Innovation is what separates high-performing organizations from the rest of the pack.
The defining characteristic of the free market economy is Adam Smith’s invisible hand continually pushing organizations towards higher levels of performance. You could call it the Wal-Mart effect: prices must be lower, quality must be better, and production must be quicker. These characteristics are the price of entry into the competitive arena, but alone are insufficient to outperform our competitive rivals.
What is required to achieve real profitability in today’s marketplace is sustainable new product innovation. Innovation that breaks the current competitive paradigm and establishes a new paradigm with the corresponding changes in profitability and market share. That kind of innovation requires the generation of creative thought that jumps the boundaries, something that large successful (risk adverse) organizations don’t always do very well.
How can we jump start the Idea Factory? As organizations continue the search for real improvements to profitability and performance the answer can be found in the team collaborative process coupled with the abstract functional approach to understanding what is important, i.e. what the customer really wants. This is the core of the Value Methodology (VM), driving to identify the customer’s Value Proposition and identifying creative solutions that improve that value. Value Management provides the vehicle to accelerate real innovation that drives dominance in a business sector. From a public sector standpoint, the same benefits of a collaborative team approach to creative problem-solving provides unique solutions that are cost effective in these times of dwindling resources and conflicting priorities.
Organizations that pursue innovation as a competitive strategy need to inculcate it into the core of their organization as a competency. Defining Functional Value through the VM process can be integrated into an organizations new product development (NPD) Stage-Gate process at the concept stage to insure an early focus on innovation that permeates the organization. An intense, function focused VM workshop can jumpstart the creative process and remove the fences erected by existing design paradigms. An integrated VM program is well received by participants and serves as a jolt to the organizations creative system, functioning as the catalyst for building high performing teams.