Innovation can be defined as “the process of creating new ideas and putting them into practice.” (Drucker, 1985). Being innovative is a talent as well as a necessity in organizations or else systems and processes will grow stale. Creating innovative products means to enhance goods or services to meet customer needs, while creating innovative processes results in new and better operations.
There are some steps to innovating, according to John Schemmerhorn and his colleagues (2011, pg. 419), which include:
1. idea creation – this is done by being spontaneous and ingenious in the creative process; updating an existing product or making a new one occur in this step
2. Initial experimentation – this is where the idea’s value and application are established and can be accomplished through sharing/testing it
3. Feasible determination – this step is where the practicality and viability of the new creation is established, typically in cost to make and manpower
4. Final application – now that the product or process is created, it is necessary to launch it
Getting organizational buy-in is a key step, which means that the innovator needs to focus more on the benefits from having the creation, i.e. product or process; having a ‘champion’ in your corner, if you are the innovator, is a necessity if you want to get it off the ground. Enlisting your supervisor or a mentor will help as they can advise and even help to make your case.
As an creative/innovator, I know the value and benefits that can result; without it, we wouldn’t have computers or cell phones – heck, we wouldn’t have a lot of conveniences like appliances, cars and a massive list of other of things that make our lives easier. Embracing innovation, either in yourself or within your work setting, is crucial and can further not only your career but your brand in your field.