Happy Democracy Day Nigeria . God bless this great Nation! She will see prosperity and growth always forever!
In the spirit of freedom to elect and choose our Leaders, we at Ya’ats have chosen to share this great mystery with You, our Nkem!!!
Innovation, is a word not widely used as much, compared to Entrepreneurship. However, I believe the word ‘Innovation’ ought to go hand in hand with the word ‘Entrepreneurship’. The word Entrepreneur is defined as “a person who sets up a business or businesses, taking on financial risks in the hope of profit” emphasis on ‘taking on financial risks in hope of profit‘. The word innovation, on the other hand, is defined by Dictionary.com as “something new or different introduced”, also taken on financial risks in hope of profit.
These two words are active words. They both entail financial risks in hope of profit. Innovation, as Entrepreneurship, is and has always had a dilemma of management. How should it be managed? What is the right balance of radical innovation and incremental innovation, product-focused and processed-focused innovations and architecture-focused and module-focused innovations? In the management aspect of it, what’s the right balance of bureaucratic involvement and independence. Questions like these surround the topic and very act of Entrepreneurship and Innovation.
However, in this post, our aim is to educate you that the word innovator should be a second word for entrepreneur. Every entrepreneur should be an innovator – either a radical innovator or an incremental innovator, either product and architecture focused innovator or a process and module focused innovator; every entrepreneur should be an innovator.
Michael Porter’s definition of Innovation: “Companies achieve competitive advantage through acts of innovation. They approach innovation in its broadest sense, including both new technologies & new ways of doings things” emphasis on ‘new ways of doing things’. Peter Drucker’s definition: “Innovation is the specific tool of entrepreneurs, the means by which they exploit change as an opportunity for a different business or service. It is capable of being presented as a discipline, capable of being learned, capable of being practiced” emphasis on ‘different business or service’. From these two definitions, you can clearly see the link between entrepreneurship and innovation (innovator), Peter Drucker clearly states that “Innovation is the specific tool of entrepreneurs”.
An entrepreneur should have the capability of achieving competitive advantage through innovation. An entrepreneur should be able to exploit change as an opportunity. An entrepreneur should be proactive in achieving competitive advantage by introducing a different and new way of business and service. Most of the time innovation is achieved, seldom is it a new business or service entirely but a new way of doing old things which leads us back to the entrepreneurship / innovation dilemma.
Below is a picture of Bell Labs’ Hive of Innovation and comparing the ratio of radical innovation to incremental innovation will prove my point mentioned in the previous paragraph that most innovations are incremental and seldom any radical innovations except but a very notable few.
This also proves the old proverb that says “there is nothing new under the sun”. The point I’m trying to make here is that instead of entrepreneurs spending so much time / resources in radical innovation, the focus should switch to incremental innovation. Facebook, Twitter, Blackberry, WhatsApp, Skype and many more were all incremental innovations – they built up on something already existing. In the service business, Uber, Airbnb, Alibaba, Netflix, TripAdvisor – all incremental innovations.
This framework by John Wiley and Sons Ltd. Will help you understand the difference levels of innovation from incremental to radical. Find yourself as an entrepreneur in this framework and either adjust your position or work-out the position you find yourself in. If you do not find yourself anywhere near the framework, it’s not to late to fix yourself in. As an entrepreneur and even a business, you must have competitive advantage over your competition and one of the ways, if not the only way to do this is to be innovative. Let me leave you with both Michael Porter’s and Peter Drucker’s definition of innovation.
Enjoy the rest of the Holidays to those in Nigeria and to the rest of the world, have an awesome day.
Michael Porter: “Companies achieve competitive advantage through acts of innovation. They approach innovation in its broadest sense, including both new technologies & new ways of doings things”
Peter Drucker: “Innovation is the specific tool of entrepreneurs, the means by which they exploit change as an opportunity for a different business or service. It is capable of being presented as a discipline, capable of being learned, capable of being practiced”
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