Writing for Bloomberg Businessweek, Christine Crandell discusses why some companies successfully innovate and others don't.
Crandell argues that high rates of failure for new products – "once considered an inevitable cost of doing business" – are unacceptable in the modern business environment.
The author reveals that a survey involving more than 280 product executives in 17 industries found common patterns among the top performers.
Crandell describes some good management habits of innovative, high-performance companies:
- Balance. At winning companies, investments in breakthrough advancements are balanced with spending on incremental innovations.
- Prioritise. The high performers focus on product development projects that match up with market needs and the organisation's overall business strategy.
- Analyse. The best innovators strive to find out if a product is worthwhile by analysing customer feedback as quickly as possible.
- Automate. Crandell insists that the top performers use technology to deliver products on time, manage requirements, administer workflow and prioritise development.
The survey also revealed a flipside – failures consistent with the companies still struggling:
- Not listening – failure to hear and consider what customers want.
- Not collaborating – failure to share information and collaborate with key stakeholders.
- Misalignment – failure to communicate between senior management and product-line staff.
- Uncertainty – a lack of clear decision- marking and confusion over product-line ownership.
- Paperwork – slowing down processes with traditional management methods.
- Poor execution – bad planning and mismanagement of multiple teams.
Why Some Companies Successfully Innovate And Others Don't