Invention and Innovation
In the current business environment, innovation is the key to organization’s success. With time, the organizations have expanded in different geographical areas. With this expansion, the organizations have got the access to new market places. However, it has also increased the competition. It is important that the organizations should understand their core competency and develop a unique positioning in the market. Innovation is one thing that could help the organizations to develop their core competency (Ortlieb, 2015). The framework of Strategic innovation connects seven perspectives together that drive growth in the organization. This essay is based on the innovative framework of Google Inc. The company, Google Inc. was established in the year 1998 and since then it has expanded in different parts of the world. The success of Google could be attributed to its innovation and unique solutions.
Innovation is different that Invention and being innovative does not necessarily means to be inventive. The term, ‘Invention ‘can be defined as the creation of a product or introduction of a process for the first time. “Innovation,” on the other hand, occurs if someone improves or makes a significant contribution to an existing product, process or service. Both innovation and invention is the core of organizational growth and development. Google Inc. has focuses on both invention and innovation (Wang, 2013). The main product of the Google Inc. is the search engine. However, this product was not an invention. When Google Inc. launched the search engine; there were existing players in the market with the same product. However, Google’s search engine was more efficient (Plank, 2013). Therefore, consumers shifted to Google to use the search engine and hence, this was an innovation for the company and not the invention. Generally the addition of features and the ease of use are associated with the innovation of the product. However, to develop the product first time is associated with the invention. For example, the steam engine was an invention in itself. However, a steam engine tied to carts that can carry passengers was not an invention but innovation.
In a classical sense it can be said that invention is the beginning point of any activity and innovation follows that activity. The invention of wheel was possibly the greatest achievement of human kind. However, there are number of innovation that make this achievement great. Without the innovation applied on the usage of wheel, the wheel would not be a great invention. Therefore, it is important that the innovation should always be tied up with invention (Mickiewicz, 2013).
The major driver of innovation is the pace with which world is changing. The organizations have realized that there are fast changes in the external ecosystem. The mobile phone was an invention. However, this invention has seen a lot of innovation to keep the customers busy. There is a framework for Strategic Innovation. Within this framework, there are seven different branches, which help to produce innovation that is growth driven. Large organizations like Google have realized that this innovation helps a company to reach their goals, and helps to bring new ideas and products to a company (Bosma, 2013). The world is forever changing, so companies need to ensure that they are continually innovative.
The first dimension of this framework is a ‘managed innovation processes’. It states that the companies should have the process that facilitates innovation. Google Inc. can be termed high on process led innovation. The management of Google realizes the importance of innovation. This is one of the reasons that employees are encouraged to think out of the box. The company has followed an open and flexible process where employees are considered an important part of the strategic decision making. Google Inc. score high on innovation because it has a managed innovation process and the employees of the company are encouraged to improve the process further. The second dimension of this framework is ‘strategic alignment’. This dimension states that the key stakeholders of the company should be aware of the strategic goals and objectives of the organization. Google Inc. scores high on this dimension. The management of the company has believed that its employees are the biggest assets. The employees are important stakeholders of the company. The management has developed a platform where the personal goals and objectives of employees match with the organizational goals and objectives. It has helped to map the personal goals and objectives of employees with strategic goals and objectives. The management encourages the employees to participate in strategic decision making as the organizational growth and development depends on the participation of employees in organizational strategic decision-making process.
The third dimension in the framework is, ‘industry foresight’. This dimension helps for people within the company to understand what drives change and to identify trends that are new to the business and its business area. Google Inc. operates in Information Technology industry that is driven by change. The product lifecycle of most of the products is very short in this industry. Google is a visionary company that has good industry foresight. The company is able to visualize the coming change in the market and the company is smart to change itself with any change in the market. The focus on innovation and flexible business processes has enabled the company to have a good industry foresight (Sambrook, 2009). The fourth dimension of this framework is, ‘consumer insight’. It states that the corporations must understand the needs and wants of the consumers. The liking of the people is never constant. There is a need that organizations should develop and launch the new products when the consumers are bored from the current market offerings. The focus on ‘consumer insight’ has helped Google Inc. to launch new products in the market at right time. The management of the company believes that the timing is important. The consumers should not be flooded with the new products and services at their disposal. The success factor is to launch new products ate regular time interval and without getting consumers confused.
The fifth dimension of this framework is ‘core technologies and competencies’. These are internal and organizational capabilities within the business, which could be extracted and put to good use. Typically, the core competency is the source of positioning or differentiation. it would be correct to say that the innovation is the core competency of Google Inc. With the focus on innovation, Google Inc. has been able to develop a strong product differentiation in the market. The company has been able to spread itself in almost every part of the world and this has been possible only because of innovation as its core competency. The sixth dimension of this framework is organizational readiness. This dimension measures the readiness of the organization for the future changes that can happen within the organization. The changes in the organization could be driven by the internal or the external factors. Google Inc. is one such company that has been able to realize the internal and the external drivers of change. The company takes no time to implement new strategies and policies. Google Inc. has a flexible eco system and employees have accepted the quick change management as part of this culture. This is one of the reasons that the management does not hesitate to launch new strategies and polices at Google Inc. The seventh dimension of this framework is disciplined implementation (Santos, 2012). It states that while implementing the new ideas and strategies, its effectiveness will be dependent on how disciple a company has been when going forward with this innovative idea. It is important that the implementation of any new idea or strategy should get the required traction from the senior management of the company. Google Inc. does not score very high on this dimension as there are number of ideas being worked upon in the company. The employees are encouraged to come up with new ideas. However, it is not necessary that the management would listen to the ideas of all the employees. If the team feels that the idea has the potential to generate a huge number of user base, then only management would listen to the idea.
