ICMR (IBS Center for Management Research)
 Asia's Most Popular Collection of Management Case Studies

Case Studies | Case Study in Business, Management, Operations, Strategy, Case Studies

Quick Search

www ICMR




Interview with Debra M Amidon

ICMR India ICMR India ICMR India

The key to developing an innovation strategy is looking at knowledge-especially new knowledge-as a resource.

Interview by -  Pradip Sinha,
Associate Consultant,
ICMR (IBS Center for Management Research).

Debra M Amidon is the Founder and CEO, ENTOVATION International Ltd., and author of The Innovation Superhighway.

What according to you is Innovation?

For me, Innovation means as follows:

Innovation is the creation, evolution, exchange and application of new ideas into marketable goods and services, leading to the success of an enterprise, the vitality of a nation's economy and the advancement of society. Innovation encompasses the full spectrum from idea creation to commercialization. Successful innovation depends on converting knowledge flows into marketable goods and services. An innovation strategy is similar to a road map. It outlines where an enterprise is to go, and organizes the resources to get there. However, there is no perfect map, and measuring devices may be imperfect. A competitor may change the landscape before goals are reached. The key to developing an innovation strategy is looking at knowledge-especially new knowledge -as a resource. Innovation strategy, on the other hand, is a synthetic practice based on innovation and uncertainty.

The innovation process includes three phases: Invention, translation and commercialization. The first phase can focus upon creating something 'new'- usually considered an invention-or identifying something already known that might be reused or used in a new way. Both feed the innovation process. Both could be considered as part of the creation stage-knowledge creation.

The second stage of the process is the conversion process, where knowledge-sometimes in the form of technology-gets translated into production and manufacturing. At stage three, the knowledge - now in the form of some product or service - can be commercialized.

Further, we now need to look at innovation from the perspective of the flow of knowledge: How it is created, converted into products and services and commercialized for the benefit of a constituency. Innovation does not operate as a valuechain. Instead, innovation operates as systems dynamic of interactions -across functions, business units, sectors, industries and geographies. Innovation applies in the profit and not-for-profit sectors of the economy. Academic institutions, government agencies and NGO's must innovate just as commercial enterprises do.

Some people feel that Innovation and Creativity are very much interrelated. Do you think so?

Contrary to popular opinion, innovation is NOT creativity, although creativity is needed throughout the entire innovation value-system. Also misunderstood, innovation is NOT simply R&D; it requires the constant flow of knowledge from all functions and stakeholders. In fact, at least 60% of what is needed to make an enterprise successful is likely outside the company or even the geographic region. And the measurement of the number of patents, graduate degrees or communication lines is not necessarily an indication of innovation prowess. We need modern indicators to calibrate the value-added of innovation.

Innovation is more a sense of 'ideas operationalized' than the creation of the idea in the first place. Modern innovation includes how to manage the collaborative process across boundaries, measure intangible value and intellectual wealth, incubate new businesses, operate as a distributed network of expertise, position competitively with new forms of intelligence and use innovation technology to enable the whole process.

More >>

2010, ICMR (IBS Center for Management Research).All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, used in a spreadsheet, or transmitted in any form or by any means - electronic or mechanical, without permission.

Copyright © 2010 IBS Center for Management Research.
All rights reserved.
Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | FAQ