Recent research based upon interviews with 765 CEOs and business leadersgives this breakdown of the most significant sources of innovative ideas:Employees 40%Business Partners 36%Customers 35%Consultants 22%Competitors 20%Associations etc 18%Internal R&D 15%Academia 12%
Source: IBM "The Global CEO Study 2006"
You need to find a way to harvest all the ideas of every one of the membersof your company, partners, customers and others.This applies to EVERY company and organisation – NO EXCEPTIONS!Coming up with the ideas, however, is only the beginning.Whether these ideas relate to key technology or product development,revisions to existing practices or procedures or even more fundamentalideas, it is still a massive step to turn those ideas into an innovative andsuccessful new product or service or a successful revision to businessprocedures.The problem is, perhaps, that ideas come from right brain thinking whereasthe implementation of ideas is essentially left brain. Every successfulbusiness has to enable both.This is where the second item I read is relevant:
“A study by Booz Allen Hamilton has found that there is nocorrelation whatsoever between the amount spent on R&D and company success
however you measure it.”
I'm not surprised by these results. I've seen too many companies who don'thandle product development and technology development in a structuredmanner. Us British, for example, were famous in the past for coming upwith new products developed from exciting technical innovations but notbased on proper consideration of the market's needs or aspirations.Concorde is a prime example.So having set up effective mechanisms that give the space, permission andencouragement to generate ideas you then need to have disciplines in placeto evaluate and implement the best of them.