The term Innovation innovation is viewed as the basic requirement of every organization. It refers to the process of converting an idea into a goods or services that creates values for customer or for which buyer are willing to pay. It can simply be defined as “new idea, method, process or device. It is also considered as an application of providing better solution that effectively meet existing market needs, new requirement or unarticulated needs (Baldwin and Von Hippel, 2011). In terms of business, innovation means changing the process, product, services or workflows so as to make it more effective and efficient that achieve organizational objectives in a systematic manner. It is an aggregation of ideas, opportunities, sales, production and marketing. The choose chosen organization for this report is Unicorn Grocery, which is the Cooperative grocery store headquartered in Manchester, England. The company is democraticallycontrolled by its owner or members. The report covers how innovation is different from invention, innovation mix, importance of commercial funnel, application of new product development and different intellectual property tools.
P1 Explaining innovation and its importance to employees and how innovation is different from
The concept of innovation deals withcreating new idea, product and method that effectively meets customer requirement. It refers to the process of converting an idea into a solution that adds value from the viewpoint of customer. Basically, it refers to new product or concept that originate individual’s idea or from scientific research. In simple words, it means something new or different introduced in the market that gives high competitive advantage to the company over their rivals. In terms of business, innovation act as a catalyst for their growth and development. From the last few decades, with the rapid advancement in technology, communication and transportation chances of innovation increases. Innovation is positively linked with organization efficiency, quality, productivity, competitiveness and market share. It means creating more effective product, workflow or services.
Unicorn Grocery is a small scale cooperative grocery store which is mainly controlled by its members. The company was founded in 1996 mainly deals in selling fresh, dried and processed food and drink and other general grocery, household and body care items. The company is the largest independent whole food groceries in the UK with an annual turnover of around 7 million ( in pounds). The company has also won 2 National Award named "best local food retailer" and " best independent retailer". With fast changing technology and business, the company and its members has have decided to undergo innovation in terms of organization culture. As the business entity is having only limited number of employees, it is important for them to maintain and retain them for longer period. By innovating organizational culture, they can improve overall organizational productivity and effectiveness. Therefore, the company has decided to start rooftop meeting, arranging yoga classes for workers, unlimited vacations for them etc. This helps in building strong relationship among employees and moreover they start trusting each other blindly. As the company operates by limited number of employee, the prime responsibility of company is to satisfy their employees first (Manyika and et. al., 2011). This is the reason why they have decided to put innovation in their organizational culture. In addition to that, they have also decided to launch its online mobile application that makes them the first among other SMEs who is going to have mobile application. Following are the importance of innovation in context of employees:
Development of skill: Company undergo innovation so as to increase the skill and efficiency of employees that further benefits them both personally and professionally. They can perform task more effectively and efficiently. All workers can easily accomplish their desired objectives and target. It also leads to growth and development of employees. Due to innovation in organization culture, employees came to learn about to deal with different situations and how to co-operate with other co-worker For example: Unicorn Grocery is decided that from now onwards, they will conduct rooftop meeting and promote open and friendly environment in the company. This enable. This enables workers to treat other employees as their colleagues and not asrivals (Rosenbusch, Brinckmann and Bausch, 2011).
Efficiency of work: Innovation mainly deals in modifying existing features of a particular product or create an entirely new product that satisfies customer needs and wants in an effective and efficient manner. Thus, it leads to enhance the efficiency and productivity of employees. For example: Unicorn Grocery embedded change within its organization culture; it positively affect employee’s performance as they started feeling more inspired and motivated which ultimately leads to improve their quality of work.
Creative mindset If company is having skilled and talented employees with creative mind- set, chances of implementing innovation within the organizationorganisation increasesincrease. Moreover, it leads to makes the mind of other workers more creative.
It mainly deals with creating something exceptionally new.
It deals with either improving existing product or introduce new product.
It can be assessed or felt by customers
It can be applied on existing product or situation.
It is related with single product, service or process.
It is related amalgamation of diverse products or services.
Invention requires scientific skills
Innovation requires technical, marketing and strategic skills.
P2 How organization vision, leadership, team work, culture can shape innovation and commercialization
Vision: The vision of Unicorn Grocery is "to deliver high valued product to buyers at minimal cost that satisfy and retain them for longer period". As per vision statement, it can clearlybe interpreted that they are more focused towards fulfilling customer needs and wants in a cost effective and timely manner. In the modern era, where likes and dislikes of potential buyers are changing rapidly, it becomes primarily important for the company to provide such good or services that often create value for customers.
Leadership: Earlier, the leadership style followed in Unicorn Grocery was autocorrect but now company has changed it to participative in which they involve other employees as well in their decision making process which makes them feel valued and important like others. It also assist in gaining high competitive advantage in the market (Strayer, 2012).
Culture and team work: As the company Company is wholly controlled, run and managed by its members which signify that entire functioning of the business is handled by its employees. The company is having only 70 employees but still, managed to rank themselves as the best local food dealer and best independent retailer.
