What is innovation management in the company?

In the entrepreneurial context, innovation (lat. innovare = to renew) stands for something new that creates a benefit for the company. The term innovation should be distinguished from ideas: An idea only becomes a real innovation when it is technically implemented and the solution is made usable. Usability is the central motive. Or formulated differently: An idea becomes an innovation when it proves itself and, for example, new products, new business areas or new processes are created or developed from it.

Innovation management encompasses all measures within a company or organisation that contribute to promoting innovations and making them usable for the company. Innovation management is a system that provides all the necessary structures, measures and processes to search for ideas, develop them and use them as innovations.

An old table with a model rocket as a symbol of innovation
Two women looking at a whiteboard with yellow post-its during an innovation management workshop

Tasks of innovation management

Innovation management is divided into two major areas. These are

  • On the one hand, organisational development measures for shaping framework conditions, with the aim that ideas can emerge in many places in the company and that these can be successfully implemented into beneficial innovations,
  • and on the other hand the creative process of idea generation itself as well as the further development of the ideas into innovation and their implementation. This also includes the management of this process.

What are the goals of innovation management in the company?

The goals of innovation management vary depending on the individual needs of the company using it. While one company desperately wants to reposition its brand in order to be able to compete with its competitors, another company may want to "modernise" its work culture or its management so that it remains an interesting employer for young, qualified workers. So there are many different motives for the targeted management of innovation in companies.

Innovation management is versatile - and the goals and fields of action are just as versatile. These are, for example:

Why innovation management is worthwhile for your company:

Securing competitiveness
Shorter time to market
Growth through differentiation
Increasing efficiency and reducing costs
Faster reaction to trends, opportunities and risks
Motivated employees
Satisfied customers

The innovation process: always keeping an eye on the goal

The innovation process creates a clearly structured system for the development of new products and services and is the core of any innovation management. Superior to it are the goals that define the process form and the further procedure as well as its planning. Goals, process and methods in innovation management vary from company to company and depend on internal and external circumstances.

At netzwerk P , innovation has been part of our corporate DNA for over 20 years. In order to always be able to offer our customers the best solutions, we continuously question our products, services and internal processes. In doing so, we also attach great importance to the principle of open innovation and bring partners from the most diverse areas on board to address topics and problems. This exchange - also with customers and the market - enables us to make maximum use of our innovation potential. The result is an established innovation process that controls how ideas are introduced, pursued and brought to market at netzwerk P (see figure).

Diagram of an innovation process circle with the keywords: Knowledge Management, Productification, Idea Generation, Idea Management, Idea Prioritisation, Culture, Structure, Strategy and People.

What does an exemplary innovation process for product development look like?

Icon of a light bulb as symbol for idea sketching

First, a prioritised idea is outlined that defines the customer benefit, and then feasibility and competition are analysed.

Icon of a drawn square as a symbol for a prototype

This is followed by the creation of a prototype - haptic or digital (e.g. a mockup or a paper/click dummy).

Icon of a woman with a test tube as a symbol for usertesting

This prototype is tested internally and externally with real users.

Icon of a plant seedling as a symbol for further development

Subsequently, the potential for innovation is defined on the basis of various evaluation factors. This creates a well-founded basis for decision-making for or against further development.

Our conclusion

The interplay of a clear objective, a structured organisation, the right mindset and the appropriate methods is fundamental to a successful innovation process. This is the only way to generate long-term added value for customers through beneficial products and services and to optimise the customer experience.

Icon of a dartboard with a dart in the bulls eye as a symbol for innovation targets

Innovation goals and process

Both are part of the organisational structure and form the basis for the successful development and management of innovations.
Icon of two interlocking cogwheels as a symbol for innovation architecture

Innovation architecture

It defines who is responsible for which task within the process. E.G.: Who creates ideas? Who makes decisions?
Icon of two crossed, different hammers as symbol for innovation methods and tools


The practical implementation takes place in the individual phases with the help of the appropriate tools, always with a view to the question: Which methods are most effective?

We support you in this process towards more innovation through know-how, the right methods and processes and a holistic view of the relevant success factors for optimal customer experiences.

Image of the cover page and an excerpt of our white paper on innovation management

Interested? I look forward to your questions and exciting conversations about innovation management!

Christian Vogl
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Our contact person for innovation management: Christian Vogl