Innovation in business

Innovation in business

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Welcome to today's Business4U podcast. The focus of this podcast is to think about innovation and why it's important, and also to look at different types and stages of innovation. By the end of it, you will hopefully have a better grasp of the topic of innovation and be able to better understand and drive innovation in both your working and personal lives.

So, why is innovation important? Well, simply put, without innovation it would be difficult to make progress. Organisations and societies would stagnate. Innovation is what drives us forward. It's what forces us to compete in the business world. It's what leads to better products and services, and solutions to new and existing problems. From a business point of view, it's also something which is necessary for survival.

Four key types of innovation are incremental, disruptive, architectural and radical.

Incremental innovation involves innovating in increments, or small stages. Step by step. It focuses on existing markets and technologies and aims to make improvements and design changes to existing products and services.

Disruptive innovation aims to bring new ideas, like technology or processes, to existing markets. In that sense, the innovations will disrupt the market and the companies currently serving that market. The first touchscreen smartphones disrupted the mobile phone industry because up to then, mobile phones had buttons and keypads.

Architectural innovation involves taking successful ideas from one market or industry and applying them to a new or different market. This often happens when people think of other unconventional uses of existing technology. A good example of this can be seen in vacuum company Dyson's entry into the hand dryer and hairdryer market. Their advanced airflow technology from their vacuum cleaners was applied in reverse to machines that blow out air. In the case of these examples, it's personal hairdryers and hand dryers in public toilets.

And finally, we come to radical innovation. This is where a completely new idea is created for a market that doesn't exist yet. It's often what we think of when we think of innovation and it often swallows up existing markets. For example, the birth and growth of digital and downloadable music has practically led to the death of music CDs, and even DVDs. Similarly, film and TV streaming services may lead to the demise of traditional TV within a few short years.

Moving on from types of innovation, let's have a quick look at five key stages of innovation.

The first stage is Idea generation. This is where you think of the initial idea and develop it into a more detailed proposal or plan.

The next stage is Support. You need to check if you can get support for it, for example from senior leaders or stakeholders in your company. If you're innovating in your personal life, then the support you might need could be from friends or family. Do they think it's a good idea and do they think it would work?

The third step is to Experiment and test out the idea. This could mean creating a sample or a prototype of it, if it's a product. Or if it's a service, you could test out a basic version of it.

The fourth step is Evaluation. You need to assess how successful your experiments were and what chances of larger success your idea will have.

And finally, you then need to actually Implement your idea. That's the fifth stage.

So, there you have it. We've looked at four key types of innovation: incremental, disruptive, architectural and radical, and also five stages of successful innovation: firstly, idea generation. Then, get support. Next, experiment and test out the idea. The fourth stage is evaluation and finally implementation.


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Submitted by Ramiro Solana on Tue, 03/10/2023 - 23:35


Incremental innovation is the most common and can be found as improvements to car engines so that they have more power and less fuel consumption. Disruptive innovation is less common and a good example in the automotive industry is automated transmission. Continuing with the same industry, driverless cars are a good example of architectural innovation taken from airplanes. Finally, everyone must agree that the automobile was one of the most radical innovations of all time.

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Submitted by vanenglish on Tue, 04/04/2023 - 20:36


Hello, my examples:

Incremental: For example the lenses for glasses. Nowadays we have many types of lenses to care our eyes, but in the past we only got thick glasses. This innovation happened in small stages until there are plenty of models of glasses, so currently glasses are not a problem to people with vision diseases.

Disruptive: it was hard to think an example of this type but I think an example could be the wristwatch. Before people only used a watch with a chain and put it in a pocket. But when the creator introduced the strap in the watch it makes a disruption in the watch market because people preferred the wirstwatch for its practicality.

Architectural: I think that maybe it occurred with the television when someone brought the technology of smartphones to the television, and this has become a smart television or smart TV.

Radical: To me a example is the computer, before this technology, people used typewriter to make their documents, letters, etc. But with the introducction of computers, typewriter (and jobs based on this technology) desappeared. Currently, typewriter are scarce and some people have it like a vintage thing.

Submitted by Ehsan on Wed, 26/10/2022 - 06:16


yes, for incremental type of innovation we can point to companies who increase the variety of their products. for disruptive, we can refer to LCD or LED TVs that replaced wide TVs. for radical innovation we can say many samples like email. for architectural innovation we can point to static bicycles that we use in gym and our home.

Submitted by jmajo on Fri, 24/06/2022 - 15:19


Yes I can, another examples of innovation are:
+Incremental innovation: the improvements applied to the traditional
TV’s because at the first stages of development it was a big square box that produced only white and black images and within a few years has had little improvements leading to the complex flat TV’s that we use nowadays.
+Disruptive innovation: the creation of wireless hand electrical tools compared with the hand corded tools it’s a good example because they’re much more practical to use and allows workers to work
with them in situations where it would be very difficult to work with traditional electrical tools(corded tools).
+Architectural innovation: using the WD-40 product as a general lubricant for tools and vehicles all over the world, because although originally it was the 40th attempt to improve the formula for a product that would protect the skin of a missile model, nowadays it’s widely used all over the world
as a general lubricant and water displacement in general mechanics.
+Radical innovation: a good example could be the actual use of electronic sensors and automated farming equipment because it allows farmers and countryside workers to use big data to take important decisions on it’s fields and production results and it’s gradually substituting the machine
operators and drivers with automated mechanisms controlled remotely.

Thanks for the episode.
Great site!

Submitted by yokh on Sun, 24/04/2022 - 12:51


The last one is the disruptive innovation which is a new product that disrupts the existing market with the help of new technologies. As a result of the disruption of the digital camera, Kodak's film camera has died.

Submitted by yokh on Sun, 24/04/2022 - 12:44


Gillette, for instance, has involved both innovations. It first launched its radical innovation as a disposable blade that can be replaced by a razor and then it sustains its profitable business by introducing various versions of razor blade.
Next, it's the architectural innovation which is a redesigned method to move products or services into a new market based on existing knowledge of core technology . Canon is a good example that involve this innovation . This one has redesigned huge photocopiers into desktop photocopiers that still contain existing compact of functions .

Submitted by yokh on Sun, 24/04/2022 - 12:33


I will outline the main types of innovation and I will give some examples of that. Firstly, incremental innovation, which could be perceived as continuous innovation, builds on existing knowledge of technology to improve the existing products in targeted existing markets. The opposite concept is the radical innovation that either applied new technology or combined new with existing. This one targets new markets to build new products .

Submitted by Momego on Tue, 05/04/2022 - 15:59


The crose is very good for learning

Submitted by Mariana133 on Tue, 22/03/2022 - 19:13


In my eyes, the invention of Wikipedia has displaced traditional encyclopedias and is an example of disruptive innovation.
Architectural innovation - occurence of smaller devices, for instance desktop copiers manufactured by Canon (Xerox failed to manufacture them indeed)
Incremental innovation - small gradual changes of a product. Apple was a disruptive innovation at the very start, but now it is an incremental innovation as it constantly improves the quality of its services.
Radical innovations are washing machines.

Submitted by TugceYucel90 on Sun, 06/02/2022 - 18:19


There are many innovations in the world especially for outomobile sectors. One of them is electric car. Because of decreasing nature sources such as fossil,petrol,natural gases, technological innovations have to tend to this area. So, this enterprising is very successful and I want to congrulate all stakeholders related with this area.