Archnahr
Consultant, Writer And Trainer
Forscher.consultancy
To Make Sure Innovation Happens !
Cite Contribution
Community Manager

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History has witness fall of Giants like IBM by a company made by a drop out student, yes because of DELL, IBM had to finally sell there computer business though IBM was biggest n 1st company to manufacture computers. Micromax Mobile company once a Printer & IT hardware dealer gave tough competition to companies like LG, Samsung for 2nd position in mobile market after Nokia & is ready to list on stock exchange. Examples are many but the reason is one Innovation & Creativity. The innovative business model of Dell computers providing customize computer as per customer demand made IBM computer business fall like cards. Micromax innovation of duel Sim mobile phones, & Longer battery mobiles for village people where electricity comes for 1-2 hrs was great hit as people could choose cheaper plan calling card without buying new phone or changing number & could use phones for whole week without charging. Now, is that a rocket science no it’s called as simple innovations in Product or Business model. But the million dollar question is “how to create simple Innovation like this? Go ahead & post your opinions & questions here….!!
Greetings,
Thank you for starting this thread on business creativity and innovation. You shared the success story of the giants . Appreciate your effort to bring them together. I wish to learn how it is being implemented by small companies with lesser capital hence smaller customer base.
Creativity and innovation have its price. The cost of experimentation is higher for smaller firms. please share if you have such cases. We all would look forward to learn from your words.
Regards,
(Cite Contribution)

Hello...
wonderful example of Innovation and creativity..yes both the companies Dell and Micromax have shown a path less traveled by companies but the trend is changing now...many companies now are coming up with their own research lab, so that they can provide opportunity to their employees for innovation and creativity.
Companies also do not handle innovations in a proper manner, sometimes its lack of trust, sometimes simple mismanagement, and most of the time lack of resources and financial capability of the company.
There is a company I know of where they purchased the innovation of an employee and initially the employee was made the VP of research section, but lately he was shown exit as some politics took place within the company.
I would surely like to hear your point of views on How to create innovations like this, so that members of this forum can take something substantial with them and no wonder we come across a new innovation soon.
Best Regards,
Archna

Dear (Cite Contribution),

Thanks for taking discussion on "Innovation & creativity" ahead. Well, Innovation is not just creating Idea but sustainable Idea which can be successfully converted to commercial product, service or solution. Innoavtion need not to be expensive. But yes the new startup & small companies should not go for research product making if it involves patenting. Reason being lot of cost is involved in patenting, making prototyping & launching & promoting product. Worst part is patenting takes years so u can’t just depend on capitalizing on patented product. Separate Innovation from Research 1st. Both are entirely different areas.

Small companies should go for innovation in Business model. How small company like Micromax did then? Well, they had innovative business model by which they formed team of 10-12 design engineers who designed phone & gave phone models for contract manufacturing in the countries like Taiwan & Indonesia where manufacturing is cost effective & they didn’t have to invest in setting up plant. The mobiles are assembled in UP & Bihar were labor cost is very low. Thus they captured market of china made mobiles 1st as both phones are cheap but good quality & utility was Micromax. Same with Dell it was just rearranging the computer configuration u can call it as branded assembled computers.

Lets see how midsize company can successfully innovate.

1) Find out customer pain (like Micromax n Dell both successfully addressed customer pain)
2) Deciding on Budget, scope of the work & most important payback period of the Innovation. From Idea generation to actual profit earning. (will post more about Innovation payback period once readers understand Innovation for small companies)
3) Idea generation using different thinking types like reverse thinking, Random Idea generation, Critical thinking, Parallel thinking & many more techniques are there (will post more about it also).
4) Once Idea is ready do some market research, focus groups to see how customer react on the Idea. If they find good what are the barriers to buy the product cost? Quality? What profit margin channel partners distributors are looking for etc.
5) Now make Innovative business model to execute your Idea from concept to market. If you read about Infosys global delivery model designed by Narayan Murthy in the initial days of Infosys, it was on same line of cost effective Innovative bussiness model. Well, Infosys was started by 7 people now its topmost company in the world so what these companies has taught us is Innovation is required before research once you grow then you hold your grip over innovation & Research both to make strong presence of company in market. Research will help you to capture high end market that company should do once pulls enough profits from low end & mid size market.

I hope my inputs on Research & Innovation clear your query. Do post your feedback.