P3 Explaining 4P’s of innovation and use of innovation funnel
The concept of four P's of innovation was proposed by John Bessant and Joe Tidd. The This framework is mainly taken into account by companies so as to analyse innovation in product, process, position and paradigm. Following are the detailed description of all P's of innovation:
Product: It mainly deals with embedding any change in product or services that is by companies to target customer. It This means changing the existing features of the product and adding or improving the new one that satisfy customer needs more effectively and efficiently (Wolin, 2016). For example: Unicorn Grocery has determined need of the online purchasing and thus, decided to launch its own mobile application that allows customer to thoroughly go through all essential product details.
Process: It defines manner by which for product or services are actually delivered to consumer. From ancient days, business firms are selling goods and services to buyers through their stores only. But with change in technology and increased market competition, the company needs to develop its own mobile application. Through this innovation, it become easier for the company to meet customer requirement adequately and high competitive advantage in the market over rivals.
Position: It describe the way in which changed goods or services are communicated to customers. Basically, it defines the manner in which products are actually grasp by potential buyers. Earlier, the firm was mainly selling their product through their outlets; company has decided to sell it through online as well.
Paradigm: It defines the change in business model that gives shape to company’s vision and objective and amalgamation of all P's of innovation mix. Unicorn Grocery has decided to launch its online mobile application which ultimately change its online mobile application which ultimately changes customer perspective in terms of purchasing.
Innovation Funnel: It defines the series of steps required for developing a new product, services or processes (Innovation Funnel, 2016). The main purpose of this funnel is to effectively meet customer requirement by providing them such goods and services that creates value for them.
Use of innovation funnel: It is mainly taken into account for analysing innovative ideas and products. Addition In addition to that, it also assistant assistance in properly managing the process of new product development and its application as well. Customer needs and expectations can be easily identified and necessary steps are taken so as to fulfil them adequately.
P4 Explaining frugal innovation
Frugal innovation refers to the process by which company tries to minimize minimise the complexities related with cost of goods sold and production. Innovators need to consider available resources as an opportunity instead of treating as a liability. The concept of frugal innovation does not related with sellingselling sophisticated goods or services but it deals with providing better quality solution to customer that deliveries delivers high value at low cost (Boudreau and Lakhani, 2013). There are numbers of companies who not only change their business model but also change their mental model as well. Following are various stages included in frugal innovation:
Find opportunity in adversity: At this stage, employees reframe the existing problem prevailing in thecompany or in market. Workers of Unicorn Grocery are able to convert that threat into opportunity very effectively and efficiently so as to gain high competitive advantage in the market.
Do more with less: At this stage, workers first need to assess available resources and tries try to utilize utilise it in and an optimum and efficient manner.
Think and act flexibly: According to this stage, it is better to be improvisational instead of being rigid (Drucker, 2014).
Keep it simple: There are number of complexities exist in the market that may disrupt overall functioning and operation of business. Therefore, it is always better to have fewer and good choices rather than having number of choices. It makes the process of innovation much easier and simpler.
Include the margin: It is essential for every company to be well aware of diverse needs and wants of target audience they can promptly fulfil them. Also, they are required to take suggestion and feedback from customers which can help in future assistance.
P5 Importance of commercial funnel and application of new product development
Commercial Funnel: It is a cost effective process through which business identifies the various sources of funding that help them in embedding innovation within an organization in a structured and thorough manner. Employees are liable to select appropriate distribution channel which assist them in generating high profitability ratio. As per the given case study, Unicorn Grocery has decided to bring innovation in their culture as well as in their product. Thus, they become the first one to launch its online mobile application which makes easier for customers to buy product by simply sitting at home. With the help of commercial funnel, respective firm can meet customer requirement in a cost effective and timely manner.
Application of new product development consists of series of steps which are discussed below:
- Idea Generation: This is the first and foremost step, where idea is actually originated or developed. It can be originated or come from anywhere and can be available in any sources.
- Idea Screening: Plethora of idea generated in an organization but among them very few are feasible. Basically at this stage, company’s manager screen or analyse the idea and select the most suitable among them.
- Concept Testing and Development: This stage deals with testing and development in which selected ideas will actually translate into concept or product for further testing and development. In-fact some of the ideas is are tested on target group so as to figure out whether it will be successfully acceptable by customer or not.
- Analysis of financial and business: At this phase, organizationwill measure the actual sales of the product after embedding innovation and further compare it with pre-determined sales objectives or goals.
- Commercialization: At this stage, company finally launches the product in the market.
P6 Building an innovation case
Business Case is mainly taken into consideration by every business entity so as to determine the risk factor related with investing in innovation (Goldberg, 2013). It ensures that company needs to think logically and practically and cover all aspects related with that so as to systematically analyses analyse or compute cost and risk factors related to it. In the given report, the chosen company i.e. Unicorn Grocery undergo organizational cultural change and they became the first one to launch its online mobile application through which customers are able to get their product online as well. Business case i includes series of steps which are discussed below:
- Executive Summary: This is usually the last stage, in which mainly company gives brief about the entire business case.
