Achieving Innovation Part I

Yesterday we discussed the results of the Boston Consulting Group’s Innovation 2006 survey and report that determined that not only do 72% of executives consider innovation a top-three strategic priority, but that innovative companies outperform the Global S&P 1200 median by 300 basis points with annualized increased profit margins of 3 percentage points higher.

We also discussed the top three commonalities of innovative companies as evidenced by the report:

  1. Innovative Culture
  2. Deep Customer Understanding and Focus
  3. Market Focused

and how these were all people-focused. Innovative companies focus on their employees, customers, and the people in the market they operate in. They are run by innovative leaders who run an innovative culture that promotes creativity, learning, research, and development.

However, as we indicated, this is only the start. As I pointed out in my Purchasing Innovation Series on eSourcing Forum, innovation is not easy to manage, or to measure. Furthermore, it requires appropriate process and technology support.

For some additional insight here, we are also going to focus on the other characteristics of the five most innovative companies identified by the report:

  1. Apple Computer
  2. Google
  3. 3M
  4. Toyota Motor
  5. Microsoft

The characteristics displayed by these companies include:

  • Innovative Business Model
  • Continuous Investment in Innovation
  • Skillful Blend of Design and Technology
  • Steady launch of “paradigm shifting” products
  • Lengthy track record of successful innovation
  • Institutionalized Capabilities
  • Ongoing and successful expansion into new areas
  • Speed
  • Products that allow “lock-in”
  • Staying Power

Tomorrow we’ll discuss each of these in turn to uncover some “secrets to success” that you can use to become more innovative.