In today's global economy, the concept of innovation has gained preeminence as it is the only way that organizations can gain a comparative advantage over their competitors. The process of managing innovation however has been somehow blurred. Some thinkers have argued that innovation is an abrupt process that cannot be managed as trying to manage innovation results to limiting the rate of critical thinking. Other thinkers are of a contrary view and have argued that innovation is a process that can be managed. This debate on whether innovation can be managed or cannot be managed has dominated many debates that deal with the topic of innovation on a global scale.
Despite the contrasting view, the innovation process can indeed be managed and should be managed. Innovation is a process, and like any other process, it can be managed and directed in a logical manner as the manager would wish to have. Although it is agreeable that all innovations starts with a critical thought which is hard to manage, the outcome of this critical thought can always be managed if the interested parties have a good will to do so. Innovations that start with a brilliant idea must be executed in a systematic manner to turn the idea into a revenue source, an indication that indeed innovation can be managed so long as there is good will concerning the subject of innovation management.
The process of innovation involves discrete tasks that that involves the implementation of an idea that ought's to be actualized. These tasks must be executed systematically and must consume resources of various elements of the organization, a fact that calls for elaborate management strategies for the process of innovation. The entire process is faced by numerous processes that pose queries on the way forward. These queries must be provided with solutions since this is the only way that the process of innovation can be actualized. This therefore indicates that innovation ought to be managed to avoid stalling halfway in the process of implementing an idea that was expected to provide the firm with a viable revenue source. The importance of the process demands that elaborate measures be taken concerning how the idea is implemented, which shows that indeed there is a need to manage innovation.
Those who hold the view that innovation cannot be managed as it does not follow the conventional transaction model that calls for elaborate step to step actions that should be taken in such a process. Whereas it is true that innovation is not a clearly defined step to step process like it is for transactions such as manufacturing process, the buying and selling process, among other business processes, it is important to emphasize that once an idea that is viable has been identified, it is possible for the idea to be managed towards it's actualization and indeed the idea ought's to be managed. Failure to manage an idea would probably result into failed innovation processes that are occasioned by the way people duplicative roles in the process or attempts to implement the idea. The place where it is hard to manage innovation is only at the idea stage especially for spontaneous innovations. However, for any innovations that are intended and conceptualized by organization and thus ignite the process of idea generation, the entire process can be managed.
Failure to manage the innovation process is putting the organization's resources at risk. Any process that involves innovations is a costly process, a fact that calls for elaborate measures as far as the process of managing the innovation is concerned. Like any other process of investment, innovation ought's to be managed to ensure that resources of the organization are not put in activities that are counter productive or whose return is not possible. To avoid this precedence therefore, it is important that the process of innovation must be subjected to a thorough management process, a fact that calls for adequate management measures for innovation processes.
The innovation process especially in a knowledge based economy entails the updating of the existing knowledge. The process therefore seeks to introduce a range of knowledge that has not been experienced before in the world. The fact that the process of innovation involves knowledge that is not known makes it a hard issue to manage. It has been questioned whether there is a way that people can manage what they don't know. However, it has been agreed that one can facilitate the process of knowledge update through a systematic process of decision making that ensures that the process of knowledge update is well taken care of. Since the entire management process is about judging as well as making decisions, it is evident that innovation can be managed for effectiveness and efficiency.
Management entails the formulation of strategies that ensure that various aspects that are decided by the various stakeholders can be achieved in a cost effective manner and that the aspects stands to benefit the organization in one way or the other. With this in mind, there are several formulas that have been put forth to show that indeed they process of innovation is a manageable one as it follows a systematic procedure. Innovation starts with a desire to gain opportunities for new innovations. This shows that many of innovations especially in the corporate world are not just achieved by accidents but they are deliberate processes initiated by a need to generate new ideas. Once the ideas are generated, a selection of what should be done follows. There must be adequate justifications as to why what is proposed to be done should be done and why the proposed issue offers a better way compared to the discarded route or course of action.