- The Need: This determines the actual need of innovation in company and this can only be possible if management of the entity is well aware of their existing issue or problem. For example: Unicorn Grocery determinethe need of consumer that most of them prefer to buy product through online mode rather than going to store outlet and buys buying product. As a result, company becomes the first SME in UK to launch its mobile application (Huizingh, 2011).
- Your Solution: Once the company is done with identifying the need for change, the next is related with developing better solution for the same. In case of Unicorn Grocery, they become the first SME in UK to launch its mobile application.
- Why it is innovative: The solution find found by company must be innovative that gives them high competitive advantage over its rivals. Moreover, the solution developed by the company must be easy and understandable so that employees can easily implement them. Unicorn Grocery become the first one among other SME’s in UK to launch its first online mobile application.
- Ways of Funding: Generally, there are two sources of funding; one is Internal and other is External. Internal Funding means funds are available within the company only such as retained earnings, profits etc. External source of funding means funds are available outside the organisation such as bank, creditors, angel investors, individual donor etc.
- Expected Benefit: At this stage, company needs to figure out the impact of innovation on society, customers and environment.
- The Ask: This is the final stage, at which business takes feedback from its customers so as to determine whether the innovation introduced by them is successful in meeting their needs and requirement.
P7 Different intellectual property tools used to protect and retain intellectual property
Intellectual property tools are mainly undertaken by owner or creator of property so as to protect and their invention, artistic or literary work, images, symbols created by the mind. These tools help in promoting innovation within an organization. Normally, a business deals with plethora of ideas that assist them in their growth and development but fear is attached with all ideas regarding it is being stolen by other competitors. Therefore, it is primarily important for the companies to protect their ideas or creation by various intellectual property tool. Some of the popular intellectual property tool are tools are discussed below follows:
Trademark: It is a sign by which a company identifies its product or services and distinguish them from their competitors who are also selling similar goods (Jain and et. al., 2013). It can be in the form of distinctive marks, words, symbol or any other feature. Its main objective is to establish the image of particular product in customer mind so that they can easily distinguish them from those supplied by rivals. It may consist of any sign that is capable of being graphically represented mainly in words, including logos, symbols, and shape of the product.
Copyright: It is illegal term that mainly describes rights given to owner or creator for their original musical, literally or artistic work which allow them to effectively control their subsequent use. With the help of this intellectual property tool, the holder gets the exclusive right to distribute, perform, create display and copy the work. It is mainly used for computer software, drawing, maps, sculptures, architectural work, films and photographs, literature and sound recording.
Trade secret: It is a kind of formula, device, process or any of the business information that businesses keep private so as to gain competitive business advantage over rivals. Unlike other intellectual property tool, the company cannot obtain protection by registering or filing their product or services under trade secret. However, the protection only lasts till the company is taking essential steps to control disclosure and use the information on the behalf of owner or creator. The level of protection grant to trade secrets varies significantly from one country to another (Jiménez-Jiménez and Sanz-Valle, 2011).
Patent: A patent grant is just like other property rights that are giving given to owner for its invention. This intellectual property tool allow. This intellectual property tool allows the patent holder to exclude others from selling, using and making their invention without their knowledge or consent. It allows many business to be successful because they develop better or new processes or goods that offers high competitive advantage in the marketplace.
According to the above mentioned report, it can be concluded that the concept of innovation plays a vital role in term of organization growth and development. Every company wishes to sustain in market for longer run and for this, they need to keep updating their products or services that adequately meet diverse needs and wants of customer. Different tools and approaches like innovation mix, application of new product development, and commercial funnel have been discussed in this report as well that aids in innovation and commercialization commercialisation from business perspective. Along with this, various intellectual property rights’ tools have been taken into account so as to retain and develop intellectual property in an effective and efficient manner.
- Baldwin, C. and Von Hippel, E., 2011. Modeling a paradigm shift: From producer innovation to user and open collaborative innovation. Organization Science. 22(6). pp.1399-1417.
- Boudreau, K.J. and Lakhani, K.R., 2013. Using the crowd as an innovation partner.Harvard business review. 91(4). pp.60-9.
- Drucker, P., 2014. Innovation and entrepreneurship. Routledge.
- Goldberg, D.E., 2013. The design of innovation: Lessons from and for competent genetic algorithms (Vol. 7). Springer Science & Business Media.
- Huizingh, E.K., 2011. Open innovation: State of the art and future perspectives.Technovation. 31(1). pp.2-9.
- Jain, A., and et. al., 2013. Commentary: The Materials Project: A materials genome approach to accelerating materials innovation.Apl Materials. 1(1). p.011002.
- Jiménez-Jiménez, D. and Sanz-Valle, R., 2011. Innovation, organizational learning, and performance.Journal of business research. 64(4). pp.408-417.
- Manyika, J., and et. al., 2011. Big data: The next frontier for innovation, competition, and productivity.