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Leaders have dual roles when managing innovation. In a bottom-up role, they stimulate innovative results as they facilitate ideas and initiative coming from individuals and teams. In a top-down role, leaders are the primary means for the organization to realize its innovation goals and strategies. A fundamental challenge is to balance these two roles.
Companies become increasingly restrictive in their consulting spending, especially during times of economic crisis, where the return on the investments on consulting services is questioned and carefully considered. Consulting in the area of innovation management is even more under pressure as it is usually much lower on the CEOs’ agenda than e.g. restructuring or general cost-cutting. Therefore, innovation management consultants face the challenge to develop their client base, be effective by providing the right recommendations and be efficient by developing these recommendations in as short a period of time as possible. Mastering such a challenge seems like searching for Columbus’ Egg in innovation management consulting.
Seldom spoken about, the capacity to capture, allocate, control and utilize financial resources is fundamental to innovation. Without strong financial management, innovation might come to a dead stop, might never happen or might just cost much more than it should. In this blog Caspar van Rijnbach asks the questions to take into consideration when managing finances for your innovation portfolio.
While large companies like P&G have forged ahead with open innovation there are many still to take the first tentative steps. Dr John Kapeleris provides a primer on how to go from thinking about Open Innovation to trying it out with a crowdsourcing project.
The benefits of open innovation during the current economic downturn have only recently been analyzed. Henry Chesbrough and Andrew Garman have recently published a Harvard Business Review article (June) on this. Wim Vanhaverbeke, Professor of Strategy and Innovation at Hasselt University, Belgium, provides some additional benefits when companies apply open innovation in a downturn, which has not been mentioned in the HBR-article.