SEEKING AND IMPLEMENTATION

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Nov 10, 2013 (3 years and 7 months ago)

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Project Leonardo da Vinci

Design of a model for joint university
-
enterprise innovation

U
-
SME Innovation








SEEKING AND IMPLEMENTATION

OF INNOVATION OPPORTUNITIES









June 2001





























Authors:

Ing. Jiří Vacek (editor), doc. I
ng. Jiří Skalický Csc., Ing Yvona Šlechtová, Ing. Emil
Vacík


Department of innovatios and projects, Faculty of Economics, UWB

PhDr. Božena Jiřincová, Department of Psychology, Faculty of Pedagogics, UWB

Ing. Zbyněk Doležal
-

BIC Plzeň





The project ha
s been completed with the support of the Leonardo da Vinci programme.
The contents do not necessarily reflect the Commission's own position.



Seeking InnovationOpportunities


3

Table of contents

INTRODUCTION

................................
................................
................................
................................
.....

7

0.1

O
VERALL MODULE CONCEP
TION

................................
................................
...............................

7

0.2

H
YPOTHETIC CHARACTERI
STIC FEATURES OF SUC
CESSFUL INNOVATING C
OMPANIES

...............

8

0.3

I
NTRODUCTORY COMPANY
EVALUATION FOR THE T
RAINING PREPARATION

..............................

9

0.3.1

T
HE QUESTIONNAIRE E
VALUATION

................................
................................
..........................

10

0.3.2

Q
UESTIONNAIRE

................................
................................
................................
......................

11

0.3.3

E
VALUATION FORM

................................
................................
................................
.................

20

STRUCTURE OF THE „SE
EKING OPPORTUNITIES
FOR INNOVATIONS“ TRA
INING
BLOCK

................................
................................
................................
................................
.....................

21

1

IMPORTANCE OF INNOVA
TIONS

................................
................................
..........................

23

1.1

B
ASIC CONCEPTS

................................
................................
................................
.....................

23

1.2

I
NNOVATION PROCESS

................................
................................
................................
.............

24

1.3

E
XAMPLES OF SUCCESSFU
L INNOVATIONS

................................
................................
...............

25

1.4

S
UMMARY AND

RECOMMENDATIONS
................................
................................
.......................

29

2.

SYSTEM OF THE INNOVA
TION IDENTIFICATION
AND

IMPLEMENTATION

...........

30

2.1

I
NTRODUCTION


NECESSITY OF SYSTEMA
TIC WORK WITH INNOVA
TIONS

...............................

30

2.2

I
NNOVATIO
N MANAGERS

................................
................................
................................
.........

31

2.3

S
YSTEM DESCRIPTION

................................
................................
................................
..............

32

2.4

I
NTRODUCTION OF REGUL
AR MEETINGS
(
OBLIGATORY TERMS AND

CONTENT
)

........................

37

2.5

C
ONCLUSION

................................
................................
................................
...........................

37

A
PPENDI
X
2.A:

S
YSTEM
(
PROCESS
)

OF WORK WITH INNOVAT
IONS IN THE COMPANY
.............................

38

3

INNOVATION IMPULSES

................................
................................
................................
..........

42

3.1

SEVEN

SOURCES

OF

INNOVATION

IMPULSES

................................
.............................

43

Source 1: Unexpected events

................................
................................
................................
............

43

Source 2: Contradiction

................................
................................
................................
...................

45

Source 3: Change of process

................................
................................
................................
............

46

Source 4: Change in the structure of industry and market

................................
...............................

47

Source 5: Demogra
phy

................................
................................
................................
.....................

47

Source 6: Change of attitudes

................................
................................
................................
..........

47

Source 7: New knowledge

................................
................................
................................
................

48

3.2

IMPULSES

FROM

THE

MARKET

ENVIRONMENT

................................
.........................

48

Customers

................................
................................
................................
................................
.........

48

Suppliers

................................
................................
................................
................................
...........

49

Competitors

................................
................................
................................
................................
......

49

3.3

INNOVATION

IMPULSES

OF

THE

R&D

................................
................................
...........

50

3.4

INTERNAL

IMPULSES

................................
................................
................................
........

50

3.5

REGISTER

OF

IMPULSES

................................
................................
................................
...

51

3.6

L
ITERATURE

................................
................................
................................
............................

51

A
PPENDIX
3.A:

C
USTOMER

S OPINION OF AN INNO
VATION

................................
................................
....

52

A
PPENDIX
3.B:

I
NNOVATION IMPULSE RE
GISTRATION

................................
................................
...........

53

4

CREATIVITY D
EVELOPMENT

................................
................................
................................

56

4.1

I
NTRODUCTION

................................
................................
................................
................................

56

4.2

C
REATIVITY STIMULATIO
N

................................
................................
................................
...............

56

4.3

METHODS

OF

CREATIVE

ACTIVITY

................................
................................
........................

57

4.3.1

Methods increasing the indivi
dual’s or team’s creative potential

................................
.....

58

4.3.2

Work methods increasing the creative output of an individual

................................
..........

5
9

4.3.3

Work methods improving team’s creative output

................................
...............................

62

4
.4

C
REATIVITY
................................
................................
................................
.............................

68

4.5

L
ITERATURE

................................
................................
................................
............................

68


Seeking InnovationOpportunities


4

5.

PROJECT MANAGEMENT

................................
................................
................................
........

69

5.1

I
NTRODUCTION

................................
................................
................................
........................

69

5.2

B
ASIC CONCEPTS

................................
................................
................................
.....................

70

5.2
.1 Operation and project

................................
................................
................................
.............

70

5.2.2 Project product, product management

................................
................................
....................

71

5.2.3 Program

................................
................................
................................
................................
...

71

5.2.4. Subproject

................................
................................
................................
...............................

71

5.2.5 Activity, summary a
ctivity, milestone

................................
................................
......................

72

5.2.6 Project resources

................................
................................
................................
.....................

72

5.2.7 Project participants

................................
................................
................................
.................

72

5.2.8 Pre
-
project activities

................................
................................
................................
...............

73

5.3

P
ROJECT LIFECYCLE AND

PROJECT PROCESSES

................................
................................
........

73

5.3.1 Project stage, project lifecycle

................................
................................
................................

73

5.3.2 Project processes

................................
................................
................................
.....................

74

5.4


P
ROJECT AS A SYSTEM F
OR THE PERFORMANCE O
F CHANGES

................................
..................

75

5.4.1

Project product

................................
................................
................................
...................

76

5.4.2

Project management

................................
................................
................................
...........

76

5.5


S
OFTWARE SUPPORT OF T
HE PROJECT MANAGEMEN
T

................................
..............................

