Archive for June, 2009

Outsourcing Innovation for Greater ROI

Large companies appear to have all of the skill sets necessary to sustain innovation, yet appearance can be deceiving–one cannot valuate what they cannot measure, lost opportunities. Companies have begun to outsource innovation (a.k.a. open innovation) to maximize their opportunities, yet it is important to minimize transaction costs of administering projects, whether outsourced or not. In fact, streamlining R&D processes including outsourcing can provide returns of up to 10 to 85 cents on every dollar of R&D expenditure.

As one develops their cast of headshops and other outsource partnerships, one needs to balance their internal and external resources of skill sets, experience base, and congregate their core competencies to satisfy the need of the corporate strategic plan. Once the system is established, one needs to establish leadership practices to ensure sustainable management of these resources.

Balance in Innovation Leadership

Balance in Innovation Leadership

Balanced Rock June 2009

Balanced Rock June 2009

Most talk about leadership in the innnovation environment of getting things done and delivering. But how does one develop a “shop” that provides sustained output over time? Like Microsoft, Toyota, Sony and the like, developing an environment that fosters balance contributes to sustainable innovation. Balance between elements of personality temperaments and behavior work along many axes: science vs. art, turfiness vs. facilitating communication, speed to market vs. total solutuion, reactionary vs. pro-activity, and spontaneous creativity vs. disciplined advancing approaches. Balance often takes place without much engineering from management when team members originate from diverse backgrounds–one of the gifts of diversity. As the Eastern philosophy of yin-yang (i.e., the oscillating balance of opposites), leading innovation environments into sustainability often requires balancing changing and opposing forces and characteristics.