Starting this February, the first Masters Certificate in Innovation Management in North America is being offered at York University’s Schulich Executive Education Centre, which was created to focus on service innovation.
The Centre says it will be the first organization in Canada to provide executives, managers and educators with an opportunity to learn how to effectively implement service innovation in their organizations, share information and conduct research in preparation for tomorrow’s economy. “Currently most of the investment in innovation is going to manufacturing and product R&D,” said Claude Legrand, Program Director for the new Centre of Excellence for Innovation Management. This is despite the fact that only 12% of Ontarians work in manufacturing, while 76% work in the service industry, which represents roughly 70% of the total GDP.
“We know that Canadian businesses recognize the importance of service innovation to their future economic success, but very few know how to do it systematically and effectively,” said Legrand.
As Canada continues to operate with a manufacturing mindset in a knowledge-based and creative world, it is lagging behind other countries that are already investing heavily in service innovation; the United States, Japan, Finland and Ireland are making huge strides forward in implementing service innovation in banking and insurance, transportation, information, government, healthcare or tourism, as well as in the service functions in products and manufacturing, according to the Centre.“Innovation is critical to increasing profitability and productivity and service is a big part of it.
If Canada is to succeed in the decade ahead, it must now address the very real gap between the awareness of a need for service innovation and the ‘how to’ skills to implement change,” said Legrand. “We created this new Centre of Excellence to do exactly that.”