A 2005 empirical study (conducted by the management consultancy Arthur D. Little) showed that innovation is of “paramount importance” for companies and policy makers due to the increased importance of innovation as a result of quickly changing technologies and environments, shorter product life cycles, and increasing difficulty to stand out against competitors. The study found that retail customers are increasingly more sophisticated, segmented, and demanding, and expect more in terms of customization, novelty, quality, and price. The findings of this nine year old study are even more relevant today. As a consequence, the management of innovation, in order to systematically generate new ideas and to develop them into marketable goods and services, has become a key competitive factor in today’s business environments.
Many business managers are struggling to keep tight control of the reins while at the same time not inhibiting growth. A few weeks ago we posted an article titled – “When Seeking Project Approval – Be Prepared With Facts & Figures” which included a list of tough questions you can expect the financial officer of your company to ask when seeking project approval. But, what if funding is not available? In this tough situation, innovation (sometimes referred to as thinking out-of-the-box) may offer acceptable alternatives.
The question is how can this untapped resource be...