Research & Development, Innovation

Challenges:

Innovation entails several dilemmas:

  1. The customer VS the R&D: To come-up with innovations, companies rely on their R&D teams or investigate deeply the consumer behavior but very few find the right mix of those two complementary practices. relying solely on the engineering for new product development may result in a product that does not completely address the factual issues of the customer or addresses issues that the customer does not value enough. On the other hand, bearing in mind only the market needs are likely to end up in incremental changes rather than the required disruptive innovation that will change your competitive position.  
  2. Product or process innovation: Regardless of the innovation budget your company allocates, you will always find yourself in front of the traditional forked road: is it my product that I need to redefine, enrich, make more attractive? or is it my processes that need to be streamlined, become more efficient, less costly… You choose the product and your processes get messy, you choose the neat process and your product gets rigid and outdated. It is paramount under those conditions to really know when the product comes first and when it is time for the process. 
  3. Proprietary VS collaborative: When developing a new product, companies face the issue of intellectual property protection. It has been found that an imitation cost around 65% of an innovation which means that if the competitor finds a way to copy your innovation then, the company will be in serious trouble. For this reason, many companies have chosen to rely only on their internal human capital and use their own resources when it comes to product development. However, history proves that the best ideas and inventions came when people collaborated. So how to open to your partners enough to gain from their insights and not in a way that might threaten your interests? This is a huge dilemma that could effectively be managed only when you have the expertise that allows for calculated risk-taking, a smart way of intellectual property management and optimal partner network relationship management. 
  4. Technology-driven or business-model-driven: In the era of high-tech, businesses feel they need to increasingly invest in technology and R&D to keep pace with the surge of scientific progress. Yet, a cutting-edge lab cannot make up for a missed business opportunity. This is not to minimize the importance of technology but to put it into perspective. Technology and the business do complement each other and again, the question here is not which one to pick but in which context the tech component should prevail and in which another context only a savvy business model can save you. It’s all about finding the successful mix!

Our approach:

Idea generation is at the core of the innovation process. Our insider knowledge of your industry and our long-standing experience in analyzing the behavior of customers around the world will fuel the idea generation process. We also accurately evaluate the uncertainty pertaining to the market as well as to the technical aspects of the innovation and come up with a list of winning innovation options. And since the future of your company will depend on how well you can reinvent yourself, we continuously operate to revitalize your activities from within by setting the seeds for internal entrepreneurship and from outside by connecting you to a sound network of partners.  
Some examples of the tools we use:
  • The portfolio of innovation options: This matrix is used to assess the various innovative ideas in terms of market uncertainty and technical uncertainty. Depending on this information, the company will shed light on the risks related to the innovations and be able to set in advance the actions required to manage them. 
  • Entrepreneurial growth lifecycle: this analysis helps you to: Find where your company is in terms of entrepreneurship orientation. Prepare for the future by predicting how your company will evolve and forecasting the upcoming challenges you will face.
  • Innovation typology chart

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