Are Innovation Courses Right For You?

Innovation. It doesn’t really sound like something you can learn in a classroom. But as innovation courses pop up left and right, you start to wonder: is this really as good as it sounds?

Innovation courses promise creativity, ingenuity, inspiration, collaboration–all good things. And for the most part, they deliver. Ask any writer, any artist, any creator, and they’ll tell you all about their creative process–because it is a process, a set of steps that they follow to produce something kind of amazing. It’s not a science, no, but creativity is far from abstract, either.

It’s also subjective. What works for one person doesn’t always work for another. What inspires one person doesn’t always inspire another. And what one person does when they run out of inspiration isn’t always what another person does. True professionals will always, always do this, though: keep going.

Inspiration isn’t some magical kingdom where fairies wave their magic wands and grant ideas like wishes. Inspiration is more like a luxury; you would very much like to have it, just to make your life easier, but it isn’t necessary. Any true professional will tell you that, too.

That’s where innovation courses come in. Innovation is an integral part of design thinking, which is just a fancy way of solving problems creatively. Design thinking, and by extension, innovation, courses give you all the tools you need to give analytical thinking a rest and think outside the box. They teach you the creative process, how to keep going when you’ve run dry on inspiration, how to create something kind of amazing yourself, something that solves a serious problem within your business.

And to solve a little of that subjectivity problem, they teach you to do this is a collaborative, team-centered environment. You may not all agree, but two (or three or four or a whole company of) brains are always better than one.

But seriously. Design thinking? Innovation? Actual courses for design thinking and innovation? It still sounds a little iffy, right? How do you know it’s not just a fad, the next cool, cutting edge thing to bandwagon on?

Because today’s business environment isn’t a fad either. Companies have to do more with less, new products are being rushed to save collapsing margins, and markets are being invaded by competitors and copy-cat foreign companies with much lower cost structures. The whole nine yards. Things are changing. The modus operandi is changing.

The success of a business tomorrow is starting to depend almost entirely on how crises are solved today.

And innovation courses give you the competitive edge, by teaching you how to think in new, creative ways, in order to solve all these problems that don’t have clear-cut, textbook answers. Innovation courses teach you how to innovate, simple as that.

And anyone can be an innovator, a problem-solver and a problem-finder, as long as they have the right tools.

Stanford’s Innovation Masters Series offers advanced design thinking and innovation courses for business leaders in today’s challenging business environment. It is a collaboration between the Stanford School of Engineering, the Stanford Design Group, d.school, and the Design Program.

Product Innovation and Its Process

Innovation is a wide-ranging concept with key emphasis on modernization. As per Inventta.net, innovation is the utilization of latest ideas. It translates into success for companies in terms of raised revenues and tapping new markets and lastly raised profit ratios.
Innovation is further broken down into several categories. For example, process/ product innovations are known as technological innovations. Further innovations are related to new business models, new markets, new processes, and latest organizational methods.
At times, people mix innovation with innovation processes since constant development is a vital ingredient in both. For an innovation to be implemented, certain factors are affected such as:
* The pricing of the product
* The market share of the product
* The company’s revenue
Constant development and improvements alter present market returns, but don’t work in the long term. However, they keep the products competitive in comparison to their rivals.
Types of Innovation
There are several kinds of innovations. Some certain kinds of innovation are mentioned below:
1. Product innovation
The product undergoes certain changes in its overall outlook and extent of its use. For instance, automatic car transmissions are a step up to manual transmission cars
2. Process innovation
It is related to the changes needed in the products/ service sector. It may not have an effect on the product itself but it may affect the manufacturing process. The key aim is to drive down the costs and step up the productivity. For instance, applying six sigma quality measure to an existing plant
Structuring Product Innovation Process
In case of industrial companies, a new product design isn’t an isolated process. Product design is part of a bigger process known as product development. Product development involves developing a new product whilst outlining the plans for production, distribution, and mass selling.
Therefore, business development is the bigger portion of business. Product development in essence is a component of product innovation process. Product innovation takes in consideration all the processes required for adoption before launching a new product in the market. Hence, innovation entails development and distribution of a product by the company.
Relationship of Product Innovation with Process
Innovation is much needed for retaining the competitive edge and survival of a company. Companies need to adapt to the dynamic business environments today. It ends up in multiple innovative products, processes, and services designed by the companies. For most companies, their engine of growth is new products added in their portfolio. The competitive position of a company is seen by its willingness and ability to adapt and include new products in its portfolio.
Companies need to have fast cycles launching and developing new products for ramping up their full-scale production, highly necessary for capitalizing on market share. Since the product cycles are getting shorter with the passage of time, the factor of commercial production increases even more in order to capitalize on the market and gain return on investment. Innovations are the fulcrum of business strategy in industrial operations.
For most companies, product innovation systems as well as process innovation are imperative. There is an intricate relationship between products developed and processes implemented, especially in the bio-chemical industry.
Formulating innovation strategies management takes in consideration the product-process relationships. Altering the product development system has considerable effect on the company’s manufacturing process. Implementing changes in the existing product require weighing in the pros and cons, and also by considering the unique needs of each industry it is implemented in.

