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Determine Innovation Sources

Determine Innovation Sources

In the 21st century, innovation is discussed in many professions, from business to other areas. If emerging trends are anything to go by, innovation can be the way to the top. Amazon, Facebook, and Google have proved this. The terms innovation and improvement have been used by people interchangeably; however, the terms vary in meaning. The difference between innovation and improvement is analogous to that between evolution and revolution. Improvement is mostly making a product or a service better than before; it is not always revolutionary. Innovation is more profound than only making improvements; it brings long-lasting change with many impacts. Often, a question has been asked about where innovation comes from.

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Identify sources of innovation.

According to Peter F. Ducker, the sources of innovation are as follows:

The Unexpected
Sometimes innovation takes place by chance, unexpectedly, while doing something, someone might stumble on a new product or idea. The list of unexpected innovations is long in human history. Fire, for instance, is an innovation that humans only stumbled upon (Pratap, 2016). Dynamite is another example. It is important to note that many significant inventions in human history have happened unexpectedly. Sometimes when scientists try to find a solution for something, they come across something else on the way.

Sometimes a need may be in-congruent with supply; in such cases, innovation might be born. Innovation might come about to try to resolve these contradictions. For instance, the parking space was insufficient as the number of cars grew (Pratap, 2016). As a result, an intelligent vehicle was born, a car that can fit into small spaces. Therefore, an essential source of innovation is incongruities.

Necessity is the mother of invention and also the mother of innovation (Pratap, 2016). For instance, the need to delve deeper into the microbial world caused the creation of the microscope. People always think about the solution when there is a need for something. Design is based on brilliant ideas. We tend to think of new things that can fulfil the need that exists sufficiently.

Find Divergent Thinkers
A magazine article in Harvard Business Review (2015) suggests that to innovate better; organizations should find divergent thinkers. An experiment was conducted where researchers asked roofers, carpenters and inline skaters how to improve the safety gear for all the activities. Each group was significantly better at finding solutions for other fields. Such research shows that the greater the distance from the conceptual problem, the better the answers. Carpenters and skaters, for example, were able to come up with ideas for improving the convenience and safety of the safety gear of the carpenters. Studies have shown that it is invaluable to seek expertise from fields that seem different but have structural similarities. It helps companies develop new ways of coming up with breakthrough ideas.

Interaction with other people
A study by Björk and Magnusson (2009) found that good innovative ideas also arise from interacting with different people. The study indicated a clear interrelationship between the quality of creative ideas and the network connectivity of people. The more connected employees are, the better the quality of their ideas. Therefore, some level of interaction is needed to generate innovative ideas. Therefore, organizations should support and facilitate interaction and connectivity of the employees to each other and other external organizations.

Assess trends and forecasts that are affecting (or will affect) your industry

Cutting-edge industry trends are transforming the long-term direction of the equipment industry. The movements will have a significant influence in 2018 and beyond. The top manufacturing trends for 2018 are discussed below:

Industry 4.0
The rise of smart manufacturing or Industry 4.0 has allowed manufacturers to utilize advanced manufacturing and information technology capabilities throughout the product life cycle. Experts call Industry 4.0 the next industrial revolution and with good reason (AEM, 2018). It can improve production processes, factory floor safety, and efficiency because it gives better ability to analyze and monitor assets. Improved simulation and monitoring give manufacturers intelligence about their systems. This trend is rising, and manufacturers must commit to pointing out the needs of the business when adopting Technology. It is needless to invest in Technology without a laid-out framework on how to take advantage of it for the company’s betterment.

Technology advancements are pushing manufacturers to venture into a new age of automation. Machine learning, robotics, and artificial intelligence will likely disrupt the industry in the coming years; and are already stirring the manufacturing industry. Companies face the hard decision of whether or not to automate to obtain the best value. Manufacturers can automate the activities and jobs on the show floor (AEM, 2018). Other business areas, such as maintenance, administration, and management, can also be automated today. Additionally, machines have the capability of matching or exceeding the productivity output of their human counterparts.

Evaluate possible disruptive innovation.
Disruptive innovation creates a new value network and market. Eventually, it explodes to disrupt the existing value network and market and displace the market firms, alliances, and products already established. These innovations are created mainly by entrepreneurs rather than the market industries existing in the market. The term disruptive innovation has been used so broadly that it has lost its meaning. Time has been used loosely to refer to any innovation that shakes the market a little.

Uber: Disruptive innovation?
Uber is a transportation company connecting consumers who need rides with drivers willing to provide them. The company has grown and reported substantial financial success. Its success has born many imitators. It is transforming the taxi business, but according to the theory of disruptive innovation, it does not qualify as genuinely disruptive (Christensen, Raynor & McDonald, 2015).

Computer Hardware
This industry has undergone several disruptions. IBM’ss mainframe, for instance, was disrupted by the mini-computer. The PCs disrupted the mini-computer. IBM managed to survive all the disruption by transitioning into new products. They were the only company that made all the transitions; all others were disrupted (Christensen, 2015). The next disruption was the smartphone, and IBM missed it completely.

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AEM. (2018). 5 Manufacturing Trends to Watch in 2018. Retrieved from
Björk, J., & Magnusson, M. (2009). Where Do Good Innovation Ideas Come From? Exploring the Influence of Network Connectivity on Innovation Idea Quality. Journal of Product Innovation Management, 26(6), 662-670. doi:10.1111/j.1540-5885.2009.00691.x
Christensen, C. (2015). Disruptive innovation is a Strategy, not Just Technology. Business Today, 23(26), 150-158.
Christensen, C. M., Raynor, M., & McDonald, R. (2015). What is Disruptive Innovation?, Harvard Business Review, 93(12), 44-53.
Pratap, A. (2016). What are the sources of innovation? Retrieved from
To Innovate Better, Find Divergent Thinkers. (2015). Harvard Business Review, 93(6), 26-28.

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Week 3 – Assignment: Determine Innovation Sources


Due July 1 at 11:59 PM

Write a report in which you discuss and evaluate the sources of innovation. The information will be given to the senior management of your chosen company. You should include the following:

Determine Innovation Sources

Determine Innovation Sources

  • Identify sources of innovation
  • Assess trends and forecasts that are affecting (or will affect) your industry
  • Evaluate possible disruptive innovation.

Support your paper with at least three (3) peer-reviewed articles published in the last five years. In addition to these specified resources, other appropriate scholarly resources, including older articles, may be included.

Length: 3-5 pages, not including title page and references

Your response should demonstrate thoughtful consideration of the ideas and concepts presented in the course and provide new thoughts and insights relating directly to this topic. Your response should reflect scholarly writing and current APA standards.

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