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Strategic Innovation and Opportunities

Nobody has made big money through saving. It is good to reduce the costs; however, it is necessity and this potential is quickly spent. Today most people in the company spend up to 90 % of their working hours by routine activities and making money. And what will be tomorrow? Which threats and opportunities take place in the world of permanent instability and how do we respond to them? If there is any area which can ensure the competitive ability of the company in the future, so they are the strategic innovations and opportunities. Our success is no coincidence but a result of our systematic work. 

Try to consider the following questions: 
  • Which new materials and technologies are being developed today in the labs and will penetrate our business in the decades to come? 
  • Which social and technical trends will be enforced during the next years?
  • Which alternatives of satisfying our customers are coming from other lines of business? 
  • What are the dreams, desires and unfulfilled needs of our customers?
  • Where is the space for creating completely new areas of doing business, new markets with new customers?
  • Which trends can threaten or completely change our current business in the years to come? 
  • Do you currently launch to market any innovations which will account for 50 % of your turnover within three years? 
  • Have you prepared innovation projects which will bring a 50 % increase of your turnover within 4 years? 
  • Have you considered innovation ideas which will bring a turnover increase by 50 % within 5 years? 

We most frequently do not receive any answers to these questions in the enterprises or people answer with an unsure smile – we have no time. Or in other words – we are so busy that we have no time to make money and create the future of our company.

But why don’t they have time? Also Michelangelo, Edison, Einstein or Jobs had only 24 hours a day. The problem is usually called "everyday routine”. All of us curse it; however, all of us love it. We are able to solve irrelevant things which arouse a feeling of urgency instead of concentrating on important matters.


The Way to Making Your Decision

The idea of collaboration is based on the following principles:
  • The company owners, top managers and entrepreneurs have to be able to cut off from the everyday routine and to learn how to work on their firm’s future systematically.
  • Innovations are neither creativity nor product development; it is a systematic process through which we tender for the customers´ money by offering them a high value. 
  • The innovation process runs in five basic areas – creating value for the customer and company (increasing the maximal price and profit), looking for customers and non-customers, products and services, processes, resources and knowledge. 
  • During common projects in your company we will master a unique innovation methodology which starts by analysing the market opportunities, customers and their needs and is completed by launching the product to the market. At the same time we will create an innovation process in the enterprise; we will adjust its organisation and management and prepare people for activities in its framework. 

Procedure

  1. The company defines the orientation of an innovation project, it will select the employees for the innovation team (representatives of marketing, trade department, service, development, technical preparation of production, production, purchase, logistics, quality and economics) and earmarks for them a capacity of minimally 4 day a month during the project duration. A typical innovation project requires 6 – 12 months. 
  2. The project team meets for 1 – 2 day meetings in 2 – 4 weeks´ intervals. Under supervision of external coaches the participants solve individual parts of the project. Every meeting starts with a short theoretical introduction explaining the methods which will be used. During the intervals between meetings the individual team members, including the external ones, prepare materials for the next meeting. 
  3. The external team members from IPA are responsible for the methodological management of the project, training of the team members in the area of project management and innovations; they coach the team members and solve some specific tasks. If necessary, they create links of the team to external workplaces (e.g. Fraunhofer institutes, universities or external development workplaces) and involve graphic designers, industrial designers or other specialists to the activities. 
  4. The project results are monitored and regularly presented to the project sponsor from the company top management; in the framework of the project we keep files on the project. It will serve as methodological support for other projects in the future. Part of the project is also the creating of a methodological manual for the innovation process, the training materials and information system for the innovation process in the given company.  

A project is successful if:

  1. The defined goals were achieved (a typical ratio costs/annual benefit – 1:10)
  2. The innovation process in the company, including financing, knowledge development system, own methodology, organisation and management of the projects, measurement of the innovation process performance efficiency were implemented and are functional.   
  3. The company employees who mastered the innovation methodology and managing the innovation projects are prepared for the innovation activities.    

        

References

Atrea - Bonatrans Group – Borcad - Brano Group - Continental – Danfoss Compressors - Decodom – Dema - DHL - Elcom – Embraco - Finidr – Fosfa – Hanil - Hella - IDC Holding – KROS - K4 – Lasselsberger – Leoni - Linet - Miele – Meopta - OMS – Rádio Impuls - Rautenbach – Rodenstock - Sauer Danfoss - Siemens – Steag - Škoda Auto – Tatraclima - Vital - Visteon – Volkswagen - Witte – WOCO - 2N Telekomunikace and others. 
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