78

5.6

L
ITERATURE
:

................................
................................
................................
...........................

79

6

TEAM WORK

................................
................................
................................
................................

80

6.1

D
EFINITION OF BASIC C
ONCEPTS

................................
................................
..............................

80

6.1.1

Team definition

................................
................................
................................
...................

80

6.1.2

Team effectiveness

................................
................................
................................
..............

80

6.1.3

Group structure and o
rganization

................................
................................
......................

81

6.1.4

Group development

................................
................................
................................
............

82

6.1.5

Roles in the team

................................
................................
................................
................

84

6.2

A
DVANTAGES AND DISADV
ANTAGES OF TEAM WORK

................................
..............................

85

6.3

R
OLE OF A TEAM

LEADER

................................
................................
................................
........

85

6.4

T
EAM COMMUNICATION

................................
................................
................................
..........

86

6.5

F
ORMATION OF INTERDIS
CIPLINARY TEAMS

................................
................................
............

87

7

COMPANY INNOVATION C
ULTURE
................................
................................
......................

90

7.1


C
OMPANY CULTURE

................................
................................
................................
................

90

7.2


P
OSSIBLE ANALYSES OF
COMPANY CULTURE

................................
................................
...........

91

7.3

M
ANAGEMENT STYLES AND

EMPLOYEES


MOTIVATION

................................
...........................

92

7.4

M
OTIVATION OF EMPLOYE
ES

................................
................................
................................
...

93

7.5

M
OT
IVATION STRATEGY

................................
................................
................................
..........

94

7.6

C
OMPANY

S MOTIVATION PROGRAM

................................
................................
.......................

96

7.7

L
ITERATURE

................................
................................
................................
............................

97

8

RISK MANAGEMENT AND
MANAGERIAL DECISION
-
MAKING

................................
...

98

8.1

R
ISK
MANAGEMENT

................................
................................
................................
.........................

98

8.2

P
ROJECT RISK MANAGEME
NT

................................
................................
................................
...........

99

8.2.1

Identification of risk factors

................................
................................
.............................

100

8.2.2

Project risk definition and risk estimation

................................
................................
.......

103

8.2.3

Decision
-
making theory

................................
................................
................................
...

105

8.2.4

Simulation using the Monte Carlo method

................................
................................
.......

114

8.2.5

Preparation and implementation of measures for the risk reduction

...............................

116

8.
2.6

Operational risk management

................................
................................
..........................

117

8.3

C
ONTROLLING
,

CRISIS SIGNALLING

................................
................................
........................

121

8.4

P
LAN OF CORRECTIVE ME
ASURES

................................
................................
..........................

123

8.5

C
OMPUTER TECHNOLOGY A
ND RISK

................................
................................
......................

125

8.6

L
ITERATURE
:

................................
................................
................................
.........................

126

9. FINANCING OF INN
OVATION ACTIVITIVITI
ES

................................
................................
...

127


Seeking InnovationOpportunities


5

10.

FEASIBILITY STUDY

................................
................................
................................
..........

128

10.1

C
HARACTERISTICS OF A
BUSINESS PLAN FEASIB
ILITY STUDY

................................
................

128

10.1.1


Business projects preparation

................................
................................
....................

128

10.2

F
EASIBILITY STUDY

................................
................................
................................
...............

128

10.2.1


Market analysis and marketing strategy

................................
................................
....

130

10.2.2

Produc
tion unit size

................................
................................
................................
.....

130

10.2.3


Technologies, material inputs and energies

................................
...............................

133

10.2.4


Production unit location

................................
................................
.............................

135

10.2.5


Human resources

................................
................................
................................
.......

136

10.2.6


Organization and management

................................
................................
..................

139

10.2.7


Financial analysis and project evaluation

................................
................................
.

140

10.2.3


Risk analysis

................................
................................
................................
...............

141

10.2.9


Sensitivity analysis

................................
................................
................................
.....

143

10.2.11

Implementation plan

................................
................................
................................
....

144

10.3

L
ITERATURE
:

................................
................................
................................
.........................

144

11

INNOVATION PERFORMAN
CE MONITORING

................................
................................
.

145

11.1

I
DENTIFICATION OF FIN
ANCIAL INDICATORS RE
LATED
TO THE COMPANY INNOV
ATION
STRATEGY

................................
................................
................................
................................
............

145

11.1.1

Appropriate innovation strategy


the way to business success

................................
..

145

11.1.2


Financial indicators

................................
................................
................................
...

152

11.2

M
EASUREMENT OF T
HE CONTRIBUTION OF I
NNOVATIONS IN THE
B
ALANCED
S
CORECARD
SYSTEM

155

11.3

L
ITERATURA

................................
................................
................................
..........................

157

12

COOPERATION OF COMPA
NIES WITH UNIVERSITI
ES AND RESEARCH AND
DEVELOPMENT INSTITUT
IONS

................................
................................
................................
....

158

12.1

M
ODELS OF THE UNIVERS
ITY


COMPANY COOPERATION

................................
.............................

158

12.2

W
HAT CAN THE UNIVERSI
TY OFFER TO
SME

................................
................................
...............

160

A
PPENDIX
12.1

E
VALUATION OF THE COM
PANY


UNIVERSITY COOPERATI
ON


SEVERAL
QUES
TIONS FOR COMPANY

................................
................................
................................
...................

162

A
PPENDIX
12.2

E
VALUATION OF THE COM
PANY


UNIVERSITY COOPERATI
ON


SEVERAL
QUESTIONS FOR UNIVER
SITY

................................
................................
................................
................

165

13

INNOVATION PROGRAMS
AND EDUCATION

................................
................................
..

168

13.1

R
OLE OF EDUCATION IN
THE COMPANY

................................
................................
.................

168

13.2

L
EARNING ORGANIZATION

................................
................................
................................
....

169

13.3

K
EY COMPETENCIES

................................
................................
................................
..............

170

13.3

L
ITERATURA

................................
................................
................................
..........................

170

14

PRACTICAL GUI
DE TO THE SYSTEM INT
RODUCTION

................................
................

171

14.1

C
REATION OF THE FUNCT
ION OF INNOVATION MA
NAGER

................................
......................

171

14.2

S
EEKING AND RECORDING

OF INNOVATION IMPUL
SES

................................
..........................

171

14.3

C
REATIVITY DEVEL
OPMENT

................................
................................
................................
..

172

14.4

M
OTIVATION PROGRAM

................................
................................
................................
.........

172

14.5

E
STABLISHMENT OF COOP
ERATION WITH ACADEMI
C INSTITUTIONS

................................
......

172

14.6

I
NTRODUCTION OF SYSTE
M OF EDUCATION AND T
RAINING OF EMPLO
YEES

...........................

