Head of Talent Transformation & Innovation, IDA Ireland
Organisations can innovate in all areas of the value chain to identify new or better ways of doing something. This process of idea generation to create new or added value is called innovation.
An innovative approach is normally used to address a specific goal, need, challenge or opportunity. To innovate, companies need a process to generate new ideas, evaluate these ideas and select the best ones to progress.
Why and how businesses innovate
If a process of managing ideas is not in place, then how will the best ideas be implemented? Fundamentally, innovation is crucial to company transformation. Organisations can build innovation capability and talent which, in turn, can and does lead to new and added value such as increased customer engagement channels, expanded brand awareness or increased digitised and streamlined processes.
Innovation versus research and development
Most companies grapple with innovation and often confuse it with research and development. The difference is that the latter is a technical activity focused on the development of an organisation’s offer, whereas innovation spans the whole of an organisation — creating new ideas in all parts of the business.
Innovative companies can manage uncertainty and find new and better ways to solve problems and address business downturns. This agility to respond to change and uncertainty builds resilience across an organisation — enabling it to maintain and grow sustainable operations.
Innovative companies can manage uncertainty and find new and better ways to solve problems and address business downturns.
How to manage innovation
Innovation needs to be stimulated and encouraged by organisations. The best way to achieve this is by managing clever ideas and solutions as they occur and by creating an innovative mindset and culture within the organisation. IDA Ireland, the State’s agency for attracting foreign direct investment to Ireland, provides support to encourage greater engagement and focus on innovation as a key building block to transformation.
Based on the Innovation Management Guide Standards developed by the European Standard Development Body, the ‘Innovation Scorecard Diagnostic’ was developed to encourage companies to assess their current innovation maturity level and identify the target level they want to achieve. From this, support is provided to companies to develop innovation skills like creativity, problem-solving, idea generation and communication.
Collaborating to innovate
The DTPP – Disruptive Technologies Partner Portal is a collaborative space where companies based in Ireland can promote, source or partner for disruptive, digital and sustainable technology solutions. This portal originated from a partnership between Enterprise Ireland and IDA Ireland. This is a unique way for companies to come together, share issues and source solutions in a collaborative and innovative way.