Innovation isn’t a one-time project. It’s a continuous activity. Which is why we are seeing numerous organizations adding an innovation department to their company infrastructure. In fact, in a recent survey of our client base, we were surprised to learn that almost 40% of our customers operate out of a dedicated innovation group.
At the beginning of the twentieth century, research and development was a highly guarded and elite practice. Imagine laboratories peopled by white-coated scientists who had passwords to protect the doors to their office. This kind of research and innovation was highly successful for a long time – it gave us electrocardiography, DNA fingerprinting, and many Apple products. But with the advent of the internet and online collaboration, things like intellectual property, organizational boundaries, and the identification of new markets became a much more public and shared experience.
A 2012 study by the Harvard Business Review surfaced several interesting findings about the practice of innovation for the enterprise, including the innovation ambition matrix, which details how “firms that excel at total innovation management simultaneously invest at three levels of ambition, carefully managing the balance among them.”