Today, innovation comes out as a buzzword. People, however, do not have a clear definition in mind and often consider it as a complicated concept. Even worse, some companies associates innovation with something that involves a lot of failures and for this reason, fears it. but what are the opinions of students on innovation, they are after all, tomorrow’s workforce.

Innovation, is a key component that permits twenty-first-century firms to grow and improve. To get to know the term and observe the different thoughts about it, we wanted to try something new. We have asked students on innovation and their opinion of it – they are currently taking their master’s in Management of Innovation and Business Development at Copenhagen Business School. We asked them what their personal views on innovation, as students and why it mattered to them.

Students on Innovation

We’ve asked 4 students to talk to us about innovation. What it means to them. Why it is important. and what they hope companies will do to become more innovative.

Innovation as Change: Gustav Lantz

Gustav is a Swedish student born and raised in England. Gustav has worked fora recruitment company in Sweden and he is now part of the NIMS, the network of innovation management and strategy among students from some of the top Universities in Europe. Finally, Gustav has a personal and interesting view when it comes to innovation.

“I would like to start by mentioning the classic definition of innovation, which is described as the recombination of new and existing knowledge in novel ways. Through building on the definition, my personal idea about innovation is shaped around the keyword new. I think new is very important because when you want to make progress on something, you have to improve it and in order to improve something you have to change it. Therefore, I believe that innovation is about change, creating new things that finally lead to progress.

“I think that everyone who wants to improve anything, whether is on a product, state of technology, society, humanitarian level has to deal with the management of change. And that is what I think innovation is all about. It is about creating new solutions that can sort of bringing some changes to the better. And that is why I chose to study innovation, I want to be a part of the cutting edge of progress, through working in companies that deal with issues that I feel I can actually improve in some way. Through innovation we can really think about progress, and that’s why I think innovation is very important.”

Innovation as the Future: Angelo Paolo Tempesta

Angelo is an Italian student with a major in international economics and management obtained at Bocconi University, in Milan. During his bachelor studies Angelo was part of Tech@B, a student association empowering visionary game changers at Bocconi. Angelo strives for continuous improvement of processes and his personal thoughts on innovation comes together with his mindset.

“When I think about innovation, I associate the term with future, in terms of new opportunities. Companies have to take advantage of these opportunities if they want to stay competitive and play a role in the market. For firms to stay innovative is a necessity and a requirement, i not be crushed by the competition. No matter what it takes, whether is exploitation of existing knowledge or exploration of new ones, the innovative process must be embraced.

“In particular, I relate to Italy and its traditional products. Globalization has put a lot of pressure on small and medium firms because they cannot compete in terms of efficiency or they cannot keep up with new trends in a global society. In this sense, innovation should be the key vehicle to transform tradition and create new value from obsolete products.”

Innovation as a frame of mind: Amalie Vestergaard Thomsen

Amalie is a Danish student with a thing for innovation. Amalie is currently working as a business analyst at Biosyntia. In addition, Amalie has a background in psychology, as you will notice from her philosophical answer.

“When I think of Innovation I think of much more than businesses or the ongoing efforts of companies to remain competitive in dynamic markets. Innovation to me is a frame of mind people adopt when they are curios, bold and creative. To reach new solutions you must challenge youself. it’s about reconsidering the things you thought you knew. It’s about questioning the unquestionable. This frame of mind is a challenging state to reach since the human mind perceives our surroundings with our current understanding as a reference point. When you manage to do so, despite these difficulties, the results can be remarkable.”

Innovation as Improvement: Moritz Stierle

Moritz is a German student with a bachelor in Business Administration obtained at the University of Zurich, in Switzerland.. When it comes to innovation, Moritz cannot think about anything else besides improvement. You can find his personal definition of innovation below.

“Innovation in simple terms is the change to something “better”. This can both be in an existing process but also groundbreaking shifts that influence the lives of everyone on this planet. A hundred years ago oil changed the way we move from A to B. Today we experience another shift towards alternative drive systems and fuels. Only through innovation we can solve our current problems and the ones that we will be facing in the future. Companies have to realize that by being innovative they can actively shape the future and thus sustain their competitive advantage.”

Takeaway

Nowadays, innovation is a key component for companies to adopt in order to stay competitive in the market. When asking students on innovation, it seems that the word means much more. In this sense, everyone has her own personal view of the concept. If you want to know more about innovation, be sure to check out Innovation: What is it and why do some companies still fear it?