Innovation Management – Trends 2020
Markets are changing – innovation management is changing too
In recent years, classic innovation management has primarily dealt with the development of technical innovations, new products and innovative product features. In order to cope with these tasks, an innovation process was established in numerous companies, which provided a clear process starting with the generation of ideas through the development of ideas and the prototype phase to implementation.
Digital transformation in companies expands the scope of innovation management. IT innovations and digital innovations make innovation management more diverse. This results in a number of important trends that will shape innovation management up to 2020.
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The four major trends in innovation management
“Trend 1: Innovation management combines a variety of different methods”
In addition to the innovation process, companies drive innovation through open innovation and co-creation. They enter into cooperations with start-ups, organise ideas competitions and set up innovation labs. The methods are not contradictory. While classic innovation processes are primarily suitable for routinely implementing technical innovations and product innovations, the other innovation methods tend to serve the exploration of new opportunities and the rapid implementation of innovations with a higher degree.
“Trend 2: Innovation culture moves into the focus of innovation management”
„Culture eats strategy for Breakfast“
This management phrase means that the best innovation strategy is of little help if there is no adequate innovation culture within a company with which this innovation strategy can be implemented. A company’s innovation culture is an important part of its ability to innovate. For this purpose, companies have instruments at their disposal, such as an innovation audit, which analyses the innovation culture. Based on the analysis, hidden innovation barriers can be identified that stand in the way of efficient innovation management. The innovation culture can also be promoted through ideas competitions within the company. For this purpose, employees are described challenges of the company, which the company would like to meet with new ideas.
“Trend 3: Innovation management becomes the engine of digital transformation”
Digitalization is changing markets and business models at an ever-increasing pace. Digital Disruption, i.e. the radical change of markets through innovative digital business models, is shaping numerous industries.
For companies, the question arises: Can digitization be managed within the frameworks of classical innovation management or does the company need a Chief Digital Officer? Companies have developed a wide variety of solutions to this question: Some combine classic innovation management and the challenges of digitization under the umbrella of innovation management. Others distinguish between analog innovation management and digital innovation management. Others have subdivided the innovation management of the digitization unit.
There are numerous overlaps between innovation management and digital transformation: products must be developed that are compatible with trends such as the Internet of Things. Often it is product innovations that are the prerequisite for the development of digital business models. Sometimes, the development of digital services and business models even requires the development of new products. Whether companies drive innovation management and digital transformation within one structure or in separate structures – digitization is always a task of traditional innovation management.
“Trend 4: Building innovation communities is becoming more important”
Internal and external innovation networks are becoming increasingly important for companies. In innovation management, innovation communities form a so-called “parallel structure” that is formed across hierarchical levels and departmental boundaries. These innovation communities often go far beyond the company’s borders: former interns, service providers and suppliers, customers and experts for future technologies and digitization.
Building innovation communities has numerous advantages for companies: they bind creative and motivated minds to the company and thereby gain a multitude of ideas from different perspectives. You receive feedback on new ideas and concepts from people with different professional backgrounds. And they can develop strategies – for example for marketing or market introduction – faster and more efficiently. In certain cases, even competitors become part of an innovation community. Then, for example, when companies are both competitors and cooperation partners. In this way, competition can be fiercely fought in the market, while at the same time the companies jointly develop basic technologies or digital standards that make it possible for this competition to take place.
How the Innolytics® software supports trends in innovation management
In developing the Innolytics® idea management software and the innovation management software, we took the trends in innovation management as a basis. In his scientific work, Innolytics® Managing Director Dr. Jens-Uwe Meyer has identified the most important trends in innovation management on the basis of 200 studies. By using the Innolytics® Innovation Software, companies gain a maximum of flexibility in innovation management:
The Innolytics® software allows internal innovation networks to be set up. Employees have different roles in the innovation process. The software makes it possible to define these roles and assign these roles to users in their profile. For example, it is possible to search for innovation coaches with a specific methodological knowledge.
The Innolytics® software was designed to conceive and implement lively innovation campaigns within companies and outside (e.g. competitions and cooperations with universities). Ideas can be evaluated and prioritized in a multi-stage process. In idea competitions and open innovation campaigns, ideas can be evaluated by the crowd (for example, customers of the company or other participants in the competition). In addition, a jury of experts can evaluate the ideas received.