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Innovation & Training

As our world is constantly evolving and so the customers’ needs and expectations, it’s impossible for a business to remain successful if the products and services they offer are stagnant. Therefore, business leaders must constantly look for new ways to innovate because you can't solve many problems with old solutions.

Today’s competitive business greatly requires innovation as a key to increasing profits not only in emerging countries but worldwide.

It probably doesn’t come as a surprise to see many company managers -who have engaged in standard manufacturing processes for decades with no trace of success of improvement in business - now speaks of the importance of innovation passionately. If innovation, however, is not well understood and managed properly, it may also be highly discouraging and result in a total failure with respect to valuable time, resources and money.

In fact, innovation is the novel and practical application of ideas that result in various distinctive and value-added offerings with regard to products, services, processes, and business models, intending to improve or disrupt existing applications or creating new solutions, increasing revenue and profits in the free market economy.

According to Merriam-Webster dictionary, innovation, for its part, can refer to something new or to a change made to an existing product, idea, or field. One might say that the first telephone was an invention, the first cellular telephone either an invention or an innovation, and the first smartphone an innovation.

Innovation is of course critical across all industries. But it should be at the heart of your business and constantly be done to ensure business success.

Despite many attempts by companies, such as planning, organizational structures, innovation trainings, competitions, meetings and so on, in the global scale, the number of companies that really achieve the target added value and desired profit from innovation activities is very low.

In other words, many people working on new ideas and projects develop new products or services with these innovation concepts they have learned, and most of them unfortunately fail. This is indeed not related to fortune but caused mainly by the lack of true understanding of nature of innovation, among others.

It is important to avoid using innovation as a mere catchy slogan and take time to understand and implement the innovation process comprehensively.

Besides, grant of some state R&D funds in emerging countries, such as TUBITAK and KOSGEB supports which have become a fashion in Turkey, are not indication of innovations in companies or innovative companies. These institutions only provide financial incentives to encourage innovative activities.

Based on his personal experience and expertise, the author believes in the importance of the following four basic concepts for the success of an innovation:

(1) Accurate Diagnosis

Failure to diagnose correctly and in a timely manner for a disease will lead to incorrect treatment or even undue harm even if the best drugs are used. The same is also true for companies’ structures and primary activities. If the need for innovation in a company is not correctly identified whether it is in the management, in the whole firm or in a department, the desired result cannot be achieved even if all employees get training.

Likewise, trainings may be wasted unless it is well-detected that the need for innovation in the company is to be related to product development, production development, technology development or even to improve the way the company does business, Each company needs different trainings and should organize trainings accordingly.

(2) Correct Strategy

If the company conducts random innovation activities without a good analysis of the competitive environment, it is unlikely to succeed. An innovation strategy should be drawn up by knowing the company’s competitive environment, mode of production, personnel structure, etc. Each company should implement the right strategy to be followed by management to operations and sales personnel.

(3) Correct Methodology:

A well-chosen methodology brings in money and success. In innovation, for instance, it is more appropriate for an iron and steel manufacturer to choose a methodology that focuses on making discoveries, such as TRIZ, rather than learning the Design Thinking methodology. Each company should utilize the right innovation methodology in accordance with its own structures and market conditions.

(4) Disciplined Practice:

Innovation is not just about “brainstorming” activities that bring people together, make them think freely, and produce interesting projects. Innovation requires hard work. For example, TRIZ is a systematic method that requires disciplined work. Many organizations receive TRIZ training, but they cannot apply!

A targeted disciplined campaign supported well with continuous training and consulting services should be maintained to ensure that companies use the correct diagnosis, the correct strategy and the correct methodology in their innovation and R&D activities.

Hasan Demirkiran
Turkish, Patent & Trademark Attorney European Patent Attorney, Mechaical Engineer

The information in this update is intended to be general information about Turkish IP Practice only and not comprehensive. It is not to be relied on as legal advice nor as an alternative to taking professional advice. All rights reserved. 
KORDINAT - Registered Patent & Trademark Attorneys -


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