Posts Tagged ‘Product Development’

To spur innovation, hire people who agitate you …

September 10, 2012

Punch line: Nearly 66% of companies on the Fortune 100 list in 1990 are not on the list today.


It is largely because they didn’t innovate and open themselves up to their next market.

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Excerpted from Fast Company, “Why Hiring People Who Annoy You Helps You Innovate”

So are there ways for large, established companies to innovate?

Yes and here are some unconventional guidelines to follow.

1. Hire people who annoy you:


A lot of research shows that diverse teams tend to come up with a wider variety of answers, and, thus, are more likely to find the surprising winning idea.

This suggests a hiring strategy–hire people who annoy you.

As long as you’re ensuring they are smart, the people who annoy you represent the diversity you and your company require.

2. Don’t copy, remake:

There is an entire cottage industry devoted to teaching you how to be innovative.

Most answers are glib because they point to some surface feature of a behavior.

3. Don’t create, listen:

The purpose of innovation is not simply to build something new, but to win new customers, new markets, or new products …

If you want to find out what customers want, nix the focus groups and instead watch their behavior.

Edited by JDC
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Innovate by Spending Less on R&D … huh?

November 1, 2011

TakeAway: Companies that spend more on R&D are rated less innovative than other companies that spread spending across divisions to grow innovation.

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Excerpt from WSJ: “Top ‘Innovators’ Rank Low in R&D Spending”

A report by consulting firm Booz & Co., says that few of the biggest R&D spenders crack the top 10 in terms of being considered “innovative” by their peers.

The most frequent pick for innovative was Apple — the 70th biggest research-and-development spender— followed by Google and 3M, also not among the top-20 spenders.

Health-care companies held four of the five top-spender spots, but none made the top 10 in terms of being deemed innovative.

Pfizer, which ranked second for R&D spending in the study and 16th for innovation, has for the past few years tried to spur creativity by inviting researchers to attend commercial meetings and encouraging employees on the commercial side to attend scientific reviews. The company also plans to cut its R&D budget, currently over $8 billion, to as low as $6.5 billion as it focuses on fewer, targeted disease areas.

3M, which spends relatively little money on its research and development, landing at number 86 on Booz’s spending list, allows employees to spend 15% of their time exploring side projects. It also offers seed “grants” to encourage innovation.

Edit by ARK

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