173

14.7

I
NNOVATION PERFORMANC
E MONITORING

................................
................................
............

173

14.8

I
NNOVATION MEETINGS

................................
................................
................................
.........

173

A
PPENDIX
14.A:

C
HECKLIST FOR PREPARA
TION OF IMPLEMENTATI
ON OF SYSTEM OF WORK

WITH
INN
OVATIONS
................................
................................
................................
................................
.......

175


Introduct
ion


6


Introduct
ion


7

INTRODUCTION

0.1

Overall module conception

The aim of the module “Seeking Opportunities for Innovation” is to help small
-

and
medium
-
size enterprises (SME) to introduce a system allowing effective work on
innov
ations. It does not anticipate that the entrepreneurs do not know how to work with
innovations at all. However, it is based on the experience that the innumerous SME
management is busy with many urgent operational tasks and the innovation activities
are o
ften postponed or dealt with on random basis, unsystematically. This, however,
endangers maintaining of their competitiveness in a long
-
term prospective.

Training will provide the company management with instructions for the
implementation of the innovati
on work system based on content
-

and time
-
obliging
procedures and creating of the function of the innovation manager, who supervises the
system observance and is responsible for it.

Besides the system introduction, the module consists of blocks focused on

skills and
practices that are, according to the below
-
given hypothesis, characteristic for successful
innovating SMEs.

The basic
training structure

is fixed and it is divided into thee basic parts. The brief
introductory part in case studies identifies c
haracteristic features of successful
innovating SMEs. The second, largest part describes the system of work with
innovations and individual components of the system in detail. In the last part the
company receives recommendations, which steps need to be t
aken in order to
implement the system. The training assists the company to acquire those characteristic
features of a successful innovating SME that were identified in the introductory part.

This basic structure, the training content and extent of individ
ual blocks can be
modified according to the specific needs of the company, for which the training will be
carried out in the “in company” form. The training is preceded by the
company
evaluation

that should prove to what extent it currently uses its innova
tion
opportunities, or to what degree it is ready for the system implementation. The result is
then used for the training content modification. Furthermore, the company will be
informed about the evaluation results as a feedback at the beginning of the tra
ining and
partial results will be discussed in corresponding blocks.

The training module therefore consists of two stages:

1.

Evaluation

2.

Training



Introduct
ion


8

0.2

Hypothetic characteristic features of successful innovating
companies

Identification of characteristic fe
atures of successful innovating SMSC represents a
starting point for the creation of both stages of the training module (evaluation and
proper training). It is convenient to repeat here that the training is mainly focused on the
identification of gradual,
incremental innovations. It is not targeted at looking for major
radical innovations. Even companies that do not operate on systematic basis can be
successful with incremental innovations, however probability of success of radical
innovation is very low.

A
ccording to the starting hypothesis the
characteristic features

of a company well
prepared to use innovation opportunities are the following:

On a strategic level:



Long
-
term approach to the company management and inclusion of innovations into
its strategy

The management does not concentrate only on the horizon of several days, but it
realizes that it is necessary to estimate the development of the market and the
business conditions (legislation, scientific and technological development, political
situation,

new technologies…) as well as possible for several years ahead and
according to that to set the long
-
term goals and ways of their achievement. The
innovation opportunities are then evaluated with regard to those goals and they are
given various priorities
.

Innovations are part of the long
-
term plans, they are viewed as a necessary
precondition for the competitiveness and achieving of long
-
term goals of the
company.

On middle level:



Systematic work on the innovation from recording of the first impulse to i
ts
implementation

To achieve its innovation strategy, the company needs to work on systematic basis,
rather than on random one. With the random approach, an important innovation
opportunity can be missed.


The company needs to have the following skills, a
bilities, practices and habits to work
on innovations on systematic basis:



Systematic collection of all impulses that could lead to innovation



Creativity of employees



Ability to evaluate the possibility of the innovation idea



Good team work



Project
-
based a
pproach and ability to manage projects



Cooperation with external experts (universities, research laboratories…)



Proper rate of risk
-
taking



Employees’ motivation (the employees are willing to improve the product
and the operation of the whole company)



Conti
nued education of employees



Ability to finance the innovation activities


Introduct
ion


9

0.3

Introductory company evaluation for the training preparation

The purpose of the company evaluation is to find out to which degree the company
(SME) uses the innovation opportunit
ies on systemic basis, or to which degree the
company is ready for the introduction of the system ensuring that the innovation
opportunities will be used. The whole training can be then modified according to the
results of the evaluation.

The questionnair
e is the main instrument for the evaluation. It contains questions
relating to the individual characteristic features of the company (see 0.3.2) that can use
the innovation opportunities well.

In the questionnaire presented to the company managers the que
stions are not given in
the order according to their topics, as they are in this manual, but they are provided in a
fully random order.

The questions take form of statements, with which the respondent shows a certain
degree of agreement or disagreement.


Degree of agreement

Evaluation points

Fully agrees

4

Rather agrees

3

Rather disagrees

2

Fully disagrees

1


The questionnaire is available either in electronic or printed forms. It is filled in either
by a company management representative or, partic
ularly in smaller companies, by the
owner.

Written instructions are either part of the electronic version of the questionnaire or they
are enclosed in the form of a special card to the printed version. The time for filling in
the form is not strictly limi
ted (however its completion should not take more than 20
minutes); the questionnaire should be filled in without making any breaks or
interruptions.

The first group of questions “Strategic approach to the company management and
inclusion of innovations in
to strategy” verifies whether the company meets this basic
predisposition. This area is dealt with in more detail in the questionnaire, which is a part
of the “Assessment of the Innovation Potential of a Company” module.

The questions relate to two subtopi
cs:



Whether the basic management approach is long
-
term at all



Whether the innovations are included in the long
-
term plans

Considering the fact that the companies will be evaluated in detail in the “Assessment
of the Innovation Potential of a Company” modu
le, the result showing that the company
does not use the long
-
term approach should not appear here. (Should this fact be
identified in the previous module, the company receives recommendation of measures
for learning the strategic management and its implem
entation using resources outside
the framework of this project). From this point of view, this subtopic is rather of
verifying character.

If the results of the second subtopic show that innovations are not incorporated into the

Introduct
ion


10

long
-
term plans, it is nece
ssary to pay more attention and space to the place of
innovations in the strategy in the introductory part.

The second group of questions explores how systematic is the company procedure of
work with innovations.

The questions are again divided into two su
btopics:



Whether any system exists in the company



Whether it is observed

If the company does not have any system, a relatively simple system securing proper
work with innovations will be presented during the training. If any system exists (e.g.
related to

Quality house, TQM, ISO), it is not necessary to present the prepared system
as the only possible approach during the training; it can be appropriately modified and
additions and improvements to the existing system can be suggested.

