Important Need

Curt Innovationbron_MP__SRI8620_121112
Curt Carlson, Founder and CEO of the Practice of Innovation and former CEO of SRI International in Silicon Valley, California

Is your enterprise thriving or struggling to keep up?  Are your R&D and marketing departments systematically creating one major breakthrough after another?  Is your business being commoditized?  If your answers are negative, you are not alone.  Innovative performance is generally poor.  In America more companies are dying than being born, and the lifetime of the S&P 500 is under 20 years. These trends are world-wide and accelerating.

In all the companies we have worked with, generally less than 30% of their new initiatives turned out to have any value for the enterprise.  Most were interesting projects for those involved, but not important to the enterprise.  Remarkably, less than 10% of these companies had a thoughtful innovation process. Senior management claimed they did, but when middle-level managers were asked to describe it, they gave back blank looks. That is the test. If a manager can’t describe their company’s innovation process, there is none.  It should not be surprising that the company’s innovative results are poor.  (more…)