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The Smart Techie was renamed Siliconindia India Edition starting Feb 2012 to continue the nearly two decade track record of excellence of our US edition.

Be Cool to Innovate

Sri Hosakote
Monday, November 17, 2008
Sri Hosakote
Innovation is one of those words that we all use. However, it is often confused with the term “Invention”, which is defined as creating something new, something that has never existed before. Innovation to me is a successful exploitation of an existing or new ideas, new technology, design and best practices that enables businesses to compete effectively in the global environment.

Equating innovation with change is only part of the story. Change happens all the time whether we are aware of it or not. What one can observe and do in the context of a novel occurrence or insight might very well lead to innovation.

In practical terms innovation is of three types in the industry - Incremental enhancement on product or process, new product and new processes. Incremental enhancement on products is typically where most companies follow in order to keep the revenue stream coming while they attempt to bet on “newer ones”. New product is well understood and we all know it when it succeeds in market place! New processes are becoming far more and more critical in the global environment and outsourcing! All of these innovations usually are done in a customer centric environment.

There is not a single company that would say, “they are not customer centric”... The fundamental difference is the “listening skills” between these companies, which make some more successful than others around customer centric innovation.

In process innovation typically growth has a context. Processes should not only lead to increased turnover or profits but also lead to increase in efficiency, productivity and quality. One of the key things that engineers and especially leaders have to think in the process of innovation is, how to do more with the same amount of people, (or lesser) with increased competency, efficiency and creative measures. Leaders need to think creatively, whether the innovation is going to make the organization productive or is it a good idea for just the innovation’s sake that can be patented.

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