If the system is not o
bserved according to the questionnaire results, as a solution the
training offers creation of the innovation manager function that will supervise its
observing and will be responsible for it.

The following nine groups of questions concern individual skills
, abilities, practices and
habits that are according to the hypothesis necessary so that the company could work
with innovations according to the above
-
mentioned system. Here is the largest space for
the modification of the second part of the training acco
rding to the questionnaire results.
For example if it shows that there are very creative employees in the company however
they cannot manage projects, the block dedicated to the creativity development can be
considerably reduced or left out and the saved
time can be used in the block focusing on
the project management or it can be supplemented by a more extensive practical
exercise.

In every topic there is one or two statements (questions) that should reveal if the
management realizes the importance of thi
s issue and whether its approach to this issue
is correct from the point of view of the hypothesis. If it shows that the management does
not consider this field important or does not have the proper approach to it, it is
necessary to strengthen the motivat
ing and persuading part of the relevant training block
in the course of the training module modification according to the company’s needs.

0.3.1

The questionnaire evaluation

In each investigated area, the average evaluation is determined on the basis of
in
dividual answers separately for questions concerning the current situation of the
company and separately for questions concerning the proper approach of the company
management to the issue in question (see 0.3.3). The average value provides the basic
infor
mation, the evaluator can then analyze individual answers to infer more detailed
knowledge (e.g. the average evaluation implies that the weak point of the company is
motivation to innovations and the more detailed analysis reveals that the cause is the
in
sufficient communication between the management and the employees.

Questions are formulated both positively (the higher level of agreement corresponds to
better situation of the company) and negatively (the higher level of agreement
corresponds to worse si
tuation of the company). Negative questions are indicated by
abbreviation “neg.”

Some questions are accompanied by the explaining comment, which is not presented
(displayed) to the person questioned.


Introduct
ion


11

0.3.2

Questionnaire


1

Strategic approach to the compa
ny management and the
incorporation of innovations into the strategy


Strategic approach


1.1

Management has the concrete idea about the company long
-
term goal and about
the ways of its achievement.

1.2

Management regularly meets to evaluate the current situation

of the company
and to determine its further steps.

1.3

Management is so busy with urgent issues that it has no time to think hard about
the long
-
term company situation and planning (neg.)


Evaluation of these 3 questions:

The basic condition for the systema
tic work with innovations


the company strategy
according to which the innovation ideas are evaluated and introduced
-

is/is not met.


Approach to the issue:

1.4

The company management must be based on the current situation. Long
-
term
plans are not very use
ful, as they rely on the uncertain forecasts of the company
environment (neg.)


Incorporation of innovations into the strategy


1.5

Our long
-
term plans rely on innovations of products and processes.

1.6

In our long
-
term plans we detach a part of human resources o
n seeking and
implementation of innovations.

1.7

In our long
-
term plans we detach a part of financial resources on seeking and
implementation of innovations.


Evaluation of these 3 questions: Innovations are/are not a part of the strategy.


Approach to the i
ssue:

1.8

If we will not permanently improve something, we will loose our
competitiveness.


Introduct
ion


12


2

Systematic work with innovations from recording the first idea
to its implementation


System existence



2.1

We know well what steps to take from the innovation idea t
o its realization. The
corresponding procedure is implemented in our company.

2.2

When the innovation idea appears, nobody exactly knows what to do with it
(there is no system of work with innovations) (neg.)

2.3

It happens that after some time spent on innovati
on (e.g. development of the pre
-
feasibility study or production of a prototype) nobody knows, what to do next
(neg.)


System observation (somebody works as an innovation manager)


2.4

We do not have time to deal with new innovation ideas, we have more urgent
t
asks (nobody works as innovation manager


does not supervise the system
observation) (neg.)

2.5

We do not have time to finish innovation projects, they must be interrupted due
to more urgent tasks (nobody works as innovation manager


does not supervise
the s
ystem observation) (neg.)

2.6

We have reliable records about innovation ideas in reserve and about the
innovations being realized (somebody works as innovation manager

supervises
the system observation)


Approach to the issue:


2.7

Innovation idea is a good luc
k, systematic work cannot help much (neg.)



Introduct
ion


13

3

Systematic collection of ideas that can lead to innovation


3.1

Even the minute idea for improvement
is not lost
, whether it comes from any
department of our company or from the outside (there is a functioning sy
stem of
recording the innovation ideas)

3.2

Our employees bring their own ideas how to improve work in their
own
departments
.

3.3

We know what our
competitors

do and we regularly ponder on the improvement
of our competitive position.

3.4

Our company has employees (or

we work with external specialists) who follows
latest news in their specialization

(professional journals, conferences, electronic
conferences) and regularly inform on possible opportunities and threats for the
company.

3.5

Our employees who are in direct con
tact with
customers

record their reactions
and pass these records to other departments.

3.6

We continuously collect information about current and potential suppliers and
corresponding opportunities.


Approach to the issue:


3.7

The keeping of written records of i
nnovation ideas is time consuming and it is
not effective. If the idea is really good, it wins its way anyway. (neg.)



4

Creativity of employees


4.1

Our competitors copy our ideas.

4.2

Our employees do not like to invent anything new, they prefer well
-
tried way
s
(neg.)

4.3

Our employees often think if their work cannot be done better then up to now.

4.4

Fantasy and originality of our employees have already several times contributed
to the improvement of our company competitiveness.

4.5

When our employees finish their exac
tly defined tasks, they are not interested in
anything else. (neg.)


Approach to the issue:


4.6

The success of companies is determined in the decisive degree by the creativity
of its employees.


Introduct
ion


14

5

Ability to assess the potential of the innovation idea


5.1

We
already had to pay for not performing the financial analysis of the activity
before its start (neg.)

5.2

We consult technical feasibility of proposed changes of production or service
processes with internal or external specialists.

5.3

We consult market potential
(demand, competition) of proposed new products or
services with internal or external specialists.

5.4

Before we embark upon the preparation of any new activity, we attempt to
estimate its financial requirement as well as possible.

5.5

It happens that we waste effo
rts on the development of a new product or
technology, which is then found technically not feasible (neg.)

5.6

In the past, we wasted efforts to realization of products (services) that were not
successful at the market (neg.)


Approach to the issue:


5.7

It is mo
re important to act fast then to perform complicated analyses beforehand
(neg.)


Introduct
ion


15

6

Good team work


6.1

When working in teams, good ideas usually are not


after an initial enthusiasm


follow through (= there is nobody in the team who is hardworking and
persi
stent, who gets things through) (neg.)

6.2

When working in teams, it does not happen that anybody misses an important
information.

