Innovation management: understand the importance of this area for business

The culture of innovation is growing and generating systems that increasingly encourage the creation of ideas that can transform consumer solutions. Come and learn more about innovation management, its importance and the benefits for business.

A good idea alone is not enough. Innovation management is the model that emerges to transform the potential for innovations within businesses into concrete and profitable solutions.

A business that does not innovate becomes stagnant, stuck in time. When we talk about innovation management, however, a dialectic is created: how to structure what is the result of creativity? 

Fabricio Bloisi, CEO of iFood, says that the solution is “to be extremely innovative and agile and, at the same time, have the discipline to organize communication and continue growing”. 

The culture of innovation is growing and generating systems that increasingly encourage the creation of ideas that can transform consumer solutions. Come and learn more about innovation management, its importance and the benefits for business. 

What is innovation? 

Innovating is looking for unusual ways to improve technologies, processes, products and services according to ideas not yet used by competitors. A innovation Well implemented, it can positively affect all sectors of a company, in addition to, as a consequence, generating high profits.  

According to the Michaelis dictionary, innovating means making something new; to restore. The innovation process takes advantage of an already viable solution and makes it more practical and advantageous for people.

Proactivity, communication and agility have always been among the most desired terms in a professional. Now, the ability to innovate can be added as one of the new desires of leaders and recruiters.

For the SEBRAE, innovation is the idea of a new product, process or the addition of new functionalities that results in increased gains in quality or productivity. In other words, practices that result in greater competitiveness in the market.

What is innovation management?

Innovation management is the way to structure the creative processes behind innovation. It will establish the paths and methods so that ideas get out of the head and on paper and become concrete.

Innovation management encompasses the search for facilitating day-to-day tasks for companies, as well as reducing costs and redirecting labor. From origin to practical application, an idea needs to travel a path in order to become viable and useful for society.

Second article published in Harvard Business Review, innovation management can be defined as a departure from traditional management principles and practices. As a result, it significantly changes the way work is carried out. 

Having been in undergraduate and postgraduate courses for some time, the innovation management area is responsible for systematizing processes. It dictates that routines and steps, in addition to human and financial resources, will be necessary for the viability of the final object.

How important is innovation management in companies?

The importance of innovation management is that companies do not stand still in time. Guiding a company through innovation brings attention to the sustainability of the business, in the economic, social and environmental pillars.

When a company shows concern for all aspects of the business, it can stand out in the market. The integral vision generates reliability and can bring new customers, business partners and investors.

What are the benefits of innovation management for organizations?

The benefits of innovation management are that it makes the business environment a free space for the conception of new ideas. The area will encourage teams of employees to develop and materialize new solutions for the business.

The role of innovation management is strategic in nature. Therefore, not only does it bring business sustainability to the center of the discussion, it also becomes an attraction for acquiring new talent, knowing that the location encourages creation and progress.

Among the main benefits of innovation management are:

  • Opening of new markets: The aim is to find gaps in products and services already available to develop new solutions. This way, it is possible to explore new markets and segments. 
  • Competitiveness and more profit: Innovation management brings exclusive differences to business products and services. Having an advantage over the competition brings new consumers, willing to pay an additional price for the improvements found. 
  • Promote the brand: demonstrates to markets, investors and customers that the company is thirsty for innovation. Seeking new technologies, processes and business models will help the company continue. 

Where does innovation management apply?

Innovation management can be applied to any sector of a company. In fact, it could even be a new sector, which becomes a culture for others.

Innovation management can come from the company's HR, but it appears in marketing, products, services, processes, the business model, logistics and on technology. There must be room for errors.

An indispensable component for innovation management is to set up a team that has the freedom to do unimaginable things that have not been planned. Professionals with the ability to take risks, make mistakes and learn from experiences. 

What are the types of innovation?

In studies in the area, there are different classifications for types of innovation. Most of them focus on innovation applied to each business sector in which it is applied, but we will divide it into two more comprehensive types that bifurcate this typification:

Disruptive innovation

Disruptive innovation is the most radical. It is one that seeks to revolutionize the market through a unique solution. There is no shortage of examples and the iFood is one of them, which entered the food delivery niche as a great process facilitator.

As a concrete example of disruptive innovation, iFood, within its teams, created the Jet Ski method. In it, temporary teams have the mission of testing ideas. Meanwhile, lean teams select innovations that emerge in the company to develop a pilot project for around two months. 

Incremental innovation

Incremental innovation does not aim to “break down walls” like the previous one, but seeks to improve an existing product or service. It is a mode that seeks optimization and modernization.

Great examples are computers, which year after year undergo incremental improvements and innovations: in interface, performance, resources, etc. 

Open innovation

Not necessarily a third path, but a classification that permeates the previous ones, the open innovation seeks to attract customers and suppliers to participate in the development of new ideas.

Open innovation opens the doors for different companies to carry out projects collaboratively, more quickly and with broad exchanges of knowledge and data. 

How to manage innovation?

Innovation management needs environments where there is openness to new ideas and people willing to make mistakes and learn from mistakes. To do this, it is necessary to create a organizational culture, which demands lectures, training, courses and a clear message from management about encouraging this desire for innovation.

For innovation to be part of the business strategy, managers must adapt the organization so that it is capable of applying the ideas developed. It can be done through the use of collected data and practical examples such as success stories.

The return on investment in innovation is not always so evident, at least at first. It can be seen in improving the company's image and expanding the customer base, that is, without direct conversion into financial terms when the innovation is put into practice.

One example is the start of testing delivery made by robot on iFood. It is clear that it will not be overnight that several places in the country will have deliveries via robots. But it is the principle of testing the technology, in addition to advancing discussions for less use of fossil fuels in delivery. A series of new debates.

Innovation management and iFood

iFood recently entered the ranking of ten most innovative companies in Latin America. Held annually by Fast Company magazine, the publication highlights iFood's presence in 1,250 cities and praises the partnership with Movile and Zoop, launching the largest restaurant bank in the world.

iFood is a cutting-edge technology company and invests in innovation to improve people’s lives – customers, restaurants and delivery people. The company uses data science very closely with business teams.

According to Marcos Gurgel, director of innovation at iFood, “the company has quality people to do data analysis within the business team, which removes a bottleneck from the rest of the team and absurdly reduces project time.”

Already in accordance with Fabricio Bloisi, CEO of foodtech, “nothing in the history of iFood 'was an idea and it worked'. Everything was ideas that went through countless tests, with errors, problems, improvements, until what was right was discovered. 

In innovation management, iFood continues to rely on teams Jet Skis to challenge the company's status quo and explore new frontiers. It's a team that wants radical innovation, that does what no one has yet dared. A spirit that moves the company in different directions.

See more about the iFood management model:

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