Innovation: What is it?

Innovation is the process of translating an idea or invention into a good or service that creates value or for which customers will pay.

To be called an innovation, an idea or prospect must be replicable at an economical cost and must satisfy a specific need. Innovation involves deliberate application of information, imagination and initiative in deriving greater or different values ​​from resources. It includes all processes by which new ideas are generated and converted into useful products. In business, innovation often occurs when ideas are applied by the organization in order to further satisfy the needs and expectations of their customers.

In a social context, innovation helps to create new methods for alliance creation, joint venturing, flexible work hours and creation of buyers’ purchasing powers. Innovations fall into two major categories:

1. Evolutionary innovations — They are continuous or dynamic, and are caused by many incremental advances in technology or processes.

2. Revolutionary innovations — They are discontinuous, and are often disruptive and new.

Innovation is synonymous with risk-taking. Organizations that create revolutionary products or technologies take on the greatest risk because they often have to create new markets. On the other hand, imitator organizations take less risk because they adapt products of innovating organizations and sell the modified products at lower prices to existing markets.

Innovation and ideas development

When most organizations try to increase their innovation efforts, they always seem to start with the assumption that they need more ideas. They often talk about the urgency to “think outside the box” in order to find new ideas that can become viable products or systems. However, in many organizations, innovation is not hampered by the lack of new ideas but rather by a lack of awareness of existing ideas that can be modified or re-used in a new creation.

The senior executives of an organization know very well that the capacity to innovate is the secret ingredient for the success of the organization. So, how to find innovative people for the organization? This a difficult question because few organizations truly understand what makes one person more creative or innovative than another person. How do the innovative engineers come up with new ideas or identify existing ideas for building creative solutions to complex problems? If it were possible to discover the inner workings of engineers’ minds, what could the rest of us learn about how innovation really occurs?

Let us take into consideration the profile of Krishna C. Mukherjee, one of the most prominent persons who has worked for Microsoft Corporation. He is a chief software architect and engineer of Microsoft’s flagship products. He has made significant contributions to the architecture, design and development of the Microsoft Office portfolio of applications and the Microsoft Windows operating system. He has built strategic partnerships between Microsoft and other leading organizations. He is a pioneer who has led Microsoft to its golden period with the likes of key leaders and managers. Mukherjee’s innovations have made the Software as a Service (SaaS) technology viable and popular. He has led the industry in the transition from traditional software to cloud computing.

As a professional, Krishna C. Mukherjee is a world renowned information technologist, entrepreneur, inventor, innovator and thought-leader. He has created products that are used worldwide by billions of people every day. Surely, his career has revolved around the true essence of innovation.

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Harry T. Prewitt

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