6.3

In our teams, there are not personal conflicts, only the conflicts of opinion (=
there is somebody in the team who calms personal

conflicts and creates good
mood)

6.4

Informal leaders of our teams are always recognized and respected by team
members.

6.5

We take advantage of the team work, as it facilitates the emergence of good
ideas and new, non
-
traditional solutions. (= team has creative
members)

6.6

No important information can escape attention when working in team on an
extensive task (= there is somebody in the team who concentrates on the
provision of all the necessary information


white hat)

6.7

When working in team, we always


after an i
nitial discussion


agree on the
common decision (= there is somebody in the team who is able to unite team
members)

6.8

Our employees usually do not enjoy working in teams. They have a feeling that
it does not lead to good results and try to avoid it (= teams

are not functional,
something is wrong) (neg.)

6.9

The members of our teams are determined to reach the goals, they understand
that the goals cannot be reached without cooperation with others and they feel
the responsibility for the success of the whole team.

6.10

It is common in our teams that if somebody speaks, others pay attention and
assure themselves they understood the message well.


Approach to the issue:


6.11

The individual person can solve a complicated problem better then a team
composed of persons with dif
ferent professions. (neg.)

6.12

The managers and supervisors should know the qualities of employees selected
to problem
-
solving teams.


Introduct
ion


16

7

Project approach and the ability to manage projects


7.1

Anybody working on an extensive project always well understands his/h
er
responsibility and competence.

7.2

When the team works on an extensive project, there is always one person
responsible for a project as a whole.

7.3

It happens that when the team works on an extensive project, two people do
unnecessarily the same work (neg.)

7.4

I
t happens that we start work on an extensive project with delay and it is then
difficult to keep original time schedule (neg.)

7.5

It happens that the work on an extensive project is delayed as the outcomes of
the work of individual workers are not linked tog
ether (neg.)

7.6

We not always well estimate our capacity and then we have problems with time
schedule and quality (neg.)

7.7

When the team works on an extensive project, there are regular meetings
controlling the state of works and determining further activities.

7.8

We usually are not satisfied with services of external professional institutions
(universities, research institutes …) from the point of view of keeping time
schedules, quality, etc. (= we are not able to select good external co
-
workers)
(neg.)


Approach
to the issue:


7.9

Even good employees can perform below average if their work is not well
coordinated.

7.10

The work on an extensive task has to be planned.




8

Cooperation with external professional capacities (universities,
research institutes...)


8.1

Our compan
y extensively cooperates with external professional capacities
(universities, research institutes...).


Approach to the issue:


8.2

Universities, research institutes, etc. cannot significantly help to small and
medium sized companies (neg.)


Introduct
ion


17

9

Innovation cul
ture of the company


9.1

All employees are informed about the company mission (identification,
communication)

9.2

In our company „the right hand often does not know what the left one does”
(neg.) (=communication is not functional)

9.3

Company employees often comes wit
h new ideas (= motivation is functional)

9.4

Our employees identify themselves with the company and are enjoy each
success (identification)

9.5

Our employees are used to regular appraisals and they know they it takes into
account also their innovation impulses (st
imulation is functional)

9.6

Our company has numerous employees who show an interest in the company
performance which crosses the borders of their professional specialization.


Approach to the issue:


9.7

The management cannot influence the personal initiative o
f employees in
bringing new ideas (does the management recognize the importance of
stimulation of employees to innovations?) (neg.)

9.8

The employees can be proactive in seeking innovation opportunities only if they
know the company strategy (does the manageme
nt recognize the importance of
communication to motivation?)

9.9

The employees can be proactive in seeking innovation opportunities only if they
are personally engaged in the improvement of the company performance (= it
cannot work without motivation)

9.10

It is su
fficient if the employees know their exactly specified task. It makes no
sense to inform them about strategic plans of the company, it cannot contribute
to their innovation initiative (neg.)

9.11

Good supervisor is interested in motivation of individual employe
es so that
he/she is able to motivate them effectively to better performance.


Introduct
ion


18

10

The ability to finance innovation activities

10.1

We are informed about various forms of financial support of innovation
activities available to SMEs.

10.2

As we do not have sufficient

financial resources, we cannot realize innovations
we have in stock (neg.)

10.3

We allocate the part of company resources to innovation activities.


Approach to the issue:


10.4

There is always a way how to finance the realization of a good idea.



11

Continued ed
ucation of employees

11.1

Our employees regularly take part in trainings, seminars, conferences and other
educational activities.

11.2

Our company subscribes to professional journals and they are studied by
appropriate employees.

11.3

The selection of trainings and semi
nars for our employees is not random, it is
closely related to long
-
term goals of the company.


Approach to the issue:


11.4

A good professional does not need any other education (neg.)

11.5

If the company hires a good professional, it does not have to take care o
f his
further education (neg.)




Introduct
ion


19

12

Risk and decision making


12.1

Our company agrees that a reasonable risk is a necessary condition of the
company development, we do not avoid it.

12.2

Our employees are not penalized for their decisions on innovations that in th
e
end are incorrect, if they have not failed to take all the proper measures to
succeed.

12.3

If we are not the hudred percent sure about the success of the innovation, we do
not embark upon it (neg.)


Approach to the issue:


12.4

Only the company willing to take r
isk can be innovative.

12.5

In making decisions about innovations, it is necessary to keep in mind that not
every decision will prove its correctness in the end.



13

Monitoring the company innovation performance


13.1

Updates of the company innovation strategy are ba
sed on the regular monitoring
of its innovation performance.

13.2

We attempt to couple expenses and profits from realized innovations as well as
possible.

13.3

The compliance of current innovation activities with long
-
term company goals
and objectives is regularly

monitored.

13.4

The planned and actual results of innovation activities are regularly monitored
and evaluated.


Approach to the issue:


13.5

There are no suitable tools for innovation performance assessment and for
evaluation of innovation effectiveness (neg.)

13.6

It
is not worthwhile to assess the innovation performance, as it is difficult to
quantify it (neg.)



Introduct
ion


20

0.3.3

Evaluation form





































A. Strategic approach to company management and incorporation of
innovations into strategy

Total average evaluation:


1
------
2
------
3
------
4


Current situation

Approach to the is
sue

Strategic approach

1
------
2
------
3
------
4

1
------
2
------
3
------
4

Incorporation of innovations

1
------
2
------
3
------
4

1
------
2
------
3
------
4


B. Systém práce na inovaci

Total average evaluation:


1
------
2
------
3
------
4


Current situation

Approach to the issue

System existence

1
------
2
------
3
---
---
4

1
------
2
------
3
------
4

System observance

1
------
2
------
3
------
4



C. Skills and activities that the company needs to be able to efficiently
implement the systém of work w
ith innovations.



