Innovation in a Team Environment Essay Example

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Innovation in a Team Environment

Definition of Innovation

Innovation is the process of implementing fresh ideas to creative value for a business organization. Innovation may mean creation of new services, process, systems or enhancing already existing ones. Innovation can also be discontinuation of various inefficient or out dated services, processes or systems. There are different types of innovation in business. They encompass, incremental innovation, this is improving the already existing products, processes and services. This innovation can be anything from tightening the current workflow by improving process to improvising websites to improve self-service, hence limiting the number of customers who come to the organization through more time-consuming and costly channels (Tether and University of Manchester, 2003).

The other type of business innovation is radical innovation. This is the creation of a new product or process in response to the needs of the market or market opportunity. Radical innovations are implemented into the business organization due to careful research and development into various issues and problems that frequently hinder effective operations of the organization. Such innovations are often referred to as breakthrough innovations which can significantly influence the operations of the business organization and may results in new products and services that can affect the entire market, thus giving the business organization a competitive advantage over their competitors (Keeley, 2013).

Benefits of innovation to a business

Benefits of innovation to a business are significant. Innovation can lead to reduced cost and improved productivity within the organization. Process innovation aims at reducing costs. This can be obtained by improving organization’s production capacity and flexibility. For instance, the organization can improve their way of communicating to their customers by opening a website or face book site where they can reach thousands of customers with a single message, hence reducing cost (Vrontis and Thrassou, 2013).

Again, innovation leads to products of better quality. Products and services of better quality meet the needs of customers more adequately. If they are marketed effectively, the products may lead to high sales and in turn high profits. For instance, through radical innovation, the organization can come up with a new product that can out do other products from their competitors, thus winning the trust of many customers. This enables them to have a large customer base and make more sales retaining more profits (Mckeown, 2014).

In addition, innovation enables the organization to handle environmental and legal issues more effectively. For instance, through innovation, the organization is able to reduce its carbon emissions, comply with ever changing product laws and produce less waste. Changes in legislations force the business organization to innovate (Vrontis and Thrassou, 2013).

Types of barriers to innovation can occur within a team

There are several barriers to innovation that can occur within a team. The first barrier is fear of risks. It is a nature of humans to fear venturing into something they are not aware of. Even though most managers claim that innovations are vital for the operations of their companies, when the time comes for them to embrace the new idea, they hold back. The managers are not willing to take risk since the new innovation may lead to the downfall of the organization. The other barrier is short term focus. Most business organization focus on the current market sales, they feel there is much more to do which is due tomorrow. They do not have time for long term innovation that may take root in a year or two years to come. Thus, they feel innovative process are time consuming and fail to embrace innovative ideas within the team (Mckeown, 2014).

Characteristics of teams that are more likely to be innovative

Various business and team of workers always exhibit various characteristics that reflect their propensity to innovate. Ii business organizations where the employees are given opportunity to initiate new projects tend to be very innovative, just as the organization that offers job security to their workers. Reduced interference from the managers also promotes creativity. Innovative managers should have control and freedom to get job done with negligible supervision, they should provide adequate resources that can help in realizing ideas and create a climate that is conducive for trying new things. Through this, the manager can be more innovative in the organization and allow the employees to come up with new ideas for the business organization (Mckeown, 2014).

Consequently, workers personality in the organization should advance and promote innovation. They should be risk takers, undertakers and caretakers. All these attributes can positively lead to organization innovative processes. Innovation can be obtained if all the workers are able to take risks and try new things within the organization (Tether and University of Manchester, 2003).

De Bono’s «six thinking hats.»

Bono (2008) claims that, Six thinking hat enables the organization to separate thinking into six different roles and functions. it helps people to be more productive and efficient in their thinking processes. Every category is identified with its colour.

White hat-calls for information needed or known

Red hat- signifies hunches, feelings and intuition

Black hat- signifies judgment. Shows why something may not work, dangers and difficulties and where things may not go right

Yellow hat- signifies optimism and brightness

Green hat- focuses on possibilities, creativity new ideas and alternatives

Blue hat- manages the thinking process

«Lateral thinking.»

According to Bono (2010), lateral thinking is the act of finding solutions to problems through creative and indirect approach using logic which is not obvious and encompassing ideas which cannot be obtained by use of step by step reasoning.

Internal factors that contribute to a team becoming and remaining innovative?

Through creation of opportunities to maximize innovation, the team can remain innovative. Evaluation and reflecting on the wants and needs of the team, acknowledging, respecting and discussing views of every team member can compel them to be innovative. In addition, reflecting on how the team members are working can help improve innovation. The manager should identify, celebrate and promote successful innovations within the team. Consequently, the manager should take ideas from the team and build them into future activities. Through these, the team can be compelled to remain innovative at all times (Tether and University of Manchester, 2003).

External factors that contribute to a team becoming and remaining innovative

Team’s innovative nature can be contributed by the needs and expectations of the customers. For any business organization to thrive, the organization should meet the needs and expectations of their customers. Thus, the teams have to be innovative to provide effectively for the customers and try to be innovative in all their operations. Another external factor is competition. Business organizations compete with one another in the market place, for the company to gain competitive advantage, the organization should be innovative in their production, through this, and they are able to compete effectively with other companies (Anthony, 2012).


..The little black book of innovation: How it works, how to do itAnthony, S. D. (2012).

. London: PenguinSix thinking hatsDe, B. E. (2008).

. London: Penguin Books.Lateral thinking: A textbook of creativityDe, B. E. (2010).

. Hoboken, N.J: Wiley.Ten types of innovation: The discipline of building breakthroughsKeeley, L. (2013).

The innovation book: How to manage ideas and execution for outstanding resultsMckeown, M. (2014).

. Manchester: Centre for Research on Innovation and Competition, University of ManchesterWhat is innovation?: Approaches to distinguishing new products and processes from existing products and processesTether, B., & University of Manchester. (2003).

. Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.Innovative Business Practices: Prevailing a Turbulent EraVrontis, D., & Thrassou, A. (2013).

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