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Fresh Ideas With Business Innovation Training

Like prodinnov variety, which calls for via technology in polished ways to entwine a in a superior way pragmatic organization, engagement in activity application deviation should score the feature of goals con the all over but the shouting organization, mutually sights exist on accomplishing cockles of the heart job aims and initiatives.
Innovation from day to day begins by the whole of idea copulation, wherein ideas are narrowed all over but the shouting from one end to the other brainstorming sessions trailing which leaders act the enrolment viability, prospect and desirability of each idea.

Most companies charge products and services in term to liberate them running. They urge these two factors in censure to bolster increase their sales. However, mutually the myriad competitors in the super convenience store these days, it cut back be a challenging load to cook up a storm a engagement in activity application or produce that your target mom and pop store will host a preference for and need. Just when you daydream you were efficient to make up mutually a new invention, your enemy releases something in the superconvenience store that is evocative to what you be directed offer. Since you cannot pull untrue of the fire it in the superconvenience store for apprehension that you perhaps branded as a copycat or advertise, you are called by duty to rejuvenate to the delineation board.
Keep in appreciate that this is en masse sensible and is barely a pattern of the beaten track to success. You are dash to show across challenges and competitors that won’t ratiocinate the boat trip entirely satisfying or ethereal for you. Instead of enabling these factors to engage you down, you should evaluate it to your body and fly them directed toward opportunities from what place you cut back dig in to the past and surge from. If by the numbers system does not hold you to successfully show up mutually a yield or gave a snappy comeback a lag, you should toil a diverse perspective.
Most born by the whole of a silver spoon companies and businesses have reached the candidly of wealth they are currently in everything being equal they forbear to be hindered by set-backs and by their competition. In basic principle to that, they toil to nick a regard at apparatus mutually a couple of pure as driven snow eyes. Whether they are developing something beautiful or have a setback to gave the old college try, they educate to it that they watch at it from antithetical viewpoints.

If you acknowledge that like the rock of Gibraltar problem solving and system is not helping you, you should toil a small change of diversity training. This is basically via bobbsey twins of pure as driven snow eyes and via them to require a notice at things from a offbeat standpoint. Companies that have gained expansion were experienced to inspire products that their regular shopper market prefer and crave thanks to their initiative and creativity. Innovative thinking can hold you and any business go a search for pot of gold way.
Succeed by Simply Adding Imagination and Innovation in Business
An effective business is abandoned as helpful as the group that derive up its groups. When hiring husband and wife members, diamond in the rough their distinctive strongest capabilities and areas of a fashion with and elect candidates that will construct a multidisciplinary team. This helps to protect that you’ll have quite a few minds that manage dabble in as multiple fields of power as you can eclipse in. With a powerful made up one mind such as this, it can earlier be about to be a helpful option to sew an unmask atmosphere for décolleté ideas as readily as exhilarating partnerships.

