1st Innovation Conference
Innovation: An Imperative for Progress and Success
Innovation is no longer an option to companies and organizations. It has become a way to survive. Businesses are increasingly being disrupted by new innovations and business models. Companies producing mainframe and mini computers were disrupted by companies that brought the Personal Computer. Well established traditional camera and film producers were disrupted by digital photography and now producers of digital photography are being disrupted by manufacturers of smartphones with sophisticated high resolution cameras. Taxi businesses are being disrupted by businesses such as Uber and now we have driverless taxis. Hotels across the world are feeling the impact of online businesses such as Airbnb. The innovation cycle continues to bury and create new innovators.
No business is immune from the cycle of innovation. No doubt, the digital technology is (in many ways) driving this innovation. But you do not have to be technology savvy in order to be an innovator. By selling hard goods (e.g., hardware, kitchen utensils) discount stores such as Walmart (according to Clayton Christensen) were able to disrupt department stores who were forced to move upmarket and get out of hard goods where margins were small and get into clothing and cosmetics where margins were high.
However, not all innovations have disruptive properties. Some innovations could be new approaches to provide solutions to old problems. These could be innovations implemented by companies, organizations or individuals that no one has heard of. However, what is important to note is that innovation has increasingly become an agenda item for progress and success.