Once a course of action has been chosen, the process of innovation moves to the implementation stage, where the question on what should be done to ensure that the idea is implemented takes place. This is followed by the capture stage where the benefits that the innovation was intended to introduce are harnessed. Of paramount importance in this stage is the establishment of how the benefits that are to be accrued from the innovation process can be harnessed. All measures are put in place to ensure that there is enough benefits that are being ripped from the innovation process that has finally been implemented after a systematic, step to step procedure.
The above processes of innovation show that it is possible to manage innovation and that indeed it is important that innovations be managed. A failed innovation process is a costly expenditure to the organization and thus there is a need to ensure that once the implementation process of a noble idea has been started, the benefits of the innovation are finally harnessed. This therefore calls for effectively implementation of the innovation process, a fact that indicates that managing innovation is not only a possible process but also a helpful process to the organizations. Well managed innovations are more successful and are likely to be successful and minimal costs as oppose to innovations that are not managed which mostly fail to go beyond the idea stage. To ensure that innovations do not stall at the idea stage, it is important that innovation be managed.
Managing innovation is of great essence to the survival of organizations. In an organization setting, there are factors that can hinder innovation which includes the scarcity of time and other resources such as financial and supportive staff, mistrust among the workers, competition among other factors that may jeopardize the innovation process. Since nearly all innovations in the world came out of a certain need in the world, there is a near guarantee that there is always room for a new innovation. However, the identified factors jeopardize successful innovation. Poor management of innovation has been known to be a costly affair for many organization as counter productive forces such as competition and mistrust have led to collapse of good innovation strategies that were initially expected to offer firms with absolute advantages.
To ensure that these detrimental forces do not interfere with the process of innovation, there is a need to manage innovation process such that internal rivalry, competition and mistrust are eliminated at the organizational level to ensure that any process that is freshly started is successfully ended. Managed innovations do not just guarantee returns, but they are also ample ways of preventing losses and sometimes tragic consequences that have been witnessed with poorly managed innovations. Managed innovations eliminate the internal rivalry associated with internal fights over supremacy of whose innovation should be successful, a fight that ends up being detrimental to the organization at the long run. A good example of how poorly managed innovation process can be detrimental especially how competition for recognition can ruin a noble idea has been the Wright brothers, Orville and Wilbur who created the first successful plane in the world, but never lived to enjoy the benefits of their valuable innovation due to wrangles associated with supremacy over innovation.
Innovations are characterized by various risks. There is a risk that the innovation would fail, there are also risks that it could result to be counter productive among many other forms of fear associated with the process of innovation. It is therefore imperative that these risks be adequately managed since the entire process involves risks. There should be prudent measure to mitigate the occurrence of losses t any organization, a fact that calls for adequate measures to ensure that the future of the organization is guaranteed. A well managed innovation also helps avoid the issue of industrial voodoo, which is acquired through the little secrets that workers hold as a result of years of dedicated service to a specified system of operations. As workers work through a managed process, the knowledge, both tacit and transferable knowledge is well distributed to various quarters thus discouraging the issue of industrial voodoo where some workers hold invaluable information over some processes within the organization but remain unwilling to share the same as a result of their perceived competitive advantages. This therefore shows that there is no organization that should encourage an innovation process that is not well managed.
In conclusion, it is evident that the process of innovation can be managed. It is also evident that managing innovation is an issue that should be given preeminence in managing organizations. Once an idea has been developed, it should be the prerogative of the entire organization to ensure that the process of implementing this idea is systematically followed to ensure that unhealthy competition, battle for supremacy and internal rivalry do not stall the process. It is also important that the process of innovation is adequately managed by various stakeholders to ensure that cases of industrial voodoo, where a person holds some special knowledge and is unwilling to offer more information over the same topic. A managed innovation process also ensures that there are no cases of irrelevant innovations that are detrimental to organizations. It is therefore imperative that there should be adequate management approaches for innovation. It is indeed true that innovation process can be managed and should be managed.