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Booz's Big Ideas on Innovation

关注度:1183
2012/10/31


Booz & Company — the venerable consulting firm — has a new report out on the topic of Innovation and Research & Development (R&D). And in an October 25 interview with its author, Barry Jaruzelski, I learned that Booz has identified three “archetypes” of innovation.
Jaruzelski said that “while companies that follow any of these three innovation models can be successful, what matters most is how well aligned they are with an organization’s overall corporate strategy.” He described the following R&D approaches:
?Need seekers like Apple (AAPL) and Procter & Gamble (PG) get a deep understanding of end user needs to inspire the development of new product ideas.
?Market readers like Samsung excel at following the introduction of a popular new product trend with a product that can get to market fast and surf that wave while it’s still building.
?Tech drivers like Google (GOOG) push the edge of technology innovation and try to find a viable business model that can turn it into revenues and profits.
Although it’s hard for Booz to trace the specific return on R&D investment that these three archetypes generate, Jaruzelski believes that one stands out from the rest when it comes to outperforming peers “on measures of corporate goodness” which include revenue growth, profit margin, Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Amortization, and Depreciation (EBITDA) as a percent of revenue, and growth in stock market value.
Booz found that of the “nearly 700″ companies it profiled, 45% were tech drivers, 35% were market readers, and 25% were need seekers. But the rarest archetype — need seekers — is the one that performs the best — 50% of which outperform peers on those measures of corporate goodness. The next best is the tech drivers 20% of which outcompete their peers.
When it comes to innovation archetypes, execution matters. After all, if genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration — the pressure is on when it comes to turning a great idea into the nuts and bolts of getting a new product development into the hands of customers.
And pulling that off well depends on several factors — the most important of which is whether the head of R&D reports to the CEO. If there is a direct report to the top, the company is more likely to get a bigger bang for the R&D buck because the CEO views R&D as an investment to be maximized rather than a cost to be controlled.
But there are many other must-dos related to internal alignment. For example, a company’s R&D strategy — which shows up in one of the three innovation archetypes — must be aligned with its corporate strategy. And the company’s capabilities — the skills of its people and their operating disciplines — must fit with the R&D strategy as well.
Moreover, R&D tends to work better when the company puts a higher value on cross-functional team work than it does to functional turf battles in which marketing squares off against engineering in battles for money, people, and access to customers.

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