Today organizations seek
to develop competitive advantage that could be sustained over the
long run. Innovative products have been of immense value to organizations
in this context. The role played by innovation in generating ideas
for innovative products is evident. Therefore it becomes imperative
that an organization establishes processes that lead to or support
Current research proposes a methodology that uses a collaborative
network of expertise from within and outside the organization for
innovative product idea generation. The network would help in assimilating
diverse knowledge and rich experience scattered across the enterprise
and outside, thus giving valuable inputs right at the ideation phase
of new product design.
Proposed methodology draws heavily from the Industrial Design methodology
of ideation, based on the concept of visual thinking which could
be extended it to the collaborative network for creative idea generation.
In addition, methodology suggests that sketching or computer aided
representation of ideas are more effective for visualization and
incite creative triggers in a collaborative network. It also would
result in an effective interaction due to the tangible nature of
the represented idea and also at the same time help in generating
a lot of doubts and discussions on the same. Hence knowledge and
information sharing is more effective and collaborative teaming
gains impetus for innovative product idea generation.
The research methodology followed is to have a stepwise development
in the collaborative model for innovation. Exploratory study based
on literature review and industry experience culminated into a base
model for innovation. Next step is the inductive research study
where mock and real case studies were conducted and the learning
from these are used in generating an emerging model for innovation.
The final step is the deductive study where in the inferences from
the empirical findings resulted in the final proposed collaborative
model for innovation. This type of evolution of the model lends
itself to effective implementation in the industry.
The proposed model for innovation consists of two intervened processes
The new product, concept management process and the collaborative
teaming process. The concept management is divided into four steps
for having better and precise control on the stages and earmarking
the responsibility and the level of interaction of the participants
from both within and outside the organization. This also helps in
filtering the quality and type of interaction at each stage. The
(i) Concept creation and generation,
(ii) Concept focus and evaluation,
(iii) Concept detailing and
(iv) Concept refinement and finalization, creating
a multistage concept development process.
This helps in enthusing innovation and flexibility in the system
so that innovative ideas with potential can be nurtured and taken
ahead in the process.
The collaborative teaming is made of three teams
(i) core team,(ii) enterprise wide network team and (iii) external
The core team's main responsibilities include innovative idea generation,
creativity, visual representation and coordination of the collaborative
model for innovation. The enterprise wide team consists of people,
who are experts in their functional areas with in the enterprise.
They would provide valuable insights from the perspective of their
functions. External networked team would consist of people with
varied expertise who are out side the enterprise. They would bring
in broader perspective, new knowledge and wide experience to the
collaborative model. This team would play a critical role in triggering
and evaluating creative ideas
Globalization is making the importance of this collaborative effort
more evident as consumers in different markets represent a different
set of needs and a successful product idea must cater to this aspect
while in the ideation stage of product development cycle so that
the risk of failure is minimized before committing more resources
into the product development process. The study proposes that with
the help of this collaborative model for innovative product idea
generation organizations can develop new product ideas for coming
up with innovative products which are successful in delighting the
consumer and effective in winning bigger market share for the enterprise.
by B. K. CHAKRAVARTHY