Innovation is defined as, " Introduction of a new idea into the marketplace in the form of a new product or service, or an improvement in organization or process (web)." Lockheed Martin strives to be at the forefront of innovative technologies. Since Lockheed functions as a primary source of information for the U. S. Government, several government agencies, as well as many foreign governments, it is critical to Lockheed Martin's success that they stay ahead of emerging markets and understand where technology and technology of information and processes will be heading next. This paper will discuss innovation and its changes, how technology affects innovation processes, and factors that can affect innovation within Lockheed Martin. "The main driver for innovation is often the courage and energy to better the world.
An essential element for innovation is its application in a commercially successful way. Innovation has punctuated and changed human history (consider the development of electricity, steam engines, motor vehicles, et al) (web)." Although many people would like to believe the statement that the main driver for innovation is to better the world, there are many others who would disagree. Within Lockheed Martin Corporation, there are two main drivers for innovation. The first is the customers of Lockheed Martin and the second is profitability. Lockheed Martin focuses on customer service. The core competency for Lockheed Martin is not their ability to manufacture.
The main core competency is to integrate. Lockheed specializes in taking products (many of which are commercial-off-the-shelf) and manipulate the capabilities of these products to accomplish tasks that were thought extremely difficult or even impossible. Many times the need for these products is customer driven. A customer will approach Lockheed with an idea and will ask how it will become a reality and what that reality will cost. The second way that innovations are found is through internal desires to succeed financially. Lockheed Martin continuously strives to follow Six Sigma processes to improve overall efficiency within the corporation.
This includes finding innovation within computer systems that are used for accounting, purchasing, cost-estimating as well as logistical processes. For Lockheed Martin, innovation is a culture. More often than not, such innovations will cause major changes to occur within the corporation. Entire computer systems will be discontinued with the implementation of new systems. Old processes for integration will become outdated because new technologies that are needed will no longer interface with older ideas that were once used. Changes will many times be put into place rapidly and without thought to how such changes can impact the face of overall business.
Working within such an environment forces individuals as well as corporations to evolve with the entities surrounding them. Research and development is crucial to the success of Lockheed Martin as well as their customers and competitors. Billions of dollars are spend annually in searching for new and better and faster ways to accomplish assigned tasks. Without such research and development, new trips into space and the most recent launch of a vehicle to Mars to collect soil samples and information would have been completely impossible. Such sudden and constant changes force companies like Lockheed Martin to remain on the edge of innovation. These new technologies and methodologies are many times found in the "emerging" or "new" technology arenas.
Competition is fierce in the industry and the innovations are quite consistent across the board so if Lockheed martin is unable to perform to expectations and deliver quality products, they will be replaced quite easily by someone else who can. References: web.