Continuous innovation is a critical aspect in establishing the future of innovation management.

Companies’ approaches to the creation and development of innovation have seen major modifications in recent years.

Exchanging data and expertise with entities outside the organization, combining technologies for greater engineering quality, and promoting automation require companies not only to modify their processes and systems, but to also redefine their skills, competence, and capabilities.

With these changes, we see how the customers’ needs and preferences evolve. So, innovation management must follow.

That’s why in this article, we will explore ten trends that will take the lead in managing innovation this 2022.

What trends will we likely see this year in innovation management?

Here are some of the themes in innovation management that will likely take over this year:

1. Focus on digitization technology

Changes brought by the digital age compels businesses to reconsider their core structures and operations.

Digitalization has permeated every facet of people’s lives, bringing with it significant implications for corporate development and sustainability.

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However, one key problem of digitization technology is that it is not limited to a single industry or even a certain corporate unit.

Instead, it influences cross-divisional tasks that bring specific challenges and consequences to the business, like:

  • Managing digitalization within the confines of traditional innovation management
  • Hiring additional personnel whose expertise revolves around digitization technologies
  • Creating products that are well suited to digitization trends

Hence, companies should effectively understand the market in order to prevent diminishing profits and create intelligent decisions that may affect economic success.

2. Post-pandemic startups

The Covid-19 outbreak has irrevocably altered businesses. While many organizations struggled to adjust to the new normal, others have seen the situation as a chance to prosper and develop.

With social distancing rules and other restrictions to follow, both businesses and customers have to adapt to a new landscape where post-pandemic solutions need to go beyond typical in-person limits.

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Young office woman with mask on chin using laptop while working in half-empty office during coronavirus pandemic

Some of these include:

  • Embracing digital solutions (ideation platforms and innovation management software)
  • Remote working for less office space
  • Using cloud computing technology
  • Acceleration of digital-led learning
  • Opening ecommerce sites

The COVID-19 may be a crisis. But as much as it inhibits creativity, growth, and survival, it also pushes organizations to be open to possibilities and relevant opportunities in times of difficulty.

3. More disruptive innovation opportunities

With technology improving at an ever-increasing rate, new products and services are being introduced by the minute.

This indicates that there will be a new, even larger wave of innovation coming in the next few years. Practically, every industry will be influenced in some manner.

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portrait of shocked businessman looking at laptop screen at workplace in office

Meaning, there will be more disruptive innovation opportunities — more chances for smaller companies to produce ideas, products, processes, and services that can outperform established players and create an entirely new market sector.

This is because it used to take millions of dollars to develop a concept. However, new tools have enabled would-be entrepreneurs to demonstrate their ideas on a smaller budget.

This democratization of technology has enabled more people to have access to venture capital funds and other kinds of financing, paving the way for large-scale disruptions.

4. Internal innovation ventures

Internal innovation ventures result in cultural changes within the workplace. It enhances the employees’ capacity for incremental (or even disruptive) products and technologies.

It promotes a culture of innovation — where openness and creative thinking lead to business growth and sustainability by improving current business units and paying closer attention to customers.

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This is a crucial step in developing the innovative potential required to engage and collaborate with other groups outside the organization.

Hence, business owners should start thinking of internal innovation programs like how Adobe does it within their company — the Adobe Kickstart.

Adobe Kickstart is a company-wide effort in which an employee may register for a two-day innovation workshop and get a prepaid $1,000 credit card to experiment on a concept and develop a prototype.

Employees then present their prototypes to chosen executives to obtain the financing necessary to advance into the next round of funding and testing.

5.  Increased focus on consumers (users)

Businesses exist to serve clients with products and services. However, when sales are prioritized above people’s needs, this fact is easily missed by many.

Even in the digital era, start-ups, entrepreneurs, and company owners must return to the basics of conducting business: meeting consumer demands with useful products and offering a wonderful customer experience.

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With all the factors making the competition even more difficult this year (ongoing pandemic, problems with innovation, etc.), organizations will place a greater emphasis on users/consumers by:

  • Having proper post-purchase follow-up procedures in place (like responding to questions, requests, asking for feedback, etc.)
  • Recognizing the pain and gain areas that clients are likely to encounter as they move down the sales funnel
  • Enhancing information placement by providing easy access to the relevant product or service data
  • Applying customer feedback into operations
  • Identifying conversion bottlenecks

6. Decentralized innovation

All individuals in a decentralized structure have a voice in the deployment of new innovative procedures.

When more creative power is placed in the hands of those who regularly expose or immerse themselves with the company’s actual products and services, then the brand becomes more accessible and relevant to customers.

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This is because decision-making authority is delegated to individuals in the company who have the most knowledge, especially those who can easily access relevant information.

In effect, when decentralized innovation happens, the variety of innovative options expands, and chief executives can then focus on handpicking the greatest ideas with the most game-changing impacts for the business.

7. More need for innovation culture

By implementing a system of methods and practices that incorporate innovative concepts throughout a business, innovation culture fosters creativity. It modifies established approaches in favor of honing minds toward breakthroughs.

It fosters innovative thinking in order to generate and manage the finest ideas for developing new products, services, ideas, and processes that will propel the business ahead of the competition.

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Plus, it encourages firms to succeed by instituting work practices that encourage employees to collaborate in making things better, which in the process develops an organizational culture that prioritizes innovation as an everyday habit in the company.

Because organizations understand that markets are continually evolving, they will feel the need to remain relevant and competitive.

Hence, they will increase their efforts towards cultivating innovation culture as a way of responding to this problem.

8. Stronger social innovation

Social innovation is described as the development and implementation of novel, feasible solutions to environmental or social problems.

It is something that satisfies contemporary societal demands better than earlier efforts to handle a specific problem.

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Both the government and private entities may undertake social innovation. However, it is often the non-profit organizations that are at the forefront of this type of innovation.

But this can change in 2022, knowing how a whooping 88% of consumers nowadays are deeply swayed by brands that aim to lessen environmental and social issues.

This only proves how supporting environmental and societal causes can contribute to becoming more widely acknowledged.

As a result, more capable institutions will take an inventive approach to address modern social challenges via social innovation.

9. Usage of agile innovation methods

Companies nowadays must swiftly adapt to evolving market demands as digitalization and globalization arise.

However, despite the availability of procedures and technologies, most products still fail.

This is the reason why organizations will apply agile innovation methodologies:

They want to incorporate product design with development, modification, and introduction to achieve substantially quicker innovation processes.

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But to generate agile forms of labor and management structures, cultural preconditions in firms must also be formed, which is why many businesses struggle to deploy agile methods.

It frequently contradicts current business cultures, making it less likely to gain managerial support.

Errors and incorrect decisions are normal, but this is exactly the goal of agile innovation. The emphasis is on reevaluating and rectifying these errors as early and with as little damage as possible.

10. New business models

Business model innovation covers both purposeful changes to current models and the creation of entirely new business models for greater value proposition.

These modifications can alter the company’s target segment, product or service offering, and revenue model.

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Alternatively, it can also aim at increasing profitability, strategic edge, and value creation.

In the past, working business concepts were not targeted. But in the present, every individual in charge of innovation must consider if the current model is still fit for the future.

This is why in 2022, we would see companies that are either replacing old business models or are completely switching to new ones.

Become your own trend

Have you considered the gap that exists between your company and your competitors?

Addressing this gap, along with knowing how to serve your customers better, can help you become your own trend instead of following the ones listed above.

Start gathering ideas from your organization and manage them.

Grab a free copy of the ultimate guide to idea management today to learn more, or book a free demo with us now.