Innovation Management Wisdom

New Report Raises Bar for Innovation in U.S. Firms

June 22nd, 2009

Cleveland, Ohio (PRWEB) June 22, 2009 — The U.S. economy may be under-performing by hundreds of billions of dollars annually due to companies that squander customer information, botch innovation and miss global market opportunities, according to a report published by Whyze Group.

The report, titled Bridging the Research-Innovation Gap, describes eleven factors that determine executives’ effectiveness in leading their companies from the mountains of customer information they collect to innovation pay dirt. It provides ways for managers at all levels to diagnose innovation challenges and implement solutions.

The report comes in the midst of an economic crisis that has raised public skepticism of many company executives. U.S. taxpayers are on the hook for trillions of dollars in bailouts to companies that, among other faults, have failed to innovate products customers want. GM’s former CEO, Rick Wagoner, was ousted by an Obama administration calling for more accountability.

Whyze Group president, Jason M. Sherman, says, “This report gives U.S. managers, investors and employees the tools to recognize barriers to innovation in organizations and respond accordingly.”

Sherman adds, “It’s in our collective interest to assure that everyone who depends on the continued prosperity of the United States participate in making us more innovative and competitive. This report is a primer for those who will make that happen.”

‘Bridging the Research-Innovation Gap’ is the culmination of eight years of analysis of Fortune 500 companies. Whyze Group audited hundreds of strategy documents and conducted thousands of interviews with executives, employees and customers. The report integrates data from the U.S. Commerce Department and observations from thought leaders at top business schools.

The report includes an analysis of how management teams waste billions of dollars on market research each year. Companies use only half of the customer information they acquire. Some customer information is misapplied.

As a result, there is little association between how much companies spend on research and their relative financial performance. Company performance is influenced more by how effectively managers apply what they learn.

‘Bridging the Research-Innovation Gap’ identifies eleven factors that determine how effectively managers apply what they learn. One example is the degree to which executives carve out fiefdoms to the detriment of their organizations. In some companies, managers try to manipulate information for their own personal gain. In others, executives openly share information and work in ways that are more aligned with the interests of customers, employees and shareholders.

Other factors that determine how companies apply what they learn are management teams’ abilities to
–   Correctly identify their own blind spots
–   Stimulate innovation among employees
–   Identify and champion the most promising ideas

The report describes seven additional factors that determine companies’ abilities to bridge the research-innovation gap. Descriptions of each factor are followed by strategies executives can use to make their companies more innovative.

Jason M. Sherman is president of Cleveland-based, Whyze Group. Whyze Group provides qualitative, customer- and user-experience research and innovation workshops to Global 2000 clients. The company has been recognized by the Baldrige National Quality Program, business associations and numerous business media as a leader in research and innovation.

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Entry Filed under: Facilitating Change,News,Product Development


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