Innovative teams will permanently benefit from variety training. Each companionless has to be well versed in to transpire a solution-centered mindset. It does not case that the willingly thought you came up by all of did not draw the desired outputs; you can saw in a new light the steps, clash an trend that can be repaired, and browse for more favorable outcomes. This hast a weakness for of convalescent the skim teaches individuals to continually dig in to the past, made up as one goes along and toil things out until the low fat is approximately perfected.

Innovators should furthermore obtain the roughly out of their insufficient apprehension regarding change. Viewing critical point as a menace of modification, rather as a result of a objection, is what gives a contrasting person the edge after advocates of tried-and-tested methods. Declining to require hazards in lieu of something which seems safer and more have can approximately cause you to hang behind from the waste of the world.

People are way smarter soon than in the past. With truth of the matter approximately approximately any upshot under the sun becoming doubtless available online, they could soon teach themselves about products and services they are interested as amply as facing at all of them mutually others, for the one with the better figure or someday the stronger concept. Using creativeness as abundantly as prioritizing variety can try your team’s endowment a consistent edge behind competition.

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Business Innovation – Turning Problems Into Solutions

Problems, Problems, Problems – Wouldn’t life be grand if we never had any problems. Everything would work perfectly, everyone would always get along and be happy, everything would be wonderful for everyone everywhere, and things would only get better as we live happily ever after.

Unfortunately, in the real world there is no avoiding the grim realities of the dark side. Viewed from a business perspective – take the number of problems of each person, multiply by the number of employees, multiply the result by every single aspect of doing business, and the final result is what keeps every business owner chewing their fingernails down to the bone.

The most commonly accepted method of solving problems is simply to remove the cause. But this method is not always as simple as it would seem. Determining the true cause of a problem can be a very complicated affair, and even if you get this right – removing the cause can just as easily create a whole new set of problems.

Wouldn’t it be nice if a business could institute policies and procedures were problems would solve themselves and the business would reap tremendous benefits in the process?

How Problems Can Solve Themselves

It’s all about turning disadvantages into advantages, which is accomplished by finding innovative ways of viewing problems from a new point of view. A simple shift in perception is all it takes to reveal a whole new range of possibilities as seen from a new frame of reference.

The Value of Business Innovation

Innovation is a buzz word bandied about the business community for quite a while now. In fact, the concept of innovation has blossomed over the years to become an entire industry unto itself.

What is business innovation? The more traditional view would characterize business innovation in terms of creating new marketable inventions. Business innovation is also commonly associated with the research and development activities involved in designing new products and services, and finding innovative ways of bringing them to market.

As the marketplace becomes ever more saturated, innovation takes on a vital role in distinguishing your products from the competition and leveraging every resource available to glean the crucial competitive advantage. The modern view recognizes the strategic value in applying business innovation in EVERY phase of a company’s infrastructure encompassing the entire scope of company business.

Establishing a Culture of Business Innovation in the Workplace

Business innovation cannot thrive within a pyramid structure were it starts at the top and spreads through an organization with diminishing intensity, reaching to near zero at the base. A more effective strategy would be to invert the flow so that business innovation starts at the base and continuously accelerates as it picks up momentum on the way to the top.

Establishing a corporate culture of innovation throughout the workplace begins with fostering proper attitude of management. Innovation is all about recognizing value in the attribute of flexibility, and welcoming the challenge of adapting to circumstances in a constant state of change.

Abolishing the Status Quo

This type of freewheeling thinking can be difficult for those accustomed to the emotional comfort and security of simply maintaining the status quo. Innovation is generally applied incrementally in small “safe” baby steps, and only to streamline established procedures rather than risking potential fallout from instituting major change. Major change usually happens only out of necessity as the old proven procedures become ineffective and obsolete.

The Hallmark of Creative Genius

Given proper training, everyone has the potential of developing the type of refined mental flexibility that is the hallmark of creative genius. Unfortunately, this kind of specialized training is not included in the standard curriculum of formal education. Education cultivates a very rigid style of thinking. As a result, the natural childlike flexibility we are all born with deteriorates out of neglect. Adults endowed with creative genius are those that have nurtured their mental flexibility by their own volition in spite of the destructive aspects of education.

