The success of an innovation is largely dependant on vital intelligence which when incorporated into the open innovation process, may produce what the innovators call technical thrust1. Reflectively, when properly planned and executed, intelligence is the main force behind successful and accelerated innovation2.
On the boundary spanners, innovations should be fairly fast and inclusive of all the stake holders. Innovation decision process is inclusive of knowledge, persuasion, implementation, and confirmation among the innovators, early majority, and late adopters3.
Thus, this reflective essay explores on the innovation decision process for the innovator, early majority, and laggards in reference to introduction of eco friendly bags. In the reflection, I have employed scenario as story, history, and recollection.
Scenario – Innovator
As the need for greener lifestyle emerges following the much hyped need for sustainability and environmental friendliness, using the readily available biodegradable raw materials might be the awaited solution to save planet Earth from the devastating effects of green house and pollution4.
To capitalize on the immediate needs of the mass, GreenTech Company releases a biodegradable, affordable, light, and formal bag which can be used in the formal and in informal settings5. As part of their green products, this bag is 98% biodegradable. As the product hits the market, GreenTech offers the most competitive price available, in the market. The management has factored in the need for safety in use and reusability.
In the final meeting of the top management, Plum, the marketing manager, decides to approach the local green campaign group for a partnership aiming to capitalize on their influence. The product seem admirable, the market extensive, and if it become successful, the demand could be heavy. In the opinion of Erick, the general manager, safety standard has been met following the approval by the local standards department.
Graig, the production manager has presented the right formula backed by what he termed as polyetherine component which has never been introduced into the market.
Despite the fact that the creation of this product was as a result of thorough research, every member of this team is anxious on the expected response once the product hits the market. As an introductory approach, the marketing manager approached Mr. Ali, a local grocery owner to stock a quantity for trial of which he immediately agrees.
Scenario – Early Majority
Ericka, a local ice cream vendor has just gone into the local grocery to purchase extra polythene bags for his business. Often, he would purchase 250 pieces for an entire week. While almost done with the shopping, Ericka notices the unique nicely packed bags with green symbol on their side. He moves closer and consults Mr. Ali, the store keeper. Mr. Ali offers no explanation but hand him a brochure with explanation.
Despite the risks involved in trying a new thing, Ericka decides to have the bags. The following day, Ericka show up and purchase even more bags from Mr. Ali who surprisingly enough has not even attempted to use any. Being a lover of new products in the market, Ericka seem convinced that this new model of bags are lighter, more descent, and larger than the usual ones.
While at the Ice cream company, he reveals the new finding to the ice scream steward, Mrs. Hannah. Despite getting a sample from Ericka, she would rather give out the sample to a fellow worker first before even trying anything out. Unfortunately, the friend also turns down the gift claiming that a friend had issues with the product.
Scenario – Laggard
Back at the store, Mr. Ali, despite selling the new product, has not tried any out and is still waiting for a response from some of his clients. Mr. Ali thinks of the new product as a mere test and experimentation. He is unable to neither decide nor accept the message from his best customer, Mr. Ericka. He is ready to find out more information on this product before event attempting to use one for personal activities.
Regardless of the good intention of the innovation, he is unable to recognize any positive benefits but would rather prefer the usual polythene bag. Ericka cannot tell whether Mr. Ali likes the new product or he is just being difficult.
The following day, at the Ice factory, Mr. Ericka is surprised at Mrs. Hannah’s positive response even though she rejected the product the previous day. She is too willing to try the new product out after having seen a picture advertisement in the local television station. However, her friend is still uncomfortable with the new product and would rather wait until it hits the market.
In the above scenarios, the company is the innovators faced with the anxiety on the forecasted response on their product. Despite proper management, thorough research, pre-contemplation, contemplation, and action, none is sure6.
Rather, they are risk takers. Mr. Ericka and Mrs. Hannah present themselves as early adopters. They are willing to take the risk of trying out a new product; they are on the look out for new information, and positive on innovations. However, Mr. Ali and Mrs. Hannah’s friend fall in the bracket of laggards. They would rather stay in the comfort zone and awaits the outcome of a new invention before attempting to adopt the same.
Cascio, Jamais. “Futures Thinking: Writing Scenarios” Fast Compan. 2010. Web.
Dismukes, J., Miller, L. K, and Bers, J. A. “Technologies of Thinking Seen Key to Accelerating Radical Innovation”, Research Technology Management, Vol. 48, 23-32, New York: Cangage, 2005.
Etzkowitz, H. and Leydesdorff, L. The dynamics of innovation: from National Systems and “Mode 2” to a Triple Helix of university-industry-government relations. Research Policy, 45-47, Alabama: Cangage, 2000.
Porter, Alan. “Tech Mining” to Drive Open Innovation (Georgia Tech: Technology Policy & Assessment Center, 2006). Web.
Robinson, D. K. R., and Propp, T. “Multi-path mapping for alignment strategies in emerging science and technologies,” Second International Seville Seminar on Future-Oriented Technology Analysis .Web.
1 Dismukes, J., Miller, L. K., and Bers, J. A. Technologies of Thinking Seen Key to Accelerating Radical Innovation, Research Technology Management, Vol. 48 (July-August), 2-4. 2005.
2 Porter, Alan, “Tech Mining” to Drive Open Innovation (Georgia Tech: Technology Policy & Assessment Center,2006)
4 Etzkowitz, H. and Leydesdorff, L., The dynamics of innovation: from National Systems and “Mode 2” to a Triple Helix of university-industry-government, 2000.
5 Cascio, Jamais. “Futures Thinking: Writing Scenarios,” Fast Compan. 2010.
6 Robinson, D. K. R., and Propp, T. “Multi-path mapping for alignment strategies in emerging science and technologies,” Second International Seville Seminar on Future-Oriented Technology Analysis.