A globalised world leads to a globalised competition. Rapid technological developments make pressure on companies and different organisations to catch up with competitors and become more innovative by promoting innovation, entrepreneurship and different methods to benefit of the knowledge available in the region.
Innovation can be defined as a new or improved product or business process that differs significantly from the firm’s previous products or business processes and that has been introduced on the market or brought into use by the firm (OECD, 2018) or simply as new ideas that work (Mulgan, Tucker, Ali, Sanders, 2007).
There are, however, some requirements for an innovation to happen (OECD, 2018). There must be some degree of novelty. As a minimum requirement, the product or business process must have any characteristics that are significantly different from previous products or business processes. These characteristics must be relevant to the firm or to external users. Moreover, innovation requires implementation. The significantly different product or business process must be implemented, that is, must have been made available for use.
Regarding the degree of novelty, an innovation can be (i) new to the organisation implementing it; (ii) new to the market by which the innovating organisation operates; and (iii) new to the world (UNESCO glossary – link).
Definition of innovation new to the organisation: Implementation by an organisation of a new or significantly improved good or service that was already available from its competitors in the market. A product, process, marketing method or organisational method may already have been implemented by other firms, but if it is new to the firm, then it is an innovation for that firm.
Definition of innovation new to the market: Implementation of a new or significantly improved good or service by a firm on its market before its competitors. The geographical scope of new to the market is subject to the firm’s own view of its operating market and may include both domestic and international firms.
Definition of innovation new to the world: Innovation is new to the world when the firm is the first to implement the innovation for all markets and industries, domestic and international. New to the world therefore implies a qualitatively greater degree of novelty than new to the market.
Regarding the impact of an innovation, it can be incremental or radical. Incremental innovation consists of a series of small improvements made to an organisation’s existing product (good or service) or business process (all core and supporting activities by the firm to produce its products). Radical innovation refers to focuses on long-term impact and may involve displacing current products, altering the relationship between customers and suppliers, and creating completely new product categories (Hopp et al., 2018).
Exercise: Discussing Radical vs. Incremental innovation
Check the figures below, think whether those are the current versions of these products/services and, if not, decide if this was due to radical or incremental innovation. Moreover, was it a radical innovation in the past that became obsolete and gave room to another radical innovation? What is the newest version of this product/service?
1. What is the current version of:
2. What is the current version of:
3. What is the current version of:
4. What is the current version of: