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Definition.discussion.ofInnovation

Definition.discussion.ofInnovation - Innovation .A .

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Innovation   Innovation  has recently replaced  Agile  and  Excellence  as the accolade of choice in the business press. A  dozen books have been published on the subject in the past six months. Business magazines devote  special articles to the topic and  Business Week  gives annual awards for the most innovative companies.  BPTrends has run several articles on innovation and we are currently running two Columns that focus on  aspects of innovation. Given all this attention, it is probably worthwhile to step back a bit and ask just  what innovation is and why someone who is focused on process change might be interested in the  subject.  Merriam Webster's Collegiate Dictionary  suggests that innovation involves: (1) introducing something  new, which can be (2) an idea, a method, or a device.  The Oxford English Dictionary  (OED) suggests the  word is derived from Latin, where it referred to the introduction of novelty and that it was first used in  English, in something like its current meaning, in 1297. Clearly, we are not talking about a new concept  here. Equally clearly, businesses have always tried to be innovative. An entrepreneur creates something  new when he/she starts a new business and a manager is innovative when he/she introduces a new  process. Marketing is innovative when they introduce a new ad campaign that gets a lot of attention and  new product development innovates when it uses new technology to create a new product or service.  The font of modern management theory, Peter Drucker, published a book entitled,  Innovation and  Entrepreneurship  in 1993, and dozens of business authors have written about the topic since then.  Drucker argued that entrepreneurship required innovation. Today, most writers suggest that, in a rapidly  changing world, all companies need to innovate to survive  If we focus more narrowly on innovation in the context of process change, we can divide the recent  literature, very roughly, into three broad categories. One school stresses creativity and focuses on  brainstorming and a variety of related techniques that can help teams of people think of alternative ways  of accomplishing a task. This school might be summed up as the creative thinking school.  A second school derives from the work of Genrich Altshuller, a Russian theorist who has created a  systematic or “engineering” approach – called TRIZ – which can be used to examine problems and  generate new possibilities. TRIZ (pronounced “trees”) is a Russian acronym that means something like 
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