Here's a post that I read today from the Innovate on Purpose blog. It discusses factors that limit successful innovation in a company. It draws an analogy to the "iron triangle" -- fast, cheap, reliable -- pick two -- and innovation.
Innovation's triangle consists of -- money, people, ideas. According to the author, people are the resource that most limits innovation these days as money and ideas are relatively cheap. It's management's attempts to staff innovation teams with existing personnel with instructions "to go innovate' while still maintaining their "day job" that causes innovation to really fall flat. You need people in the right quantities and quality to be able to innovate.
I wondered how this plays out vis a vis the lack of R&D productivity in pharma that I've been discussing in several blog posts yesterday. On the one hand, it seemed R&D groups had gotten too big and that smaller groups were actually achieving greater productivity (per R&D dollar spent) in terms of new drug approvals. That still suggests that adequate people number exist on many big pharma teams -- and some of these people may be in danger of being cut now to control costs. That's the trend in big pharma anyway.
Thinking out loud. Could it be that any so-called excess R&D staff are still not placed on the right projects? Can projects be cut and staff freed from their "day job" to work on innovation efforts? If the right skills and right numbers of people can be so applied, would that not be a better use? It promotes the idea of having perhaps more small entrepreneurial units rather than big central core. It also would potentially argue against outsourcing innovation. You would try to innovate by freeing existing internal staff and have them quit their "day jobs" for the innovation team. Might end up making innovation more of a core capability.
Posted by Bruce Lehr Aug 13th 2013.