, he ordered the production of more sample to test these new uses through giving the new product to the secretaries. In that manner, the innovator realized the potential power of the product and this stage provided a room for review and improvement in case the product needed such refinement (Claiborne, 2007). The last stage in the process is release of the product into the market. The manager decided to cut off the sample supply of the product and instead ordered for them placement of orders for the product in the marketing and production department.
In exploring other uses of the product, the manager tested his new product using the secretaries of the company. In this move, the manger tested the product to identify its potential in the market. This testing provided room for feedback that would help improves the product to best achieve high potential (Claiborne, 2007). The secretaries acted as the potential customers of the product. They would provide detailed and relevant information about the product by its target customers of the product.
In synthesis innovation existing ideas are put together to came up with a unique product into the market. This innovation is a synthesis; this is because the manger used a combination of existing concepts to come up with a new formulation and product. The existing factors include the adhesive that had not been due to inefficiency. Another factor that contributed the innovation is the presence of bookmarks that would have served the purpose. The bookmarks had one disadvantage of falling off from the pages (Drucker, 1999). These factors gave the characteristics of the product to be invented. First, it was to act like a bookmark in marking and identifying pages and second it was to have a mechanism of sticking onto the page so that it does not fall off. A piece of paper gave or had the characteristic of a bookmark and the adhesive would stick it onto the page. Not all adhesives would work, but only those that would maintain the quality of the page without tearing it. If the product once stack would remain in position, but not permanently. The manger synthesized these concepts and came up with the product of post it notes. All the essential concepts of the product existed already, and none was freshly invented.
The sources of innovation ideas in this case are the head of the business unit. The manger initiated the innovative process by identifying a need. Though the need was external it finally got back to the business, employees also provided another source of information. The first group of employees that provided information is that of the research and production department. They provided an insight on the product’s manufacturing and production possibilities. This innovation would not materialize if they had not provided that information to the manger. The information from the research department built on the success of innovation by enabling production. Secretaries are the other set of employees that provided information on this innovation. Their usage of the new product provided an insight on the possible performance of the product in the market (Drucker, 1999). They high demand of the product by secretaries of the companies’ departments predicted the potential and expounded on the products usage application. Even though not indicated this acted as a road test for the product, after closing the free supply the manager assessed the effectiveness of cost application on the product before its releases into the market. All the sources formed a chain that the last product was a successful product innovation. In addition to that, the secretaries of departments acted as customers in providing information on the first product. This is because they apparently acted as the end users of the product. Information provided by customers includes improvements and modification of the product to best suit the different uses it intends to serve. It also provided an opportunity to identify any short falls of the product.
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