Thursday, October 19, 2006

Innovate? Great, tell me how

Does your company have a defined process for fostering innovation? If so, let me know about it by posting a comment here or emailing me at

The fact is, most electronics companies pay lip service to innovation, but few have any defined process for making sure it happens inside their organizations. That’s the view of Curtis Carlson (pictured), president and chief executive of SRI International who wrote a book on the topic and spoke about it at a San Jose conference this week.

Carlson makes a simple, powerful point that left my jaw hanging. What could be more important to a technology company—especially one here in the seat of Silicon Valley, than having a process designed to foster and capture innovation?

OK, let’s prove Carlson wrong. Tell me about the process at your shop. –rbm

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

True innovation is rare indeed. Iterative evolution of the known has largely supplanted innovation into the unknown. Large companies have slashed the "R" in R&D and translated the "D" to be largely process or integration of other companies' innovation.

Dell claims to be a major innovator (even if behind the scenes) but their track record and even statements by their founder demonstrate the innovation is about process and cost and not technology creation. Dell's competitors fall into the same trap as they slash the "R" and focus on the "D". Their success becomes measured by how many companies they consume and their ability to not screw up the integration of the acquired technologies into their own portfolios.

Yes, innovation is great decline in many companies and places the US, in particular with its growing risk averse culture, at greater peril of irrelevancy within the world. Government funding and the lack of true vision about that funding further erode the confidence many have in the abilty of the US to rise from its current state and bring justice the "R" in "R&D".