• This episode of Tech-Clarity TV explores how food and beverage industry can avoid industry disruption from a new class of competitors, including the likes of Amazon, Blue Apron, HelloFresh, and others. It shares how digitalization can help R&D innovate faster, readily customize products to customer needs, and respond to the market with both agility and quality.This video is part of a series of videos showing how digitalization can help food and beverage companies compete with these innovative, digital industry competitors that are disrupting the status quo.The video series is sponsored by … [ read more ]

    Raising the Bar in R&D with Digitalization and the Digital Enterprise (video)
  • On Tuesday November 21, 2017  please join Christopher Rösner, General Requirements Manager at e.GO mobile AG, Tech-Clarity's Michelle Boucher, and Che Curnew, Senior Technical Sales Specialist at PTC for a discussion on the benefits of a better approach to requirements management. This session will be an interactive interview to share different perspectives and experiences on requirements management. The discussion will include topics such as:How a Requirements Management solution can help your business How to identify specific requirements needs How to select the right solution for your … [ read more ]

    Selecting the Right Requirements Management Solution (webcast)
  • How do leading companies manage and operate their labs and what impact does that have on their business? Please share your thoughts in our short Chemical Lab Digitalization Survey.Tech-Clarity invites you to join a research study on best practices in lab management. If you've already completed the survey  –> please share with a colleague or you social media friends using the “Share/Save” buttons above. If you haven’t taken the survey  –> please: Take the survey nowComplete the survey and receive a free copy of the final report.In addition,  25 eligible* respondents will … [ read more ]

    Chemical Lab Digitalization (survey invitation)
  • Close the Engineering Skills Gap:Prepare New Graduates to Be Real-World Ready shares new research on the gap between the skills graduating engineers have and skills companies would like to see. The research examines the evolving needs of the engineering department. The results reveal that engineering departments expect to grow so we will need more engineers. On top of that, the required skills will also expand. Complicating the situation, as the most experienced engineers approach retirement age, companies must figure out how to replace that knowledge. This makes the skills of new engineers especially … [ read more ]

    Close the Engineering Skills Gap (survey findings)
  • This infographic shares our research on how Top Performing companies achieve better NPDI performance than their competitors, excelling at revenue growth, margin expansion, and delivering innovative products. The infographic starts by providing a graphical view of the unfortunate truth about new product development, companies miss their quality, cost, requirements, regulatory compliance, project budget, and time to market targets far too often. The graphic shares perspectives from our research.The piece is an Autodesk infographic leveraging data from our 7 Ways to Outperform Your Competitors in … [ read more ]

    How to Beat Your Competition in Product Development (infographic)

Creating the Environment to Innovate

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Innovation-Environment-ThumbTech-Clarity Insight – Creating the Environment to Innovate, How Industry Leaders Put People, Processes, and Technology in Place to Drive Innovation shares our insights and the perspective of three leading companies on how to best create an atmosphere that fosters innovation. The report explains that companies must put a realistic improvement plan in place that covers people, process, and technology if they want to improve innovation performance.

Please enjoy the summary below, or click the report to download a PDF overview (free of charge, no registration required).

For the full report, please visit our sponsor Planview (free of charge, registration required).

You can also view a replay of a related, 30 minute Three Elements Missing From Your Innovation Process webcast presented by Planview (free, registration required).

 

Table of Contents

  • Executive Overview
  • Examining People, Processes, and Technology
  • Establish a Culture for Innovation
  • Design Right-Sized Processes for Innovation
  • Enable Innovation with Lightweight, Flexible Technology
  • Adopt a Continuous Improvement Approach
  • Conclusion
  • Recommendations
  • About the Author

Executive Overview

Companies want to raise the bar on innovation from incremental improvement to the kind of innovation that shows up in the annual report. Breakthrough innovation is visible to customers, the market, and investors. As Lana Kington, Director of Global R&D Innovation Management for Mead Johnson Nutrition points out, “Whenever our management speaks to investors, they consistently highlight our innovation performance because of its importance to our consumers, our business and our reputation.” Others agree, including Sindy Wilson, Director of Product Portfolio Analytics & Insights for Manheim Auction, “We are the industry leader and we drive innovation, it’s very visible and a very high priority.”

Although innovation is important and gets a lot of attention, too few companies have a realistic plan in place to improve innovation performance. Companies don’t have an environment that fosters innovation and allows them to innovate and commercialize effectively to capitalize on their ideas. We spoke with several leading companies about how they create an environment that fosters innovation. As Manheim’s Wilson states, “You have to be fast to market to be relevant.” Companies need a plan to operationalize innovation to be more predictable, repeatable, and reduce risk. The plan must address three critical elements necessary to foster innovation – people, processes, and technology.

Some may scoff at the simplicity of the “people, processes, technology” message. It probably gets as much lip service as innovation itself. But each element is critically important and there are some special considerations for each related to innovation. For example, some feel processes for innovation can slow them down. “People are always concerned that an innovation process is simply bureaucracy – and that it will slow them down; but that’s not the case,”explains Lana Kington of Mead Johnson. While that may be true, done right innovation processes help guide and streamline innovation execution. “We can have discipline and the flexibility to innovate.”

Technology plays a special role in enabling innovation. “Inevitably software will speed up innovation, you gain back efficiencies tenfold by automating,” explains Immucor’s Erik Greenfield in Tech-Clarity’s Top 5 Misconceptions about Innovation Management Software. Technology helps support standard processes and metrics and provides transparency to consistent information. Good processes and technology also enable facts-based decision-making to move companies away from emotion and gut instinct to a more mature, sustainable approach. While processes and technology are crucial, the research also shows the importance of a strong innovation culture and that processes and technology must be lightweight and flexible to enable but not burden innovators, particularly in early innovation phases.

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