Additionally, I believe that innovation should be approached on a “needs-first” basis. This is an approach to innovation in which companies first uncover all the customer’s needs, then determine which are unmet, and then devise solutions to address those unmet needs. This approach to innovation has, at times been difficult to use effectively, mostly because it is difficult to identify and capture the customer’s needs. Capturing customer needs to drive innovation is a critical step and enhances the performance of the eventual product or service in the market and therefore is worth the effort required.
Monday, January 5, 2009
The Rochester Institute of Technology is putting additional focus on innovation and, being a member of the dean's council for their Golisano College of Computing and Information Science, I was recently asked to comment on my definition of innovation. I feel innovation is the process of devising a product or service that addresses the customer’s unmet needs. The output of the innovation process is a concept that, with a supportive business case, enters the product development process, where product design is completed and design conflicts are resolved. Ideally, only winning products enter the development process. Practically speaking, a winning concept must also meet company success criteria and societal criteria.