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  • 1.  Accelerating Innovation: Some lessons from the Pandemic

    Posted 04-06-2021 09:33

    One article that got my attention while searching through the Journal of Product Innovation Management (JPIM) is the one talking about accelerating innovation and what the Pandemic taught us about it. I think in the past we've all known whether it was our jobs, our personal lives, or just day-to-day life tasks, that some processes that we use are not the most efficient or innovative. What the Pandemic has done to a great extent is streamline these processes. Time was now more important than ever. 

    The accelerated new product development process was more important than ever, showcasing companies that had breakthrough transformations in record time. A great example that the article uses is the COVID vaccines. For the first time in years, "time" was at the essence. An interesting approach that the article talks about is "lean development". This process is designed to eliminate waste and inefficiencies and make the "idea to launch system" more efficient. It focuses on removing unneeded tasks, cutting from the many preparation PPT's and presentations, essentially deleting any work that adds no value, and saving time. In order to get the vaccine ready as quickly as possible, they used a "rolling approval process" as well as key decisions to point forward. Accelerated innovation thrives in crisis situations because that's when companies can go through their processes and figure out which ones are productive, and which ones are a waste of time. 

    Another good point that they make is about the idea that faster market=higher profits. The first-mover advantage brings a window of opportunities. Well, the idea is that it is a concept really hard to prove because you are "putting an economic value on hypothesized benefits". Something like missing the window of opportunity is really hard to measure because it just talks about "what could have been".

    Either way, I believe that accelerated innovation is a great goal for companies to have in their product development process and the pandemic is a great example of that. From coffee Zoom dates, to work from home and in my case our whole operations moving online, the Pandemic showed us that people are adaptable and that if forced by time, companies are able to deliver a product faster than usual by streamlining previous processes to fit the crisis timeline demanded by the situation. People said that the 08' financial crisis was great for e-commerce because it created so many new businesses, tech applications, stores, and memberships. I am excited to see what's next in this case as well.

    Cezara Siotean
    Oakland University

  • 2.  RE: Accelerating Innovation: Some lessons from the Pandemic

    Posted 04-13-2021 14:25

    This seems like a great article and I will have to check it out on the Journal of Product Innovation Management. Accelerating innovation is something that I believe has shown the strengths of some companies compared to others. One quick example of accelerating innovation I wanted to share that this reminded me of was my family business, Hansons Running Shop, which is a local running store with four locations in the Metro Detroit area. Similar to how you brought up the '08 financial crisis being great for e-commerce, the pandemic has been great for our e-commerce as well. Before COVID, Hansons Running Shop didn't have a fully operating online store and most items were not up to date on there. When COVID hit, retail in Michigan was forced to shut down for about two months and Hansons Running Shop started a free, same-day delivery service for any customer within 25 miles of any of the stores. The online site became what we relied on and we were forced to "accelerate our innovation" for how we would make it through. Even though the stores are back open now, we have continued the free, same-day delivery service and have now almost shifted to be both brick-and-mortar as well as e-commerce. This service will be continued for years to come and is great for business and customer satisfaction. Without the pandemic, it may have taken years for Hansons to update the online store and even think about offering this service, but this really did cause the innovation to be accelerated. Thanks for posting and I will definitely need to check out this article!

    Samantha Hanson
    Oakland University