Current situation

Approach to the issue

Collection of ideas

1
------
2
------
3
------
4

1
------
2
------
3
------
4

Creativity of employees

1
------
2
------
3
------
4

1
------
2
------
3
------
4

Ability to evaluate the innovation
project

1
------
2
------
3
------
4

1
------
2
------
3
------
4

Team work

1
------
2
------
3
------
4

1
------
2
------
3
------
4

Project management

1
------
2
------
3
------
4

1
------
2
------
3
------
4

Co
-
operation with external
specialists

1
------
2
------
3
------
4

1
------
2
------
3
------
4

Innovation c
ulture

1
------
2
------
3
------
4

1
------
2
------
3
------
4

Financing

1
------
2
------
3
------
4

1
------
2
------
3
------
4

Continued education

1
------
2
------
3
------
4

1
------
2
------
3
------
4

Decision making under risk

1
------
2
------
3
------
4

1
------
2
------
3
------
4

Fo
llowing the innovation
performance

1
------
2
------
3
------
4

1
------
2
------
3
------
4



Introduct
ion


21

STRUCTURE OF THE „SE
EKING OPPORTUNITIES
FOR
INNOVATIONS“ TRAININ
G BLOCK


1

Introductory block (motivating and introductory)

Aim:

Participants

-

Realize that innovations an
d their inclusion into the company strategy are the
conditions for maintaining of the company’s competitiveness,
=
J

Identify the characteristic features of a successfully innovating company,

-

Learn that these characteristic features can be mastered with suppor
t of this
training

This block is based on case studies and characteristic features of successfully
innovating SMEs.

2

Main block


System of innovation identification and implementation in the
company

Aim:

Participants

-

Understand that they need content
-

and time
-
obliging system of work with
innovations so that they would not forget about looking for innovation
opportunities while being busy with the solution of operation tasks

-

Are introduced to the system (illustrated by means of practical demonstration)

-

Realize that there is space for cooperation with universities and R&D institutions
















This block is based on the description of the system of work with innovations and
explanation of the innovation manager function (who is responsible for its
implementation) and his tasks in individual stages.


Training focused on individual skills and activities that the company needs to
be able to implement the system of work with innovations effectively:

-

Identification of innovation impulses

-

Creativity of employees

-

Project management ability

-

Team work

-

Moti
vation of employees to innovations

-

Relationship to risk and managerial decision
-
making

-

Ability to finance innovations

-

Ability to evaluate the innovation feasibility

-

Monitoring of innovation performance

-

Cooperation with universities and R&D institutions

-

Con
tinued education of employees











Description of the system of identification and implementation of innovations
in the company (with every stage its output and innovation manager’s tasks
are explained and illustrating example is provide
d)


Introduct
ion


22












3 Implementation block


Project of system implementation

Aim:

-

The innovation manager acquires a specific
idea how to proceed in the course of the
innovation system building in the company, prepares his project in a written form.

-

Other participants understand their roles in the system, which would make the
communication with them easier for the innovation mana
ger when assigning tasks
within the implemented system.


This block is based on a sample project of the work with innovation implementation
in the company.





1. Importance of Innovations


23

1

IM
PORTANCE OF INNOVATI
ONS


Everyone has probably come across slogans claiming that innovations are essential for
the survival of a firm, organization, company and that only those who innovate have the
chance to face the increasing competition and global econ
omy. In this part of the
training we will discuss what an innovation is, why it is so important and why it is today
discussed more often than several years ago. We will also provide some examples of
innovations.

1.1

Basic concepts

The OECD manual
1

define
s technological innovation and the role of research and
development (R&D) in the innovation process in the following manner:

“Technological innovations are defined as new products and processes and major
technological modifications to products and processe
s. An innovation is considered
performed if it is introduced to the market (
product innovation
) or implemented in the
production process (
process innovation
). Innovation includes many research,
technological, organizational, financial and commercial activ
ities.

R&D represents only one of these activities and can take place during various stages of
the innovation process. It can play not only the role of the original source of the
innovation ideas but also the role of problem solution framework, which can b
e turned
to at any stage of the implementation."

According to us it is possible to extend this definition to innovations that do not have
any technological base. The summary of activities given in the definition implies that,
with the exception of special
cases, a wide range of experts is involved in the innovation
process and the requirements to their qualifications will differ.

In the definition and in the following text the term “product” means a summary name
for products and services.

It is necessary to

realize that an innovation is deemed successful only after the
introduction of a new product or process to the market. Its goal is to modify the
economic and/or social environment, change the behavior of people as consumers or
producers. Rather than new k
nowledge the innovation forms new values or new
possibilities.

According to the degree of novelty innovations can be divided into:



Incremental innovations
: less significant ideas that are important for the
improvement of products and processes (new PC, car

series, opening of a new
market);



Radical innovations
: important ideas influencing or causing major changes in
the whole industry (introduction of transistor, stream jet engine, data transfer via
optical cables);



System innovations
: ideas, performance of
which requires various resources
and considerable effort (communication networks, pension plans).




1

OECD, Frascati Manual 1992 Proposed Standard Practice for Survey of Research and
Experimental Development, September 1992, Czech translation b
y the Ministry of Education,
Prague, 1999



1. Importance of Innovations


24

The increasing importance of innovations results from the fact that in the today’s ever
more interconnected and ever diminishing world the competition increas
es and the
products life cycle gets shorter. Therefore already at the moment when some of our
products are successful at the market we need to work on the innovations that will
replace them.

1.2

Innovation process

Innovation is a process including
three ma
in functional areas:

1.

Research and development (R&D)

that produces the ideas: basic and applied
research and development

2.

Production

that produces, transformation of inputs into outputs according to
instructions provided by the development

3.

Marketing
that se
lls them, product introduction to the market

Human resources, finances, organization, information system, control, maintenance,
service and other issues are supporting but inevitable process functions.

Successful entrepreneurs, regardless of their motivati
on


money, power, curiosity,
longing for fame and acknowledgement


try to create values. Their goals are high.
Improving or modification of existing things is often not enough for them. They want
to create new values, new needs, and form new, more effe
ctive combinations from the
existing resources. And the opportunity for something new, different is always based
on change.
Systematic innovation takes root in the focused identification of changes and
in the systemic analysis of economic or social innova
tions based on these changes.
Innovators do not view any change as a threat but as an opportunity.

