6 Secrets of Highly Innovative Companies: Secret #1 – Foster a Culture of Innovative Thinking

This month we are running a series based on our independent research on innovation confidence.  To learn more about disruptive innovation and other strategy approaches, visit the Newport Consulting Group website strategy page.

Our studies show that highly innovative companies place an emphasis on the ability of company leadership to convey and execute a confident vision of the future of the products and innovation methods.  This transcends into work groups, development teams, and support organizations throughout the enterprise.

Bicycle component manufacturer SRAM leverages the customer marketplace to determine its forward product portfolio and strategy. Site Manager, Mr. Garrett Smith, suggest a “two bucket” approach to portfolio management. “The first bucket represents concepts that we have done before — these are repetitive — and go quickly into a regular development portfolio and pipeline. The other bucket would be concepts that do not exist in the marketplace.” Mr. Garrett points to the Hammerschmidt, a crank and bottom bracket combination with an integrated “planetary drive mechanism” as an example of the second group of products. “The idea came from our customer needs channel. Our advance development group (ADG) is a small core team that develops mechanisms that we have never developed before. So how do we shift under any load? The ADG then proves out that concept.” Often those result in patents but as Mr. Smith suggests, “patents are not the goal, the goal is serving the customer.”

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2 Comments

Filed under Innovation, Strategy

2 responses to “6 Secrets of Highly Innovative Companies: Secret #1 – Foster a Culture of Innovative Thinking

  1. Vision is key, but it’s one of a number of steps leadership should take –
    – Carve out time to innovate
    – Mix in long-term and newer employees
    – Pick a team lead with the right mix of skills
    – Establish clear goals and objectives
    – Let them fail!

    More details at http://bit.ly/bVepcz

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