In today’s constantly changing business environment new opportunities and challenges arise every day – often driven through all present digitalization. Fingar, a well-known process management expert, introduces “extreme competition” as a result of various market forces, like knowledge as business capital, the internet, “jumbo transportation”, billions of new “capitalists” as well as the new dimension of information technology and, of course, digitalization [1].

To master the resulting challenges and benefit from the opportunities, systematic and well managed innovation has become a core focus area for high performing organizations. To ensure long-term survival, an enterprise must make innovation part of its day-to-day business. This is often the only way to achieve desired revenue and goals.

Two major forms of innovation can be distinguished: business model innovation and technology innovation. Both require the change of existing or the development of new business processes. Business process innovation is a major success factor for the next-generation enterprise and often necessary to benefit from opportunities in a digital world. Companies need to create an environment that encourages and enables process innovation. Business Process Management (BPM) has to become the facilitator of innovation initiatives – implemented through the discipline of value-driven BPM [28].

This article discusses characteristics of innovation and how to do more of it. It explains the importance of process innovation for all approaches of creating operational innovation. You will learn how value-driven BPM serves as an enabler for business process innovation. The article is based on chapter 2 of our latest book [29].

We stress the aspect of innovation and BPM’s role in achieving it since this is an area where we have encountered many misperceptions in today’s organizations. There are still many people who think BPM kills creativity and innovation. This is a huge misunderstanding. The right approach to process management identifies the appropriate degree of freedom for people to deliver the right innovation that moves an organization forward – faster and at lower risk.

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