How to innovate in tough times

Experts offer tips on sustaining innovation through difficult economic periods.

It can be a formidable challenge to make sure your innovation projects continue to prosper at a time when many company budgets are shrinking. A recent article from Knowledge@Wharton summarizes recommendations from a panel of experts who spoke at Wharton -- on the topic of how to sustain technology innovation, specifically, during tough times. Some of the panelists' recommendations:

  • Align projects with the larger organization's aims.
  • Hone your people skills. People "need to like your idea, but they also need to like you," observed panelist Eric F. Bernstein.
  • Show how your innovation will save money.
  • Have an advocate for your project at as high a level in the organization as possible.

The Knowledge@Wharton article also quoted Wharton marketing professor George S. Day , who noted that some leading companies continue to invest in innovation even during difficult economic periods. Day has written in MIT Sloan Management Review on topics such as being a vigilant leader and aligning an organization with the market.

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