Innovation: How and Why

One thing that I consider fun (we all have to have hobbies) is taking something that appears on the surface to be a niche and only specific to a small group of people, and extracting essential principles which are Truths.  I then apply those Truths to completely different situations.  This is, in itself, is a type of innovation.

I found a great resource today, which taught me some essential Truths of Innovation which I believe are applicable by all businesses big or small, regardless of region – albeit, especially for manufacturers, especially in Georgia.  The Georgia Manufacturing Survey (GMS) is conducted by Dr. Jan Youtie and Prof. Philip Shapira from Georgia Tech to assess the technological and innovation capabilities of Georgia’s manufacturersIt is the only survey focused on innovation which is consistently conducted in the US.  Here are the Univerisal Truths I learned from their last surveys:

Why You Should Implement Innovation Strategies

Just in the overview, I found two convincing arguments: 

  • According to the study, profit rates have been dropping for manufacturers which get their edge with low prices as opposed to through innovation.
  •  Outsourcing impacting your business? GMS found that innovation-base companies were much less likely to be impacted by outsourcing.

 How to Encourage More Innovation

According to this survey, innovation is correlated with:

  • Significant organizational changes
  • Widespread use of technologies in the workforce
  • Highly skilled and educated employees

How to Fund Your Innovation Make-Over 

My Note:  If you are looking for an innovation injection for you business – to escape from the lowest-price fight, you might need a cash injection first.  If you want to update technology, change your structure, or implement other major changes, it might cost more money than you have on hand.  Depending on your needs, you can look at traditional or alternative financing options.  Check out this post on financing options.

In any event, it’s 2008, and I hope that means that Dr. Jan Youtie and Professor Philip Shapira are getting ready to publish the results of the 2007 Georgia Manufacturing Survey (The website said that a new one would be undertaken in 2007).  I’m excited to see what new insights they will have into innovation and technology.

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