It would be correct to say that innovation is the major growth driver for Google Inc. The success of the company would not be possible without the focus on innovation. The focus on the seven dimensions of strategic innovation framework has helped the company to attain success in less span of time. There are other companies in the market that are innovative. However, there are very limited companies that would score high on all the seven dimensions of this framework. Apple Inc. is another such company that is driven by innovation (Haynes, 2014). With respect to creativity and innovation, it can be said that both the companies have a lot in common to share.
With the focus on innovation, Google Inc. has been able to get the required outcomes. One of the greatest outcomes for Google is an increase in the productivity of employees. With innovation, the company has developed a culture where employee involvement is high. The employees are able to work with high productivity as they consider themselves to be an integral part of the organization. It can be said that innovation has emerged as the core competency of Google Inc. The presence of core competency also enables the organizations to set differentiation in the market (Schreiber, 2015). This differentiation is necessary to target the customers. Therefore, the organizations must focus to develop the core competency. Another positive outcome of innovative ecosystem is the high motivation level of employees. At Google, the employees are motivated and encouraged to think out of the box and come up with new ideas and solutions. The management and the leadership team of the Google do not judge the employees even if their ideas fail. The innovation is the key and it has sparked the motivation among employees.
It is important that the organizations should have a core competency that can differentiate them from competitions (Salmelin, 2013). The core competency is unique to organizations. In case, the competency is not present, the organization should focus to acquire the competency. The benchmarking would be a powerful tool to acquire the competency (Force, 2013). With this tool, the organization would do an external scanning to scan other players in the same industry who have the best Information Technology infrastructure. Then the next step would be to develop the specific goals and objectives to attain the core competency. It would include the procurement, training and development, and support and maintenance. The technological capabilities of employees’ couple with innovation drives the growth at Google Inc. It is expected that the company would continue to grow at a good growth rate. The company may not invent a lot of things. However, the company is committed to bring innovation in the existing products. It has completely changed the way end-consumers use the technology product. The ease of use and the efficiency are the major outcome of innovation at Google Inc. The company has been able to establish a good brand image in the market. The customers trust the innovative products of the company. It is expected that the company would continue to make the use of seven dimensions of innovation framework to attain the path of continuous framework in its innovative eco system.
Baregheh, A., Rowley, J. & Sambrook, S. (2009) ‘Towards a multidisciplinary definition of innovation’, Management Decision, 47 (8), pp.1323-1339.
Estrin, S., Mickiewicz, T., & Stephan, U. (2013). Entrepreneurship, social capital, and institutions: Social and commercial entrepreneurship across nations. Entrepreneurship theory and practice, 37(3), 479-504.
Grissemann, U., Plank, A., & Brunner-Sperdin, A. (2013). Enhancing business performance of hotels: The role of innovation and customer orientation. International Journal of Hospitality Management, 33, 347-356.
Gu, Q., Wang, G. G., & Wang, L. (2013). Social capital and innovation in R&D teams: the mediating roles of psychological safety and learning from mistakes. R&D Management, 43(2), 89-102.
Lepoutre, J., Justo, R., Terjesen, S., & Bosma, N. (2013). Designing a global standardized methodology for measuring social entrepreneurship activity: the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor social entrepreneurship study. Small Business Economics, 40(3), 693-714.
Rudolf, S., Ortlieb, C., T?nnes, C., & Schuh, G. (2015). Discovering product innovation potential within existing product architectures. Applied Mechanics & Materials, 794.
Salmelin, B. (2013). The Horizon 2020 framework and Open Innovation Ecosystems. Journal of Innovation Management, 1(2), 4-9.
Santos, F. M. (2012). A positive theory of social entrepreneurship. Journal of business ethics, 111(3), 335-351.
Tarzian, A. J., & Force, A. C. C. U. T. (2013). Health care ethics consultation: An update on core competencies and emerging standards from the American Society for Bioethics and Humanities’ Core Competencies Update Task Force. The American Journal of Bioethics, 13(2), 3-13.
Uschi Schreiber, 2015. Megatrends 2015: making sense of a world in motion. Ernst & Young. pp. 1- 56
Qian, H. & Haynes, K.E. (2014) ‘Beyond innovation: the small business innovation research program as entrepreneurship policy’, Journal of Technology Transfer, 39 (4), pp.524-543.