In this environment we see three main innovation management challenges that companies need to address:
How to build innovation capabilities in your company and your ecosystem to meet the changing needs of today and tomorrow
As the clock speed of innovation increases, building the right innovation capabilities to meet tomorrow’s needs, as well as today’s, is critically important. Partnering is not enough – companies need to master working within complex and rapidly changing innovation ecosystems. Companies face a number of typical challenges:
- Identifying which technical capabilities are strategically important for the future, especially in light of digitalization and convergence
- Shaping the innovation ecosystem, identifying and attracting the right partners, and getting the best out of collaborations and partnerships with externals, especially start-ups and academics
- Developing effective venturing and incubation capabilities that deliver real business value
- Identifying and assessing potential technology acquisitions or mergers
- Transforming culture and capability from a traditional in-house R&D orientation towards an agile, entrepreneurial, open-innovation approach
We help companies build effective innovation capabilities for both in-house staff and the wider ecosystem to address these challenges.
How to get more out of your core investment in R&D and innovation
Most large companies already have well-established innovation and R&D programs, but these often fail to deliver their full potential in terms of business value and return on investment, for example:
- Innovation and R&D strategies are often too inflexible and unresponsive to capture new external opportunities, or else they fail to reflect the right balance between short- vs. long-term priorities, or between incremental and breakthrough innovation
- Global R&D governance, organization, processes and sites may have become fragmented and suboptimal, often as a result of ongoing acquisitions and corporate restructuring
- R&D productivity and efficiency may be limited by legacy culture and practice, duplicated activities, inconsistent processes, lack of agile approaches and poor collaboration across functions and sites
- Approaches to certain critical aspects of R&D and innovation management may need improving, such as customer and business intelligence, portfolio optimization, product lifecycle, intellectual property and knowledge
How to deliver more, faster breakthrough products, services and business models
Today’s large companies often struggle to deliver breakthrough innovations fast enough or often enough.
Many companies set up internal teams or incubators, but these often underperform – in Arthur D. Little’s recent global breakthrough innovation survey, over 85% of companies were not satisfied with their current approaches.
Typical challenges include:
- Difficulty in delivering fast-enough results from new breakthrough or radical innovation initiatives
- Insufficient progress on identification and, especially, development and exploitation of new non-core or step-out growth opportunities
- Internal rejection of breakthrough innovations by internal corporate ‘antibodies’
- Difficulty in engaging effectively with universities and start-ups to develop and deliver fast technological breakthroughs
- Deploying adequate resources to meet longer-term innovation needs, for example, due to conflicting short-term operational priorities