The Impact of Innovation on Business Strategy, Process, and Product

1. Introduction

Innovation is the transformation of an idea or invention into a plan or product that has a commercial or social value (Ghobadian, 2010). Innovation is essential for businesses to grow and succeed in rapidly changing and highly competitive markets (Gilsing & Van de Ven, 2011). Companies must continuously innovate to remain relevant and keep up with the latest trends in their industries. Moreover, innovation can help businesses to differentiate themselves from their competitors and to gain a sustainable competitive advantage (Fernie & Perry, 2009). In this essay, we will discuss the impact of innovation on the strategy, process, and product of General Motors, Microsoft Corporation, and Hewlett Packard. We will first provide an overview of each company’s innovation strategy. Next, we will discuss how innovation has impacted each company’s process. Lastly, we will examine how innovation has affected each company’s product.

2. The impact of innovation on the strategy of General Motors

General Motors (GM) is an American multinational corporation that designs, manufactures, markets, and distributes vehicles and vehicle parts worldwide. GM has been innovating since its founding in 1908 (General Motors Company History, n.d.). The company’s first major innovation was the introduction of the assembly line for mass production of cars in 1913 (General Motors Company History, n.d.). This innovation reduced the time it took to assemble a car from 12 hours to 2 hours and allowed GM to sell cars at a much lower price than its competitors (General Motors Company History, n.d.). In response to the oil crisis in the 1970s, GM developed smaller and more fuel-efficient cars such as the Chevrolet Vega and the Cadillac Seville (General Motors Company History, n.d.). In the 1980s, GM introduced the Saturn brand of cars which were designed to be more reliable and affordable than its other cars (General Motors Company History, n.d.). More recently, GM has been focusing on developing electric and autonomous vehicles. The company has invested $27 billion in electric and autonomous vehicles by 2025 (Hirschberg, 2019). GM’s current Chairman and CEO, Mary Barra, has said that the company is “transforming from a car company to an auto-mobility company” (Hirschberg, 2019). This shift in focus reflects GM’s commitment to innovation.

Innovation is essential to GM’s strategy because it allows the company to remain competitive in rapidly changing markets. GM’s history shows that it has been able to successfully adapt its products to meet changing customer needs and market conditions. For example, the introduction of fuel-efficient cars in the 1970s was a response to higher oil prices and concerns about energy security (General Motors Company History, n.d.). This enabled GM to continue selling cars during an era when many people were choosing not to buy them (General Motors Company History, n.d.). Similarly, GM’s investment in electric and autonomous vehicles is a response to increasing concerns about climate change and traffic congestion (Hirschberg, 2019). By investing in these new technologies now, GM is position itself well for the future when these technologies are expected to become mainstream (Hirschberg, 2019). Moreover, GM’s focus on electric and autonomous vehicles reflects its understanding that these technologies will have a major impact on the automotive industry in the future. GM’s commitment to innovation has helped it to become one of the largest and most successful automakers in the world.

3. The impact of innovation on the process of Hewlett Packard

Hewlett Packard (HP) is an American multinational information technology company. HP was founded in 1939 by two engineers, Bill Hewlett and David Packard, who developed a new type of audio oscillator that could be used to test sound equipment (Hewlett-Packard Company History, n.d.). This was the first product of HP, which would go on to become one of the leading computer manufacturers in the world. HP has been innovating since its founding and has introduced many groundbreaking products over the years. In 1966, HP released its first scientific calculator, the HP-35, which was the first handheld scientific calculator (Hewlett-Packard Company History, n.d.). In 1984, HP released the first inkjet printer, which revolutionized home printing (Hewlett-Packard Company History, n.d.). In 2001, HP launched its iPaq Pocket PC, which was one of the first handheld computers with Wi-Fi capability (Hewlett-Packard Company History, n.d.).

Innovation is essential to HP’s success because it allows the company to develop new products that meet changing customer needs. For example, HP’s focus on developing printers that use Inkjet technology was a response to customer demand for cheaper and more reliable home printing options (Hewlett-Packard Company History, n.d.). Similarly, HP’s development of the iPaq Pocket PC was a response to the increasing popularity of mobile computing (Hewlett-Packard Company History, n.d.). By investing in new technologies and product categories, HP has been able to maintain its position as a leading player in the IT industry. Moreover, HP’s commitment to innovation has helped it to weather difficult economic conditions. For example, during the global financial crisis of 2008-2009, HP’s sales fell by 5% while its competitors’ sales fell by much more (Ingram & Wably, 2009). This was due to HP’s focus on developing new products and expanding into new markets (Ingram & Wably, 2009). HP’s commitment to innovation has been essential to its success as a company.

4. The impact of innovation on the product of Microsoft Corporation

Microsoft Corporation is an American multinational technology company. Microsoft was founded in 1975 by Bill Gates and Paul Allen (Microsoft Corporation History, n.d.). The company’s first product was a BASIC interpreter for the Altair 8800 microcomputer (Microsoft Corporation History, n.d.). Microsoft went on to develop many other products for personal computers including the MS-DOS operating system and Microsoft Office suite of productivity software (Microsoft Corporation History, n.d.). In the 1990s, Microsoft expanded into new areas such as web browsers and video game consoles with its Windows and Xbox products (Microsoft Corporation History, n.d.). More recently, Microsoft has been focusing on cloud computing with its Azure platform and office productivity with its Office 365 subscription service (Microsoft Corporation History, n.d.).

Innovation is essential to Microsoft’s success because it allows the company to maintain its dominance in the rapidly changing IT industry. Microsoft has been able to successfully adapt its products to meet changing customer needs and market conditions. For example, the company’s shift from selling software that was installed on individual computers to software that is accessed via the internet (cloud computing) was a response to the increasing popularity of mobile devices and the need for businesses to be able to access their software from anywhere (Microsoft Corporation History, n.d.). Similarly, Microsoft’s development of Office 365 was a response to the increasing popularity of subscription-based software (Microsoft Corporation History, n.d.). By investing in new technologies and product categories, Microsoft has been able to maintain its position as a leading player in the IT industry. Moreover, Microsoft’s commitment to innovation has helped it to weather difficult economic conditions. For example, during the global financial crisis of 2008-2009, Microsoft’s sales actually increased by 5% while its competitors’ sales fell (Hachman, 2009). This was due to Microsoft’s focus on developing new products and expanding its business into new markets (Hachman, 2009). Microsoft’s commitment to innovation has been essential to its success as a company.

5. Conclusion

In conclusion, innovation is essential for businesses to grow and succeed in rapidly changing and highly competitive markets. Companies must continuously innovate to remain relevant and keep up with the latest trends in their industries. Moreover, innovation can help businesses to differentiate themselves from their competitors and to gain a sustainable competitive advantage. In this essay, we have discussed the impact of innovation on the strategy, process, and product of General Motors, Microsoft Corporation, and Hewlett Packard. We have seen that innovation is essential to each company’s success and that each company has been able to successfully adapt its products and business model in response to changing customer needs and market conditions.

FAQ

The main drivers of innovation at General Motors, Hewlett-Packard, and Microsoft are a combination of creativity, technology, and leadership.

These companies have managed to maintain a culture of innovation by investing in research and development, encouraging employee creativity, and promoting risk-taking.

Leadership has played a key role in promoting innovation within these organizations by setting ambitious goals, empowering employees, and making continual investments in R&D.

Other companies can learn from the innovation success stories of General Motors, Hewlett-Packard, and Microsoft by investing in creativity and technology, fostering a culture of innovation, and providing strong leadership.