I’m fascinated by innovation and read everything I can get my hands on about innovation and innovation strategy. A new article in Strategy+Business called “Raising Your Return on Innovation Investment” by Alexander Kandybin and Martin Kihn of Booz Allen Hamilton, has definitely gotten my attention.
In the article, the authors put together a very useful analytical approach that identifies four steps of innovation (and innovation investment) complete with the expected matrices and charts, which are quite helpful. Of special value is the author’s approach to the “innovation value chain,” which consists of “four pillars” – ideation, project selection, development and commercialization.
The authors go on to discuss whether each of the four pillars needs to be done within the organization or whether it can be done outside the organization. I highly recommend this discussion to you as a way to think about innovation and new projects.
The money quote (one of many possibles):
“The first link in the chain, idea generation, is clearly ripe for outsourcing; a company should cast as wide a net as possible for ideas. By contrast, the second link, project selection, cannot be outsourced. This critical step speaks to the heart of a firm?s strategy and its vision for its business ? its corporate soul, if you will. There are few conceivable means by which a company can outsource its selection of investment opportunities and still remain an entity in any but the vaguest sense of the word. ”
This analysis seems exactly right to me. I can bring you ideas, information, methods and even analytical or evaluative tools as an outsider, but there comes a point where the decision has to be made by no one but you. It’s like the old saying, you can bring a lawyer to [name any technology here], but you can’t make the lawyer use it.
Speaking of innovation and return on innovation investment, I’ve just received the beta version of CaseMap 5 , about which I’ll be writing an article. There is a major new feature that I think will make this great program even more essential for litigators and, more importantly, for clients who are involved in litigation.