In every context, “innovation” is one of the most used words.

In manufacturing & industrial environments, Innovation is a dogma: you must believe in it, although it is not something you can touch nor feel, or, most probably, you will not be able to understand it in full. Just a fool would ask in an “innovation meeting” what innovation stands for!

The task to find a complete definition of innovation is a very hard one.

We agree with:

Innovation is a process that combines discovering an opportunity, blueprinting an idea to seize that opportunity, and implementing that idea to achieve results: no impact, no innovation.
Scott D. Anthony “The Little Black Book of Innovation”

Innovation as “process”: a well-defined series of actions, which are carried out in order to achieve a particular intended result.

In this process, what are the main actions and their recommended order?

Innovation never starts from an idea, a technology or a tool; starts from a need, which means "discover an opportunity". We often fall in love with an idea or technology, but the trigger of an idea has always been a need, a problem to be solved.

Hitachi meets these needs with new technologies to design solutions that create a real positive impact and that: This is how we manage our "projects", like plans or a series of proposals that shows how the solution can work. With the project we can prototype and demonstrate that we can really "implement the idea and get the expected results". This is the "scientific" approach that allows us to assess the feasibility, costs, market and value of our solution: that is all the key ingredients of a best practice and business case.

IMPACT

The essential ingredient of an innovation is the impact: the measure of an action’s benefit. We have an innovation if we are able to bring a feasible and valuable solution that satisfies somebody’s need: we are positively changing something, we are having an impact that is visible and persistent.