Monday, August 9, 2010

PLM and Innovation

Does the word “innovation” seem like a clichéd utterance to you? Google it and you get a mind-boggling 142,000,000+ hits. Every company or organization today seems to be willing to attach the word to it. I have been following the PLM industry for some time and roughly all companies (regardless of being a product, services or a pure play consulting firm) seems to promoting that either its products or services can help customers in innovating. So then what is innovation?

Wikipedia delineates it as: “Innovation is a change in the thought process for doing something, or the useful application of new inventions or discoveries. It may refer to an incremental emergent or radical and revolutionary changes in thinking, products, processes, or organizations.”

Further, “Invention is the embodiment of something new. While both invention and innovation have "uniqueness" implications, innovation also carries an undertone of profitability and market performance expectation.”

So then “Innovation . . . is generally understood as the successful introduction of a new thing or method . . . Innovation is the embodiment, combination, or synthesis of knowledge in original, relevant, valued new products, processes, or services.”. There are a number of variations to the central theme - Doblin Ten Types Of Innovation™ seems to capture them all.

Here is what some of the key players say.

I identify more closely with what Prof VG says about innovation: “Innovation is Not Creativity” and "The guiding managerial model for innovation is just too simple. It reduces to: innovation = ideas. As a result, most corporations have more ideas than they can possibly move forward. Far too many promising ideas on paper never become anything more than . . . promising ideas on paper. Here is an improved equation for innovation: innovation = ideas + execution"

So then if your company can generate “sell-able” ideas consistently you just need a tool to help you in their execution? Love to hear your thoughts on this.

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