The Importance of Innovation in Manufacturing

Innovation in Manufacturing
Innovation in Manufacturing
Innovation in Manufacturing

The Importance of Innovation in Manufacturing

What companies come to mind when you think of innovation? Samsung? Apple? Google? Their success is not by accident. They all have innovation strategies in place. Following their examples could take your innovation in manufacturing from idea to reality.

What it takes to launch an innovation.

Companies that successfully launch innovations in manufacturing – from concept to customer – share common characteristics. They have an innovation strategy and a culture that nurtures and encourages innovations from all ranks – not just the executive team.

In the June 2015 issue of Harvard Business Review, Gary P. Pisano wrote about the importance of having a plan. “Without an innovation strategy, different parts of an organization can easily wind up pursuing conflicting priorities – even if there’s a clear business strategy.”

Companies that get innovation right.

Innovative companies such as Samsung, Apple, and Google are getting it right. They structure their organizations to meet the challenge of taking innovations from idea to implementation.

Samsung’s innovation model:

In Forbes, innovation expert Haydn Shaughnessy explains the five elements of Samsung’s innovation model:

  1. Developing a creative elite within the company based on innovation training
  2. Pursuing and circumventing patents of competitors
  3. Consistent, replicable companywide innovation methodology
  4. Relying on external expertise for fundamental breakthrough science
  5. A conglomerate approach

Samsung created the Samsung Strategy and Innovation Center (SSIC) within its Device Solutions division. This center focuses on identifying and nurturing new technologies in health and wellness, cloud infrastructure, mobile privacy, Internet of Things, and other related areas.

Google’s recipe for innovation success:

Google reinvented management in order to continuously innovate in fast-changing industries. Its management model is based on six principles:

  1. Dynamic capabilities
  2. A continuously changing organization
  3. A people-centric approach
  4. An ambidextrous organization
  5. An open organization that networks with its surroundings
  6. A systems approach

In her book, The Google Model Managing Continuous Innovation in a Rapidly Changing World, Annika Steiber writes, “Google has challenged conventional management thinking and may well be the present day counterpart to GM in the 1920s and Toyota in the 1980s with regard to management innovation.”

Google’s nine rules for innovation:

  1. Innovation comes from anywhere
  2. Focus on the user
  3. Aim to be 10 times better
  4. Bet on technical insights
  5. Ship and iterate
  6. Give employees 20 percent time
  7. Default to open processes
  8. Fail well
  9. Have a mission that matters

How does your company support innovation in today’s highly competitive global marketplace? How can the advice provided above be applied to manufacturing? Share your thoughts on innovation in manufacturing with us below.