Translator Needed

Henry Chesbrough famously said, “Most innovations fail. And, companies that don’t innovate die.” In a recent Babson Insight article by Daniel Huber, he makes the case for rethinking what kind of human resources and organizational structures are needed — if innovation is to succeed.

Key take aways include:

  • Unintentional terminations of innovation projects occur primarily at two points in the process: after selection for development and after introduction of the new offering in the marketplace
  • Most companies have an “innovation gap” – a disconnect in the flow of information between those people involved in exploratory tasks (i.e., development) and those responsible for operational tasks (i.e., market introduction)
  • Innovative enterprises have to create two organizations – one for innovation and one for business – and allow each sufficient autonomy to create and live its own culture
  • Simultaneously cultivating two conflicting organizational cultures contradicts the rules of organizational theory. To resolve the conundrum, companies need a translator (i.e., key account management) function to bridge the two cultures

The findings may or may not come as a surprise to the reader. What may be a surprise is that SBTDC frequently helps companies across North Carolina resolve this type of problem. Contact me to learn how we help.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *