The Smart Organization: Creating Value through Strategic R&D
Why do some firms continually make poor R&D decisions while others can deliver a stream of successful products and services? According to the authors, successful firms have internalized the nine interlocking principles of smart R&D – the building blocks of a corporate culture that emphasize making the right strategic decisions at the right times and aligning organizational practices to sustain their results.
The Smart Organization:
Creating Value through Strategic R&D
By David Matheson & Jim Matheson
Harvard Business School Press
Based on their highly successful benchmarking studies and research into the strategic decision-making practices of the world's leading innovators, the authors identify principles that underlie success.
"Companies hire bright, high-IQ people and then the organization tends to 'dumb them down' by policies and practices that inhibit value creation," say the authors, father-son team Jim and David Matheson.
The nine principles include embracing uncertainty, opening information flows, and encouraging systems thinking. Once in place, these values enable companies to make appropriate choices about their R&D planning, portfolio management, and project strategies. The authors stress the importance of evaluating trade-offs, investigating alternatives, and getting buy-in across functions to ensure that decisions will be viable from both technological and managerial perspectives. They use best practice examples from companies including General Motors, Pilkington Glass, and BankOne of Ohio to demonstrate that the methods used to enrich R&D planning can be applied more broadly to create, in effect, the "smart" organization.
Although the book was originally based on R&D, experience reveals that the principles uncovered by the authors apply equally to all functions of the business, from corporate to functional levels. By following the advice of these seasoned consultants, business executives can literally unlock billions of dollars in untapped value.