It is necessary to realize that particularly small
-

and medium
-
size companies can spend
only limited resources on innovations and therefore it is important t
hat they use them in
the most effective manner and would not dissolve them in many various activities. As
Wijg
2

writes, highly successful organizations focus either on operational output or top
-
quality products or perfect knowledge of customers. Research
shows that only excellent
organizations can simultaneously focus on more than one of these value lines:



Operational output


emphasizes the convenience of price and customer
satisfaction, that are reached by means of the operational cost minimization,
elim
ination of redundant activities, decrease of transaction costs and
optimization of company processes



Top
-
quality products



emphasizes creation of a line of top
-
quality products
based on creative approach, quick commercialization of ideas and thorough
iden
tification of new ideas, even at the price of elimination of one’s own
products



Perfect knowledge of customers


emphasizes customization and
personalization in a manner satisfying the ever increasing specific and individual
customers’ requirements

Success
ful innovations have not occurred due to a coincidence or a random idea. They
represent a planned, managed
process
. Throughout the whole process it is necessary to
keep in mind that the later we discover a mistake we have made, the more expensive its
corr
ection will be. Therefore it pays out to focus on the initial stage and try to “shoot”



2

K.M Wijg: Knowledge Management: An Introduction and Perspective, The Journal of
Knowledge Management 1 (1)1997, 6
-
14


1. Importance of Innovations


25

as many mistakes as soon as possible. During the first steps of the process the creative
thinking can be used most.

Proper definition of a problem is an important step

in its solution. When solving a
problem we can make numerous kinds of mistakes that are summed up in the following
chart:


Table 1.1:
Classification of mistakes in solving a problem

Problem

Solution

Definition

Correct

Incorrect

Correct

-

A

Incorrect

B

AB


Real problems differ from the school ones: often we do not know the problems but just
their symptoms, we are stumbling in a sort of “fog”, in which we first need to find and
understand the problem. Understanding the problem does not mean understandin
g its
solution and understanding the solution is not even a purpose of this step. Often when
looking at a solution we say: “If only I would have thought about it.” Some other time
we look at the solution of non
-
existing problems saying: “I’d never buy this
.”

Innovation implementation can be considered a
project

and the project and strategic
management methods can be applied to it. When using these methods the problems
becomes formalized and structured. The relations among various aspects of the problem
beco
me more obvious, the risk analysis and financial analyses become easier. If the
models are prepared on a PC with the use of suitable software, then it is not difficult to
analyze various
models and scenarios

in the process of decision
-
making and adjust
the
m to the changing conditions in the course of the project performance.

Successful entrepreneurs do not gamble. They evaluate risks and try to minimize them.
In chapter 8 you can learn about some methods that can be used for the risk analysis and
can be us
eful in the decision
-
making. Every economic activity is naturally a risky one.
But staying away from innovations means living from the past and that is even riskier
than creating a future.

1.3

Examples of successful innovations

In this part we want to pres
ent several examples of successful innovations of both
Czech and foreign companies.

A. Linet Želevčice
3

Linet Želevčice was founded in 1990 a as a joint venture with the German company
Wissner Bossenhof, from which it took over production of simple hospita
l beds. After
ten years of development Linet introduced a new product generation to the market


hospital resuscitation bed and universal modular hospital system (consisting of a bed
and a bed
-
table). Although the Czech health
-
care sector still lacks money
, Linet reached
the turnover of about CZK 150 million at the Czech market and covers 70% of the
domestic market. It is represented in more than 45 countries around the world. Within



3

M. Matějka: Radikální inovace i pro malé a střední podniky, Moderní řízení 8/2000

Z. Synková
: Dopady a důsledky kvalitně řešeného designu


1. Importance of Innovations


26

2
-
4 years the company expects the yearly turnover to multiply five times.

Linet ranks
among medium
-
size companies


it has 220 employees. In 2000 the company won 2
awards of the Czech Design Center


National Design Award and Excellent Design
Award. Five international patents and several industrial designs apply to the new
pro
ducts.

How did the company manage to achieve such results? Its director, Ing. Frolik, says:
“From the very beginning we tried to make a high
-
tech design and high quality. We
preferred not only attractive but also functional design.”

The innovation impulse
was a result of cooperation with customers and users (doctors
and nurses who commented the designs based on their day
-
to
-
day experience), experts
from universities and research, with leading industrial designers and material and
component producers. Howeve
r the product innovation was not enough for the success.
It has proven that the information and management systems are the weak points and
therefore even process innovation was necessary placing much higher requirements on
the employees as it was necessary

to overcome old habits and old ways of thinking. So
the production changes were followed by changes in other company processes.

The company’s dynamic and successful development was possible due to the support
provided by the foreign partner.

And why was a
ll this successful? Let the company director speak again:
“We’ve learnt
to study and listen to our clients and analyze the psychology of their thinking. We
respected their wishes and requirements. We also took the customer’s position and role
into consider
ation… We’ve learnt to identify how we can subconsciously win the
customer’s trust to us, their conviction about the quality of our products.”

And let’s add


Linet’s management has learnt to win the trust and support of its
employees, without which the in
novation would have hardly succeeded.


B. Vella Náchod


Klu
-
Ski
4

The Vella Náchod company is a sport equipment producer that was facing the problem
what to produce so that it could be sold on a market controlled by large and well
-
established companies wit
h whom the small Czech producers can hardly compete in
price. Only a development of a new product or an innovation of an existing one could
be the solution. The company started with the innovation of an existing product


two
-
knife child skating shoes. Wit
h the innovation, that has proven to be successful, the
company has acquired experience with designing and has got courage to design a brand
-
new winter equipment called Klu
-
Ski, intended mainly for bigger children in the cities.
It is a big plastic sandal
that is attached with fixing stripes to normal shoes and thereby
it actually becomes a small snowboard. As this product is easy to store and use, it is
light and relatively cheap, the producer expects that it will sell well. It can be slid on icy
or trampe
d park paths or on practice slopes. It is not difficult to pack the Klu
-
Ski into a
backpack. This winter, when the product has been introduced to the market for the first
time, will show to which degree it meets the expectation.





4

(dyk): Klu
-
Ski: Why and how they were developed and what are their chances


1. Importance of Innovations


27

C. Controlling wind ener
gy
5

Wind turbine can become a valuable source of electric energy in country regions.
However regulation is a weak point of the transfer system: if the wind is strong and the
consumption is low, the voltage around the turbine can dangerously increase. John
Gillespie encountered this problem in Ireland when he wanted to build a small wind
farm. But because the local distribution company limited the output that he could supply
to the network to 1.5 MW, which is an output of approximately 2.5 turbines, this
inv
estment was not competitive. John started to search for possible solutions and came
across a lecture from a conference dealing with the possible monitoring of local
distribution network and generator disconnection when the network safety limit is
approache
d. Several companies and research institutes from several EU countries
formed a consortium that has developed a regulation system with the support from the
EU THERMIE program. The distribution company then increased the allowed output to
3 ME and the wind
farm, that started its operation in 1997 with 5 turbines, was so
successful that in the year 2000 it was extended with another 3 turbines. For the whole
time of operation the allowed limit was not exceeded. There is a great possibility that
the example of

this farm will be followed because Ireland set a goal of obtaining 12% of
electricity from wind electric power plants.


