Position Paper, "By Definition, Proven Innovations Come from the Outside."

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Matthew Myers

November 15, 2011

BUSN 500

Position Paper 2

Statement: “By definition, proven innovations come from the outside.”

I agree with the statement “By definition, proven innovations come from the outside”. Companies looking for innovative ideas often limit their searches to familiar fields they have always explored. This type of search can help with incremental progress, but it seldom leads to the kinds of breakthroughs or inspirations that generate new markets and dramatic growth. When a new concept is discovered, it can change a company’s fortunes forever. The new innovations are typically at the edge of a company’s radar screen, and sometimes a bit beyond such as trends in peripheral industries, needs in foreign markets, and activities that are not part of the company’s core business.

Innovation is the conversion of some novel idea into something meaningful and practical. Businesses that face no competitive pressures need not innovate. Due to the free enterprise system being a primary motivator of innovation, most industries remain highly competitive. Innovation creates valuable alternatives that people are motivated to obtain. Innovation sets off a chain reaction of exchanges, each leaving a more valuable exchange dyad in its wake, creating an increased standard of living.1 During economic booms, corporations embark on innovation binges but when the economy cools the same organizations quickly abandon many of these efforts. No organization should ignore market changes, but when companies slash innovation budgets, weak and strong projects get abandoned. Promising initiatives wither just before they might have borne fruit. With uncertain and distant payoffs, innovation always entails risk. Companies must shield their innovation efforts from both the axe of short-term cost reduction and the faddishness born of easy money.2

To protect innovation efforts, an organization can institute open-market...