10 High-Leverage Strategies for Innovation



What are the high-leverage strategies that the leaders in innovation use? 

In “Smart Spenders, the Global Innovation 1000,” an article in strategy+business magazine, Barry Jaruzelski, Kevin Dehoff, and Rakesh Bordia write about the successful strategies that the 94 high-leverage innovators use.

10 Examples of High-Leverage Strategies

Here’s a sampling of the high leverage strategies:

  1. Have systematic ideation processes, including involving senior management in the conception and definition of new ideas.
  2. Have competence at all stages of your value chain.
  3. Involve end-users in your innovation strategy.  Spend a lot of time focusing on  where they work, where they play, where they buy, and where they learn.  This helps to increase your efficiency of your new product introductions.
  4. Favor flatter and nimbler management structures that make the innovation process more transparent to your executive team.
  5. Keep R&D costs down by keeping R&D focused and closely aligned with your business units.  This allows you to target your R&D efforts to meet specific customer needs versus doing a great deal of early-stage, academic research.
  6. Keep an internal innovation engine running efficiently through a core engineering team that designs and developers a variety of product lines (this helps provide common engineering and design as well as actual code reuse.)
  7. Place greater value on economies of speed, scope and skill rather than simply economies of scale.
  8. Look outside your organization for partners, suppliers and customers for new and innovative ideas.
  9. Build capabilities along the innovation value chain to generate significant improvements in return on your research and development spending.
  10. Pick the elements to generate a competitive advantage based on your industry, competition and internal capabilities.

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