- Research Feature
- Read Time: 20 min
To manage research and development projects, companies need to ensure that informal social networks are reinforced — and not thwarted — by formal organizational structures.
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Advances in development tools have tremendous potential for increasing productivity, cost savings and innovation. To reap the full benefits of such technologies, though, companies need to avoid some common pitfalls.
Companies too often vacillate in their commitment to internal corporate venturing activities, leading to less than optimal outcomes. Executives need to better understand — and manage — the factors that drive cyclicality in internal corporate venturing.
Smartly placed, legitimizing constraints actually enable innovation by focusing it and giving it traction in the competition for corporate attention and resources.
Companies should focus less on marketplace premiums for their innovations and more on opportunistically exploiting subsidies for innovations. Thus Microsoft‘s Windows 95 development effectively garnered a $900 million subsidy by drawing upon a valuable technical population to test and help improve the system. An innovation subsidy, says the author, is individuals‘ and institutions‘ cost-effective bartering of resources to reduce risk.
Companies undertake venturing for a variety of reasons. To be successful, they must be clear about their objectives and disciplined in executing the one of four business models most appropriate to achieving them.
A company’s interaction with the scientific community is crucial to its ability to incubate and commercialize new ideas.
Managers don”t have to be told that to innovate they need to embrace drastically different practices from the ones they use for routine work. So why don”t they do it? According to the author, when business leaders see what innovation actually requires, they often recoil. In this article, Sutton has developed eight techniques to move teams and companies from working by rote to innovating.
Innovation has become the defining challenge for global competitiveness. The authors show the degree to which location matters for successful innovation at the global technology frontier. Such locational advantages help to explain an apparent paradox of globalization: Ideas and technologies that can be accessed at a distance cannot serve as a foundation for competitive advantage.
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