THE IMPORTANCE OF INNOVATION AND INNOVATIVE THINKING IN INDUSTRY (AND HOW TO ACHIEVE IT) Ed Ashford Corporate Development PRESENTATION OUTLINE WHAT IS INNOVATION? WHAT IS INNOVATIVE THINKING? WHY DO WE NEED INNOVATION? WHAT IS THE “RIGHT” INNOVATIVE PRODUCT? WHAT IS THE “WRONG” PRODUCT? HOW DO WE PROMOTE INNOVATIVE THINKING? INNOVATION SHOULD IMPROVE COMPETIVENESS, BUT... INNOVATIVE INVENTIONS? CONCLUSION WHAT IS INNOVATION? Dictionaries and textbooks cannot seem to agree! A new idea, method, or device The creation (verb) of something in the mind A creation (noun) - - a new device or process - - resulting from study and experimentation The introduction of something new A creative new idea, method, device, or approach that gives a company an advantage over its competitors Conclusion? Innovation should have a composite definition: a process whereby a new idea is conceived and detailed in the mind, developed into a physical entity through detailed design, analysis, experimentation, and production, and then introduced to give a company a competitive edge. In simplest terms, however, innovation is simple change for the better. WHAT IS INNOVATIVE THINKING? A means of generating innovation to achieve two objectives that are implicit in any good business strategy: make best use of and/or improve what we have today determine what we will need tomorrow and how we can best achieve it, to avoid the "Dinasaur syndrome« Innovative thinking has, as a prime goal, the object of improving competitiveness through a perceived positive differentiation from others in: Design/Performance Quality Price Uniqueness/Novelty WHY DO WE NEED INNOVATION? Almost all products follow a “life-cycle curve” having a characteristic shape: Conclusion? - - If a company does not continue to introduce new products periodically, or at least significant improvements on existing products it will eventually be on a “going out of business” curve. Continuing to come up with the “right” product for the market takes a lot of innovation (plus a lot of “perspiration!”). WHAT IS THE “RIGHT” INNOVATIVE PRODUCT? The right product is one that becomes available at the right time (i.e., when the market needs it), and is better and/or less expensive that its competition. To have the right product, therefore, one must: Predict a market need Envisage a product whose performance and capability will meet that need Develop the product to the appropriate time scale and produce it. Sell the product at the right price WHAT IS THE “WRONG” PRODUCT? There are, unfortunately, many examples of potentially innovative space products being developed at the wrong time, at the wrong price point, or due to poor market predictions: TV-SAT and TDF-SAT: Performance wrong (few high power transponders when many medium/low power were needed) OLYMPUS: Too soon (large busses only started to become needed some years later) IRIDIUM and GLOBALSTAR: Wrong market and/or too late (development of GSM took away most of the market) AIRPHONE: Too expensive CONCLUSION? Introduce only Productive Innovation SPACE RELATED PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT - THE RIGHT SET OF SKILLS To predict a market need, an organisation needs market analysts To envisage the right products for that an organisation needs strategic thinkers and highly competent systems engineers To develop and produce the product, one needs highly competent R&D specialists and software/hardware engineers To sell the product at the right price, an organisation needs a highly competent and motivated sales and marketing team. WHAT HAS SES DONE WITH THESE SKILLS? The creation of SES itself was highly innovative! (conventional wisdom at the time dictated high power transponders SES pioneered (and still hold the record for) operating multiple satellites at a single orbital location SES pioneered the introduction of digital broadcasting to an open standard SES introduced the first delivery in Europe of Internet via satellite (AstraNet) SES introduced the first use of commercial Ka-band in Europe (ASTRA1H/1K) SES introduced the first use of two-way access via satellite (BBI). ........ HOW DO WE PROMOTE INNOVATIVE THINKING? (1/2) Overcome the entrenched objections to innovation: Fear of Innovation because, as it is based on creativity, it has a « chaotic » connotation attached. Waste of resources, dead-ends etc… Why leave our comfortable position? We have always done it that way. ...... Establish an environment that encourages it Identified direction and (stretched) objectives Knowledge of the needs of the customers Broad knowledge of of the means to achieve change Adequate budget availability Incentives for people to take the risk Management acceptance of failure Empowerment of people to take part in the process Cross fertilization within the organization Establish an innovation promotion process including risk analysis/reduction and IPR protection procedures. HOW DO WE PROMOTE INNOVATIVE THINKING? (2/2) Knowledge of the means to achieve change: Encourage exposure to a wide variety of ideas from many sources. Participate to conferences, workshops (like this one!), and the ESA and EU programmes, for example, to become exposed to and to participate to as large a number of disparate activities showing strategic potential as is practical. Establish a process to foster innovation throughout the company Plan focused innovation for the short, medium, and long Term Facilitate the introduction of new innovations Provide the means to review all new innovations • Is it feasible • Does it have a favourable business case? Reward useful innovations Implement risk analysis/reduction procedures risk identification / measurement according to defined metrics alternate approaches to minimise risk Contingency planning Establish the means to evaluate and protect IPR. Copyright and Patent protection Prior art INNOVATION SHOULD IMPROVE COMPETIVENESS To be competitive, an innovative idea should result in a positive perceived differentiation to improve competitiveness. As a few examples will show, however, not all innovation achieves this: SELLABLE INVENTIONS? (1/4) SELLABLE INVENTIONS? (2/4) SELLABLE INVENTIONS? (3/4) SELLABLE INVENTIONS? (4/4) SELLABLE INVENTIONS? (5/4) OTHER POSSIBILITIES??? Battery Powered Battery Charger? Braille TV Guide? Fireproof Matches? Solar Powered Flashlight? Sugar coated Insulin btablet? ..... CONCLUSION Innovation can be productive or wasteful. The secret to success is being able to spot the difference in advance and encourage the former. This should be your goal!!