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The Importance of Innovation

By : Judith|25 Nov 2019
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Innovation means using new technology and using new ways of thinking to add value to an existing idea or product and to make substantial changes in society.

“The best way to foresee the future is to create it”, which is the best explanation of the importance of innovation. In this article, we will track back to innovation itself, in order to answer why we need innovation and its importance. At a macro level, we will examine what innovation brings to our society. And at a micro level, what does it bring to organizations.

 

Macro: What does innovation bring to society?

Over the past decades, innovation has become the most fundamental way to combat critical risks and threats. It has also brought significant changes and improvements to the society we live in, and is important to the advancement of society as it solves problems and enhances society's capacity to act.

 

Scientific and technological innovation is the source of the development of the society as a whole. History has shown that scientific and technological innovations are the engines of modernization and one of the most important factors for the progress and development of society. The leap from agricultural society to industrial society and information society is largely driven by the development of science and technology.

Scientific and technological progress brought by innovation has also greatly improved the level of modern medicines, extended people’s life span, improved environmental sustainability, and enhanced environmental sustainability. It is also a major source of economic growth and transformation in our societies. 

 

Economic innovation is the force driving the improvement of socio-economic development. Advanced technology and increased productivity has brought major changes to one’s career today as well. In a PwC report on the future of global economy, it predicts that it will double in size by 2050 because of economic innovation and improvements. In terms of jobs, a report by the World Economic Forum predicts that nearly 133 million new jobs may be created by 2022 while 75 million jobs are displaced by AI, automation and robotics.

While manual, low-skilled jobs will be affected, new skill sets are required and it will eventually improve the living standard of people, and boost the economy fundamentally. 

 

Cultural innovation is the basis for the development of social practices. Culture originates from social practice, at the same time, it guides and restricts the development of social practice. In recent years, archaeologists and anthropologists reconsidered the role of innovation in particular, and have moved toward characterizing innovation in cultural systems not only as a product but also as an evolutionary process. Innovation as a pre-programmed change that occurred when a cultural group "needed" to overcome environmental problems. That is to say, cultural innovation is the substance of cultural development and the inevitable requirement of social practice, and especially is a necessary evolutionary process. The constantly renewed culture enriches the spiritual world and fundamentally improves the sense of happiness in life.

 

To sum up, the outcome of innovation on society is as follows:

- Development in technology and its accessibility

- Improved environmental sustainability

- Increased economic growth

- Improved well-being(living standard and life span)

 

Micro: What does innovation bring to an organization?

 

Any organization, like organisms, must constantly adjust and change with the changes of external environment and internal conditions in order to grow and develop smoothly and avoid aging and death. Innovation is the key factor to determine the direction, scale, and speed of the organization's development. From the whole organization management to the specific business operation, enterprise innovation runs through every department and in every detail. We will examine the outcome of innovation to an organization in the next part of this article. 

 

Innovation can bring about changes in organizational competitiveness and competitive elements. Innovation constantly optimizes the way that organization operates and enriches the knowledge and skills of employees, which are the most important resources to maintain competitiveness. In addition, with the development and growth of the organization, the competition of the organization will gradually change from the competition of traditional elements to the competition of operational capacity, which is one of the great impacts of innovation. 

 

Innovation is the first factor to promote the development of productivity. Innovation is permeable and it integrated into productive forces in an all-round way. Firstly, innovation continuously improves the quality of workers. From the era of agriculture and industry to the era of information, the overall quality and ability of workers have been continuously improved, which is the result of social progress and innovation. Secondly, innovation keeps updating production tools and technologies. For example, the pilot demonstration project of China Intelligent Manufacturing shows that after Intelligent reformation, the production efficiency can be up to two times, and the operation cost can be reduced by more than 20% on average, up to 60%. The continuous innovation of production tools also directly promotes the knowledge and information upgrade of industrial workers. Thirdly, innovation has created many new forms and products. New products can effectively improve productivity by reducing means of production, improving labor efficiency, reducing labor volume and labor time.

 

Last but not least, organizational innovation climate affects corporate culture. When the organization's competitive hard cost tends to be the same, the key factor becomes the soft cost, that is, the enterprise culture cost - employee's emotion, investment, dedication, loyalty and so on. 

In a study on this subject, by using the method of questionnaire survey, the relationship among organizational innovation climate, innovation self-efficacy and employees' innovation behavior was analyzed through a survey of 478 employees. The research contents efficacy and empirical results include: firstly, empirical test of the impact of organizational innovation climate on employee innovation behavior; secondly, empirical test of the impact of innovative self-efficacy on employee innovation behavior based on social cognitive theory. Therefore, rich corporate culture and sustainable development of enterprises are offering mutual benefit and achieve common progress.

 

To sum up, the outcome of innovation in an organization is as follows:

- Increased competitive advantage

- Higher ROI (Return on Investment)

- Increased productivity

- Positive organizational culture

 

Innovation is a way of thinking, a system, a method, a process, which requires systematic management and proper decision-making to work. There is no doubt that for the entire society and organizations, the most important driving force for the new round of growth is innovation.

 

 

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