As a critical component to any company’s success and development, the role of innovation is a significant one. Innovation drives growth and opportunity in new markets and breathes life into existing industry.
Jean-Marc Frangos, MD, External Innovation, BT Innovate and Design, gives an insight into the importance of nurturing an innovation culture within an enterprise and staying at the forefront of new technologies and trends.
Frangos will speak at the marcus evans Process Driven Innovation conference taking place in Philadelphia on in September.
Measuring innovation within large companies is a difficult task, according to Frangos. “All companies with innovation groups always have the same challenge. The normal way of looking at any business is to try and measure the return on a different number of things – the return on capital employed, the return on investment. These returns are very hard to pin down in the case of an innovation group because typically the cycles that are involved between the point where you are establishing a team to deal with innovation or trying to measure the team on their efficiency and the returns when the product appears on the market after it is launched.
“That measurement doesn’t come immediately. You need to be able to measure an innovation team on things that are more tangible and short term. Depending on how the innovation works in the company the people who are the origin of the idea are not necessarily the people who carry on the idea throughout the development, operations, launch and marketing of the project.”
Frangos adds that the score carding of the innovation is always tricky as “you want to encourage new ideas, measure new ideas but at the same time you don’t want to stifle innovation by putting measures there that are too short term”.
Innovation cycles do not work in every organisation, he says. “Typically the way companies are run on a quarterly basis or even an annual basis is a very difficult thing to adjust an innovation cycle to because that is typically longer. If you punish an innovation team for a poor quarterly performance it will not help you in the long term because you are taking the resource out of where it is needed over a longer cycle. It’s really a question of cycles and being able to adjust score carding and rewards to the right cycles which are not necessarily the same as what you have in operations.”
Nurturing the next generation of innovators should be an important consideration. “Inside your enterprise it is about creating the right spirit of innovation from the top down showing from the CEO down that innovation is at the core of what you do,” he adds.
The marcus evans Process Driven Innovation conference will take place in Philadelphia on 28-29 September, 2010.
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