Thanks

Sarang

Forscher Consultancy

Dear Archana,

Thanks for taking discussion on "Innovation & creativity" ahead. As I have posted in my reply to (Cite Contribution)'s Query, let me clear once again Innovation & Creativity is seperate & Research is seperate areas. The steps involved in Research are;

1) Setting up scope & research plan
2) Background search on topic by online research papers, jounals in the library etc. Here we see how much research is done on particular topic if say my research topic is cancer medicin so I will see till what level research is done, say its till making nano medicine fine. Now my job is to start from nano medicine & see its effects on body cell for various conditions & report results. So in this way I publish my work & Proceed the work. Now someone else take up from there & do further research.
3) Experimentation & validation of results.
4) Discussion & Conclusion
5) Publishing work. etc.

Innovation & creativity steps I explained in my reply to the (Cite Contribution)'s Query.

Well, Coming to your concern what you have mentioned is called as Barriers to Innovation. They are many Barries specially in India where people are having rigid mindset towards change.

1) Belief in Innovation
2) Patience
3) Investment
4) Team work.

few more are there but lets concentrate on what you mentioned as office politics. I think we should except the fact office politics should be there as corruption is there in govt offices. The reason for politics may be many either its because of personal issues or may be people with sick mentality. There are 2 reasons for it

1) Either they didnt know clearly there role in the research & how this research will bring good prospects financially & professionally to them. If had it been known to them Targating VP will lead to failure of project & thus they will loose their prospects also they wont have done this. So, as a mentor of Innovation your 1st job is

1) Identify barriers to Innovation say in this case its politics.
2) Clear those barriers, here clear the message of role & prospects to politics playing guys or remove them from system safely by promoting them to some other responsibilities or change VP select some person who is people's man. You can think on many ways once you know barriers. So find out Barriers 1st. Forscher consultancy has developed one model on Implementation theory, I will post that soon. It will help you to know more about successful implementation.

I hope this answers your query. Please post your feedback.

Tnaks

Sarang

Forscher Consultancy

Hi sarang,

I disagree a bit fro your definition of research, as per my experience and knowledge,
The research and development department in many of the companies also work on new innovation apart from researches.

A research and development department is responsible for innovations in design, products, and style. This department is responsible for creating innovative new products to keep companies a step ahead of the competition. Many companies also rely on the research and development department, or R&D Department, to improve existing consumer products, and to explore new ways of producing them.

Companies thrive and succeed by creating innovative products, as well as by increasing company profit and utilizing cost-efficient methods. A research and development department is primarily responsible for ensuring that these goals are met. This is an especially important function in the fields of manufacturing and pharmaceuticals, but can be applied to virtually any industry.

Hence, R& D involves innovation also.

Also Office politics is not just a phrase anymore and typically not another name of corruption. Office politics is a major concern in many private companies and as defined by wikipedia it is

"the use of one's individual or assigned power within an employing organization for the purpose of obtaining advantages beyond one's legitimate authority. Those advantages may include access to tangible assets, or intangible benefits such as status or pseudo-authority that influences the behavior of others. Both individuals and groups may engage in Office Politics.Office politics has also been described as "simply how power gets worked out on a practical, day-to-day basis."

Best Regards,

Archna

Dear Archana,

I think there is bit mis interpretation of my message. My purpose of saying separate research from Innovation was in regards with (Cite Contribution)'s statement "Creativity and innovation have its price. The cost of experimentation is higher for smaller firms. please share if you have such cases. We all would look forward to learn from your words."

I don't deny many company's R&D producing Innovative products nor m against of having R&D but my point is R&D for small company might be expensive so they need to separate Innovation from R&D. Following explanation of R&D & Innovation may clear your Idea;

R&D: Research and Development involves investment in discovering new technology and increasing capacity of a firm. It could involve technological innovation or improvements in human capital. It usually requires a willingness to forego current profit to invest. Successful research & Development may lead to innovate new products. There is no guarantee that Research & Development will be successful. You could spend Billions of pounds in researching an alternative to oil, but, it may fail.

Innovation: Innovation involves improving the method of working / producing goods. Often it will involve better technology or better methods of working. Innovation may be the result of Research & Development. But innovation could also be a ‘brainwave’ – A Eureka moment where someone has a good idea to improve working practices.

So they are quite similar. One difference is that innovation, may not require substantial investment of time or money.

