India is a large country with more than 1.3 billion people. Healthcare that balances access, affordability and quality care is always a challenge in a highly populated country. Innovative organizations and institutions have come together to create an ecosystem that brings balance between access, affordability and quality care, thus enabling disruption in healthcare.
Innovation is “transformation of an idea into reality”. It can be described as a change that adds value to the products or services that a firm provides to its consumer community, and fulfills their needs better than other alternatives. Innovation covers all the enablers - the process, the culture, and the ecosystem linkage - that helps in the generation of new ideas and their translation into products and services.
Innovation is about:
- An audacious, inspiring end goal/vision
- Overcoming challenges to achieve the audacious goal/vision
- Respecting external partners and their capabilities in achieving the objective, together
- Delivering superior experiences
The essentials for innovation
Innovation is important in differentiating, and positioning, a firm for sustained success in an increasingly VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous) world.
Innovation requires companies to understand that it is important to have a wide spectrum of success/failure acceptance and associated culture in place. It is essential to acknowledge that things will fail at times, and firms must learn to ‘fail fast’ and quickly apply the lessons learned from those failures. The failures must not lead to “witch hunts”.
Organizations can sustain and accelerate innovation impact by insisting on information transparency. Information transparency can 2 The essentials for innovation be brought about by reporting on both successful and failed instances of innovation. There is a fair possibility that the failures in one part of the company are successful in another part of the company; thus information transparency may boost Innovative practices across the organization.
An essential skill for an organization is to link inventions with the core business. An organization can achieve such links via innovation. For instance, building a cross-platform, portable script execution solution is an invention. But, coupling the above solution with another mobile app, which offers a quality assurance solution to address the needs of universal communication vendors, is an innovation.
In other example, the invention - a supply chain management platform - is enhanced to accommodate the requirements of an agricultural equipment manufacturer. Thus, innovation improves the business applicability of an invention.
Inventions may have the potential to be successful innovations. However, for an organization to drive successful innovation practice, inventions are not necessary, as innovation can be brought in to apply to practices, delivery, processes, etc.
Inventions require niche skills which are specific (‘vertical’ skills - such as new technology) while Innovations require broader ‘horizontal/ lateral’ skills. Horizontal/lateral skills could be sociology, finance, marketing, business strategy - among others.
It is standard practice that innovation is limited to the R&D of an organization; however, an organization must spread its base not just across the organization but also across academic and vendor partners. The R&D organization needs to connect with the ecosystem to be relevant in the innovation ecosystem. Regular feedback from sales, delivery, potential user or customer, is essential to stay relevant (See Figure 1).