D. 3M and Post
-
it notes
6

The 3M company is known as an above
-
average innovative company, its rule being that
more than 50% of turnover
from its ca. 60,000 products is generated by products that
are not older than 3 years. 3M is not a small company but with regard to its organization
it can be considered a sort of super organism consisting of many small and relatively
independent business
units. So it can serve as an example for small
-

and medium
-
size
companies.

Self
-
adhesive notes represent one of the best
-
known products of the 3M company.
People use them all over the world and only a few people can imagine how they were
invented.

It all s
tarted in 1968 when the 3M inventor dr. Silver was trying to improve an acrylic
glue that the 3M company used for tape recorder and computer tapes. Almost traditional
innovation happened


dr. Silver discovered something totally different than he had
wante
d to. The new glue was a suspension of small balls, each of them perfectly
sticking, but because the contact between them was weak, the glue was not strong
enough. What to do about it? Hiding the “failure” was one option. Fortunately, dr.
Silver did not do

it. He started to look for application for his unusual product. At the
end he found a strong ally in Art Fry who took part in one of Silver’s seminars and he
started to be interested in the weird glue. And again a coincidence intervened here: Art
Fry rem
embered his youth in a small town in Iowa and the Sunday church services,
during which his bookmarks kept on falling out from his book of prayers. And a new
idea was born: the imperfect glue was good enough to hold the bookmark but if needed
it can be remo
ved and placed somewhere else.





5

Controlling wind energy, research results for SMEs, SME and Innovation Unit, European
Commission, DG Research

6

Art Fry and the inv
ention of Post
-
it®Notes,
http://www.3m/about3M/pioneers/fry.html
, April 17,
2001


1. Importance of Innovations


28

However there were still some sceptics inside the company who kept on pointing out
the troubles that can occur in the course of production of a new product. Art Fry
answered them:
“Really? It’s perfect like that! If it were

simple then anyone could make
it.”

Market research was the last obstacle. Who would buy a sticking bookmark when a
piece of newspaper can do the job? And so Art Fry set out in the streets with some
samples. In 1981 the notes were introduced to the market

and a year later they became
an excellent product of the company. In 1981 Art was nominated a company inventor.
And today you will hardly find an office in which various parts of the furniture would
not be covered with messages on the self
-
adhesive notes
. And the scale of products
based on the same principle is getting wider


you can see a little sample in the figure.



Fig. Products of the 3M company



E. iGo


distribution of batteries
7

The iGo company is a supplier of batteries and accessories for

notebooks, mobile
phones, video cameras and other appliances. It needed to increase its sales by means of
reaching high level of customers’ satisfaction and winning their loyalty.

It decided to introduce an online catalogue and apply e
-
commerce with a se
arch engine
that would be user
-
friendly, quick and safe.

The online catalogue allows a quick response, although there are more than 7,000 items
listed in it. The customers can easily find the product they need and order its necessary
amount.

Introduction o
f the new database product allowed handling of the increasing number of
the server visitors (monthly growth was 15%), increase the number of company clients
(B2B) and data collection from customers that enables the iGo company to perform a
targeted market
ing and flexible response in the production lines. In 1997 the company’s
turnover went up by 80% and in the following year it doubled.

The examples illustrate various sides of the innovation process. They show the
importance of

reaction to the market requi
rements, possibility of turning a failure into
success, the importance of employees for the company and importance of the company
processes management. We believe that every company can find inspiration in one of
the examples for its own innovations and we

are looking forward to news about your
successes. In the following edition of this handbook we would like to show some of you
as the examples, how things should be done.




7

http://www
-
3.ibm.com/e
-
budiness/casestudy/24772
.html
, March 9, 20001


1. Importance of Innovations


29

1.4

Summary and recommendations

It is possible to find innovations that are created
by a “flash of inspiration”. However
those innovations are unrepeatable, they can be neither taught nor learnt. Contrary to the
general notion they occur very rarely. On the other hand it is possible to learn thorough
innovation based on analysis, system a
nd hard work.

What are the basic principles of innovations? Many activities must be carried out, and
some other must be avoided.


What to do:

1.

Thorough innovation starts with analysis and study of opportunities.

2.

It is necessary to go among people, ask quest
ions, listen to them, and find out
what needs the innovation can meet.

3.

Effective innovations are surprisingly simple, so simple that everybody would
say: “That’s clear. How come I didn’t think about it?” And although innovations
create new uses and new mar
kets, it must be focused on specific needs that it
satisfies and on specific final products that it produces.

4.

Effective innovation start on a small scale. Only then there is enough time for
modifications that are almost always necessary for the innovation

to be
successful.

5.

A successful innovation always tries to win a leading position. That does not
mean that it needs to turn out to be “big business”. Strategies can be various but
it is always important to try to play the leading role in the given enviro
nment. In
other case you create opportunities for your competitors.


To avoid:

1.

Don’t try to be too “clever”. All that is too sophisticated will almost certainly go
wrong.

2.

Don’t try to do too many things at once. Focus on the core of the problem.

3.

Don’t try

to make innovations for the future but for today. An innovation can
have a long
-
term impact but there must be an immediate need for it.


Three conditions for innovations:

1.

Innovation means work, hard, concentrated and thorough work. It places major
require
ments on hard work, stamina and responsibility. If these qualities are
lacking then there is no use for the big talent, cleverness or knowledge.

2.

Successful innovations must build on their strong points. An innovation must be
in accord with the character o
f a person that introduces it. It is not possible to
make good business in an industry that we do not appreciate. The innovation
must be important to the innovator, otherwise he or she won’t be willing to make
sacrifices that patient, hard and often frus
trating work related to innovations
requires.

3.

Innovation must focus on a market, must be controlled by the market.



2. System of the Innovation Identification and Implementation

30

2.

SYSTEM OF THE INNOVA
TION IDENTIFICATION
AND

IMPLEMENTATION


The main objective of this section is to stimulate the management and other
training
participants to introduce a system into the work with innovations in the company. After
finishing it the participant should have basic idea what activities the system includes
and they should realize its importance and feel the necessity to introd
uce it.

The goal of the introduction is to realize that the company management really (if it is
identified by means of the questionnaire) realizes that it loses opportunities by being
busy with solving of urgent operational tasks.

2.1

Introduction


necess
ity of systematic work with innovations

It is understandable that first of all we solve the most urgent operational tasks in the