Role of Innovation in Change Management

We have seen how various factors contribute to the propagation of change within an organization. For instance, change can be catalyzed through change agents and can be driven from the top as well as from the bottom.

In this article, we will look at the crucial role of innovation in driving change. For quite some time now, it has been known that companies need to innovate constantly if they are to stay ahead of the pack in terms of competitiveness.

Innovation can take many forms and some of them are discontinuous innovation, continuous innovation and dynamically continuous innovation. We shall discuss what each mean in the next paragraph. Suffice to say that unless companies innovate they cannot move up the value chain and unless they move up the value chain, they cannot remain competitive. So, to make changes to the organizational processes and its strategy, companies need to innovate constantly.

  • Innovation can produce sudden and dramatic changes to the way business is done and the way consumers experience changes to the products and services made by the companies. This is the discontinuous innovation which is sudden and has a huge impact on the way the company goes about its business.

  • On the other hand, innovation can be gradual and incremental which is the continuous innovation way which means that the company introduces refinements to its products so that consumers adjust and adapt in steps.

  • Finally, there is the dynamically continuous innovation which affects the way in which the company adapts to changing market conditions and changes in consumer behavior trends to make a positive impact on the consumer psyche.

Types of Innovation

The point here is that no matter what kind of innovation the company adopts, the prerequisite for change management is innovation and without innovation, a company cannot expect its internal and external environment to be to its advantage.

For instance:

  • If Apple comes out with its new iPhone and disrupts the way in which consumers perceive a phone, it is discontinuous innovation.

  • If Apple modifies its iPhone in a dynamic manner according to the changing customer preferences, it is dynamically continuous innovation.

  • If it releases its iPhone after minor tweaks, then it is continuous innovation.

For Apple to make a mark in the customer experience, it has to keep changing continuously and hence has to innovate constantly to keep abreast of the consumer trends and the competition.

An example of a company that constantly strives to be the best when it concerns change and innovation is 3M Corporation. This company is known for its world class innovation teams which drive change throughout the company and keep its consumers happy and its competitors on their toes.

The way in which 3M drives innovation to produce change is indeed exemplary and worthy of emulation. Hence, innovation should be the mantra for companies wishing to change their internal environments and in the process change the way they project themselves in the external marketplace.

In conclusion, we are living in times where the rapid turnover of ideas and products in the marketplace has reached a stage where it is no longer enough to be best in the class.

Instead, the pursuit of excellence and the search for excellence are the hallmarks of a truly successful and world class company and hence all companies must undertake efforts to drive innovation and change within and without.

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Change Management