If Micromax invested in long battery research then by the time they would have launched the product, the phone generation has gone to next level or there competitors have captured china mobile market. So, simply developed concept to address customer pain & bought batteries from Taiwan. so its pure Innovation without R&D. Innovation in Business model, Innovation in Product. If R&D is more of technical while Innovation is broad which covers Business model, social Impact, & much more.

My purpose of comparing office politics with corruption in government offices is merely to convey when you identify Barriers for Innovation consider "Office politics" as most obvious barrier as we consider corruption for government offices.

I hope I cleared the miscommunication well I appreciate your positive criticism on my post & expect your more inputs for more knowledge exchange.

Thanks

Sarang

Forscher Consultancy

Dear Sarang...
Thank you for the clarification, and I really like the way you explained innovation and R&D here, but I still believe that any kind of innovation requires a lot of research, even if it is a small idea in a small firm as in the case of Micro Max...it surely would have required some kind of research without which the battery could not have been developed.
Also development in R&D in a lay man's language means development from the best current thing available. SO Micromax made batteries as a development to the current batteries in the market. They did not innovate/create a new product which can be replaced with battery.
Correct me if I'm wrong....and do you have some more examples of Innovation where r&d has not been used at all.
Look forward for your inputs...
Regards,
Archna (my name is spelled Archna) :)

Dear Archna,

I apologies for misspelling your name. Well, regarding Micromax example, those guys did not developed batteries. They bought from Taiwan. What they must have done is market research to understand loopholes in the existing market & small design changes in phone model. I am sure it did not cost them lot. So, as such there was no R&D as batteries were already available in Taiwan market.

Ok, if still you feel its not perfect example we consider Dell example, Dell started company when he was student he saw the customer pain as customers were saying we don't need so many features in computer still we have to pay for it. So, he bought IBM computer, opened it, study its circuit & then bought spare parts from local vendors like mother bord, memory cards etc & assembled them to offer cheap computers as per customer choice. Plus he used "Direct to Dell" marketing concept by which customer can buy dell only from Dell company not from any dealers so he saved lot of 3rd party commission in between & offered that saved money as discounted price. Its also good example of pure Innovation in product & Business model without R&D.

Well Pure Innovation examples are many. What about Multiplexes, Better environment, more screen at one place better sound & picture. Do cinemax or Inox have R&D ? no they have Innovative concept rest HD sound & picture equipments they bought from technological developed nations. so, small companies should defined Innovation as improving the method of working / producing goods. This can be achieved by Innovation steps I mentioned in my 1st reply to (Cite Contribution)'s query. I hope now we can proceed to the discussion how to carry out Innovation without Investing in R&D. Looking forward to your & readers Input.

Regards

Sarang

Forscher Consultancy

Friends,

This looks like a innovative discussion. The way discussion was proceeding trigerred me to do some R&D by not investing anything but my time and energy and I googled certain words like innovation, creativity etc.. to understand it in detail.

What I perceived is that Ms. Archna is right that all innovations require R&D and I think Mr. Sarang is saying again and again about investments in R&D. I was also puzzled for quite sometime...

There was an information in Wikipedia. It says that all breakthru innovations require lot of investments before bringing it to the market. And there are incremental innovations which we bring using our experiences, these innovations are more related to processes.

Consider an example of the old days when a human being must have imagined of using a wooden stick as a lever to roll a heavy stuff from one place to another. His/her brain must have done the research and experimented before finding it out that longer stick is more usful for than the smaller ones. Later, we called it 'Lever'... and again later with researches and sicentific innovations - use of 'force', fulcrum etc developed many concepts in this area.

Secondly, even if we take Dell as example, the innovator has done researches in terms of finding the market and understanding it, then research for IBM circuites, how it can be assembled, what cost is associated (else why people should buy it), available products in markets etc etc. Without a research how he could do all this, may be he has not invested heavily on this, but yes there has to be some research which may not be higly systematic and scientific research (the research method Mr. Sarang explained earlier)

Thirdly, if we talk about innovations in terms of processes, say HR processes for example. If HR manager has some innnovative idea for enhancing or changing any process, there would be some research to be done like where is the market, what are the pros & cons of the new process on its employees etc. It is another thing that our conscious mind may not consider and use systematic way of scietific researches, but we do research primarily (with investment or without investment is the secondary thing)

Please criticize it and give your views.

BTW well discussed by the members, more views are welcomed.

Regards,

Rahul


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