1)Describe the innovation life cycle proposed by Abernathy a

1)Describe the innovation life cycle proposed by Abernathy and Utterback (see page 233 of the text).Does the model provide a useful tool to guide and manage the innovation process?Do you see any weak points in the model?What part of this process are you in with your product/service idea for your course project? How did you transition from one stage to the other?BOOK (233)INNOVATION IN ACTION: The Innovation Life CycleSometimes it is helpful to understand a little about timing in innovation strategy – at what stage in the innovation life cycle are we and what implications does that have for the kind of projects we might undertake? Back in the 1970s two US researchers (William Abernathy and James Utterback) developed a model which has three different phases with important lessons for how we think about managing innovation. In the early stage – the ‘fluid’ phase – there is a lot of uncertainty and emphasis is placed on product innovation. Typically entrepreneurs have lots of ideas (most of which fail) about the ways to use new market and technological opportunities. (Think about the rise of the Internet and the continuing proliferation of entrepreneurial ideas as an example of a fluid phase.)Source: Abernathy and Utterback5But after a while there is a stabilisation around a particular configuration – the ‘dominant design’ (which may not always be the best in technical terms but which is the one which matches the markets’ needs and aspirations) and then emphasis shifts away from more product variety to process innovation. How can we make this in volume, to a low price, consistent quality, etc? (Think of Henry Ford – he was a latecomer to the business of car design but his Model T became the dominant design and succeeded principally because of the extensive process innovations around mass production.)Finally there is a third, ‘mature’ phase in which innovation is incremental in both product and process, there is extensive competition – and the scene is set for another breakthrough and return to the fluid stage.What this model means is that we might particularly look for radical product innovation ideas in the fluid phase but in the mature stage we would be better placed concentrating on incremental improvement innovations.Go online to find an example that illustrates a pattern of innovation life cycles associated with the bicycles industry.www.iande.infoAdoption and DiffusionA fourth and related issue is around diffusion – the adoption and elaboration of innovation over time. Innovation adoption takes place gradually over time, following some version of an S-curve. At the early stages innovative users with high tolerance for failure will explore to be followed by early adopters. This gives way to the majority following their lead until finally the remnant of a potential adopting population – the laggards – adopt or remain stubbornly resistant. Understanding diffusion processes and the influential factors is important because it helps us understand where and when different kinds of triggers are picked up. Lead users and early adopters are likely to be important sources of ideas and variations which can help shape an innovation in its early life, whereas the early and late majority will be more a source of incremental improvement ideas.This issue is explored in further detail in Chapter 7.How to SearchIt’s clear that opportunities for innovation are not in short supply – and they arise from many different directions. The key challenge for innovation management is how to spot the potential in a sea of possibilities – and to do so with often limited resources. No organisation can hope to cover all the bases so there needs to be some underlying strategy to how the search process is undertaken. Whether it is our entrepreneur seeking to find some innovation space to start a new venture which will change the world, or an intrapreneur inside a giant corporation seeking to renew and regenerate itself, there is a need to explore in a systematic rather than a random way. That’s the subject of the next chapter. 2)First off lets define serendipity.’luck that takes the form of finding valuable or pleasant things that are not looked for’http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/serendipityCan accidents spur innovation efforts or is innovation a rigid process with no tolerance for accidents? Is innovation luck, do accidents (not just car accidents) enable innovation or the generation of new ideas? Or is Innovation a process where there is no room for accidents? Share your thoughts on the questions posed. Also share examples to support your thoughts.

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Cathy, CS.