Innovation of Business

and the
Business of Innovation™
 
Innovation and Entrepreneurship

A Vision of the Future

Innovation is a powerful concept, hyped by many, yet all too often misunderstood, misapplied, and underutilized.

Back in 1985, Peter Drucker defined entrepreneurship as, "The practice of systematic, managed, and purposeful innovation." Let’s interpret him to mean that entrepreneurship is purposeful innovation of businesses, and business is purposeful innovation of products and processes. That is, Drucker identified the two key sides of any business.

Innovation of business and the business of innovation

To envision the full scope of innovation, let’s grow our perspective step by step.

 

A product is any way to satisfy needs of targeted customers and other stakeholders. On the commercial side, we commonly recognize products, services, technologies, processes, expertise, business models, strategies, facilities, and investment opportunities. Now expand that for government (e.g., maintained infrastructure), education (knowledgeable graduates), military (security against threats), and the arts (symphonies, paintings, sonnets).

The business of innovation delivers new results that permeate our lives.

Expanding your view, you’ll see that a business itself is a product… perhaps of corporate strategy, perhaps of entrepreneurial spirit.

Entrepreneurship is the innovation of new, free-standing businesses.

Intrapreneurship is innovation of new businesses within existing organizations. Remember to recognize businesses in industry, government, education, the military, the arts, and even religion.

Innovation of business changes our world… every day in many ways. Now expand your view again. Innovative businesses may offer products so new that no current market exists. Effective launch of the product quite literally creates its own market.

Innovation delivers opportunities beyond our normal expectations.

The next step up is an industry. The computer industry was an innovation half a century ago. Biotech is happening today. Commercial spaceflight is coming. With persistence of large numbers of innovators, we consistently innovate whole industries. You’ll probably be part of the innovation of a new industry. After all, we live in the global transition from industrial age to information age.

Innovation creates and renews much of the context of our lives.

Let’s go another step… to civilization. What we have today is the sum of innovating and re-innovating social constructs and social contracts over the last 10,000 years or so. Our job today might be to innovate new paradigms leading to preservation of ecosystems and peace among Humans everywhere.

Innovation used for peace and sustainability
may be the single most valuable asset Humanity will ever own.

 

 


 

28. Innovation is a weed. (Bob Metcalfe)

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