Becoming an Innovation Star

A brilliant book! The 90 steps, over 90 days provides a perfect bridge between theory and execution. A must read for practitioners of change management“. Mr. K. V. Kamath, Chairman, ICICI Bank Ltd. on Innovate! 90 Days To Transform Your Business.

To become an Innovation Star read ‘Innovate! 90 Days to Transform Your Business’.
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The concept of innovation stars is based on many years research with respected companies throughout India to gauge the innovativeness of the organization. Based on the responses to the survey, companies were classified as Innovation Stars, Aspirants or Non-starters.

Innovation Stars are more profitable, have more satisfied employees and a much lower employee
turnover. These companies excel in all areas, tangible and intangible. Such companies are characterized by high profits, superior quality of products and services, high levels of creativity, brilliant marketing practices, strong brand equity and image, wide market presence and low employee turnover. The Star is an extremely innovative company which has succeeded in maximizing innovation in all areas of its operations. The climate of such a company is extremely nurturing and rewards creativity while being supportive of experimentation.
People working there are excited about going to work; they are thrilled about their company’s future.

Aspirants recognize that innovation is integral to success in the marketplace, but have not put in place systems to drive innovation. These companies want to be innovative, but don’t know how. Many of the companies surveyed fell into this category. These companies have the potential to be much more successful.

Non-starters do not recognize the importance of innovation.

What Differentiates Stars from Aspirants and Non-Starters?

Stars were very positive about their company and its future. They believed that the quality of their products was higher, and that their market share was increasing. Employee satisfaction levels were high because people were committed and engaged. Some of the other factors that differentiated Stars from Aspirants and Non-Starters were:
• Stars had a greater belief in the need for creativity in the organization.
• Innovation was clearly mentioned in their mission statement.
• They systematically measured customer satisfaction, and used this information to make course corrections.
• They spoke directly to their customers.
• New ideas were often obtained through market research.
• They made use of outside consultants.
• They used cutting-edge technologies to impact bottom lines.
• They were able to ensure that different departments worked together.
• They excelled in environmental scouting for ideas.
• They had a shared process of idea generation.
• Stars dedicated a lot of focus and effort on their employees.
• They provided challenging jobs.
• They reported back to employees on what was happening.
• They provided constructive performance feedback.
• They often invested in new technologies.
• Their people received more training on innovation, creativity and the management of change.
• They rewarded individual and team creativity.
• The organizational attitude to innovation, risk taking and R&D was clear.
• They recognized the importance of creativity to high performance.
• They grew investment in R&D faster than other expenses.
• Innovation was not restricted to the R&D divisions
• Many departments practiced innovation, including:
– Manufacturing
– Human Resources
– Corporate Development
– Administration
Impact of Innovation on the Bottom Line
The profits of the Stars grew faster than the profits of the Aspirants and Non-starters. Stars also reported higher levels of employee satisfaction and lower levels of employee turnover. Additionally, employees of Stars had
great faith in the quality of their products. Innovation Stars are on a positive cycle in which increasing profits and high employee morale reinforce each other.

The Positive Cycle of an Innovation Star

Profits are growing consistently
Employees feel very positive about the quality of their product
Employee turnover is low
Employee satisfaction levels are high

The study clearly shows that the companies which practice these factors have captured greater market share, have more satisfied customers and more engaged employees. In brief, becoming an innovation star creates better companies.