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High-Leverage Strategies for Innovation

High-Leverage Strategies for Innovation

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What are the high-leverage strategies that the leaders in innovation use?  In "Smart Spenders, the Global Innovation 1000," an article in strategy+business magazine, Barry Jaruzelski, Kevin Dehoff, and Rakesh Bordia write about the successful strategies that the 94 high-leverage innovators use.

Example High-Leverage Strategies
Here's a sampling of the high leverage strategies:

  • Have systematic ideation processes, including involving senior management in the conception and definition of new ideas.
  • Have competence at all stages of your value chain.
  • Involve end-users in your innovation strategy.  Spend a lot of time focusing on  where they work, where they play, where they buy, and where they learn.  This helps to increase your efficiency of your new product introductions.
  • Favor flatter and nimbler management structures that make the innovation process more transparent to your executive team.
  • Keep R&D costs down by keeping R&D focused and closely aligned with your business units.  This allows you to target your R&D efforts to meet specific customer needs versus doing a great deal of early-stage, academic research.
  • Keep an internal innovation engine running efficiently through a core engineering team that designs and developers a variety of product lines (this helps provide common engineering and design as well as actual code reuse.)
  • Place greater value on economies of speed, scope and skill rather than simply economies of scale.
  • Look outside your organization for partners, suppliers and customers for new and innovative ideas.
  • Build capabilities along the innovation value chain to generate significant improvements in return on your research and development spending.
  • Pick the elements to generate a competitive advantage based on your industry, competition and internal capabilities.
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