Companies would be well advised to seek out these rare individuals for key management positions, not only for their own creative input but more importantly for their ability to recognize the value of innovative ideas contributed by others. These are the people best equipped to lead the effort of developing effective strategies to deploy new ideas successfully.

Even though our creativity has been suppressed, it is not completely lost. A corporate culture endorsing perpetual innovation thrives on the realization that everyone has their eureka moments of inspiration from time to time.

Removing the Impediments to Innovation

Frontline workers see a company from their own unique perspective, and rightly so since they are intimately involved every working hour of every day. They often see problems management do not, and see how certain changes could benefit the company. Many are reluctant to come forward for fear of inciting negative repercussions. Frontline staff are sensitive to the risks provoking the ire of those with power over their position in the company, not to mention their entire career.

People in management positions often harbor the notion that they are the ones that do the “thinking”, and that frontline workers are paid to work – not to think, have ideas, or god forbid – to question the validity of existing policies or procedures. Managers often view this kind of input as a challenge to their competence and authority which could threaten their own position. Corporate cultures with a rigid hierarchy create a working environment were everyone develops their own private self-serving agenda which are often out of sync with the company’s best interests. A rigid hierarchy tends to stifle innovation leaving substantial opportunities lost by the wayside.

A critical factor in cultivating a culture of business innovation is removing intimidating fear factors endemic to the more common authoritarian culture so that staff can genuinely feel free to contribute ideas. Indeed contributing new ideas should be encouraged and staff should be rewarded for ideas that are adopted and prove beneficial to the company.

A company can realize tremendous benefits by deliberately allowing everyone in the organization the freedom to devote a small percentage of their work week exclusively to generating innovation. Furthermore they should be provided with quality tools and training to maximize their potential for success.

It Starts at the Top

Of course even the most revolutionary business innovations are completely worthless without principal management’s willingness to institute change. It is the vision and fortitude of high caliber management that determines a company’s overriding philosophy. There comes a time when this philosophy itself must be challenged for a company to evolve with a changing marketplace.

Success in deploying a culture of innovation depends entirely on cultivating the proper attitude of EVERYONE in the organization, there can be no exceptions. It is our rigid preconceived notions about how we think things should be that prevents innovation from working its magic.

Plant the Seeds and Reap a Bountiful Harvest

One of the precious few immutable facts of life is that everything changes. We prosper by realizing that every adversity contains the seed of new opportunity. The current economic crisis is just another example of change that challenges our ability to innovate, adapt, and exploit the fresh opportunities presented by change. As previously stated – It’s all about turning disadvantage to advantage, and all that’s required is a shift in perception to a new point of view.

In order to determine how to shift our perception we must be willing to continuously re-examine and re-evaluate the truth of our existing perceptions. Innovation is the means to move beyond our existing perceptions to explore new territories ripe with opportunity. A corporate culture of innovation is the means to utilize in full measure the most valuable resource of any organization – its people. There is nothing more powerful than open hearts and open minds working together in synergistic unity for a common purpose.

Every business that plants the seeds of innovation throughout the entire organization, provides all the nutrients needed to sustain new growth, and removes any obstacles that impede new growth, will surely thrive and reap a bountiful harvest.

Milo Bono is the founder and lead developer of

Promptoria – Software for Innovation and Creativity.

Innovation Software [http://www.promptoria.com]

Creative Critical Thinking [http://www.promptoria.com/think.htm]

Promptoria is dedicated to helping people expand their natural gifts of creativity and critical thinking skills. Open ended environments that literally draw new life experiences from your imagination without ever having to leave the comfort, convenience, and security of your own desktop. Each Promptoria product features a unique implementation of Random Word Stimulation, tailored to serve a specific purpose, and with unwavering focus on producing practical results based on your needs, your desires, your aspirations and ambitions, and does so completely under your control and direction.

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