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People: A Key to Innovation Capability

March 2, 2014 • INNOVATION

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By Scott J. Edgett

Top performing companies recognise that successful innovation is inherently complex. Below, Scott J. Edgett argues that no matter how much money a company invests, or how efficient it makes its internal processes, the companies that are the most successful at innovation are those that invest significant time, effort and money in people.

Top performing companies the world over recognise that successful innovation is inherently complex. They work hard to master this critical capability by entrenching the four proven drivers of success that comprise the Innovation Performance Framework: Robust innovation strategy, effective portfolio management, solid idea-to-launch processes and established innovation culture. All four drivers are harmonised and working together to support innovation capabilities.1

In the end, however, no matter how much money a company invests, or how efficient it makes its internal processes, success at product innovation comes down to people: People from differing functions, varying skill sets, levels of seniority, diverse locations and years of experience – all working together and contributing to their company’s innovation culture.

A recent benchmarking study of 211 companies assessed the way companies organise and lead their innovation project teams in order to gauge how these two aspects of culture impact innovation performance.2 Organisations can have well defined strategies, effective portfolio practices and internal new product development processes but how significantly do the teams themselves affect performance results?



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