Innovation Incentives

Slate Magazine in an article titled How to make America more innovative: give scientists more incentives to innovat: shows that just opportunity and skills are not enough to drive innovation.  Organizations need to align incentives with needed behavior to innovate successfully.

“Incentives matter for innovation, and it’s a critical lesson for the government bureaucrats set to disburse hundreds of billions of dollars through Obama’s national Innovation Strategy, which is supposed to return America to innovative pre-eminence. The way we spend those dollars will be at least as important as how much we spend, and if we want the next generation of ideas to be Made in America, Obama’s team had better get its incentives right.”

The authors point out that HHMI with guaranteed support for five years tends to have more publication than NSF/NIH funded project.  I think that in many R&D organizations, guaranteed employment may not have exactly the same results  – HHMI only allows people to work there for a few years.  Employees have to find a permanent home someplace else at the end of their stay.  This would probably drive some behavior.  Also, amount of money being awarded may have some impact on results as well.

Unfortunately, no simple solutions / rules.  Only thing for certain is that R&D managers have to keep incentives in mind when trying to drive innovation.

How to improve performance reviews

The article Yes, Everyone Really Does Hate Performance Reviews  in Wall Street Journal has some good advice on making performance reviews more effective:

The good news is that none of this is the way things have to be. The one-sided, boss-dominated performance review needs to be replaced by a straight-talking relationship where the focus is on results, not personality, and where the boss is held accountable for the success of the subordinate (instead of just using the performance review to blame the subordinate for any problems they’re having). In this new system, managers will stop labeling people ‘good guys’ and ‘bad guys’ — or, in the sick parlance of performance reviews, outstanding performers, average performers, and poor performers to be put on notice. Instead, they’ll get it straight that their job is to make everyone reporting to them good guys.

This is important (if difficult) in R&D management – especially larger organizations.  Most engineers tend to dislike performance reviews any way.  The fact that engineers work in cross-functional teams and have multiple bosses makes reviews even more difficult.  Functional managers may not have all the information about actual work performed by an engineer on a project team, while the project manager may not know the discipline involved sufficiently to value the effort.  Interesting conundrum.

Building focused R&D commuities

As organizations grow larger in size, it becomes more and more difficult for R&D team members to know all the development in progress.  Furthermore, as disciplines get more specialized and demands for lower costs and higher efficiency increase, cross-disciplinary communications decline and the need for building focused R&D communities increase.  Many companies like Caterpillar have taken web-based or wiki-based approaches to drive communications across geographic locations (with varying degree of success).  MIT Sloan Review has a useful article on How Reputation Affects Knowledge Sharing Among Colleagues.

Social networks are a defining feature of 21st-century information exchange. Within research and development-intensive industries, in particular, social networks have always been key to fostering innovation. But what lies at the heart of a researcher’s decision to share information within a network of fellow researchers?”

As anticipated, people who have known one another longer and have meaningful relationships are more likely to share knowledge. Predictability and reciprocity are also positive factors. But being indebted to someone is a negative factor: Someone can’t be seen as taking more than giving. There are surprising results as well. The frequency with which people correspond, for instance, doesn’t correlate to them being more likely to share knowledge.

So, what are the drivers to building focused communities?  Clearly physical distance is one.  The other is familiarity or shared connections (a way to know who to contact and how) and lastly reputation (is it worth going through the effort?):

The research has a number of practical implications. It suggests that physical distance, for instance, poses barriers for those seeking knowledge. The best course of action is to talk to someone in the same city, or at least the same state. It’s also best to request information from those with whom you have a shared connection within an organization. Other scientists within the same company are most likely to share unique and not easily replicated scientific knowhow–that which could potentially provide a greater contribution. So someone seeking assistance will more likely succeed if he or she can make the case that the knowledge is vital to accomplishing a task and that the source has the expertise to provide it.

Because both proximity and organizational ties positively influence people to share knowledge, R&D workers may be more innovative if they are closely connected. The study even lends support to the idea of rotating groups of workers to improve knowledge sharing.

However, most R&D managers do not have simple approaches to change physical locations or drive familiarity.  The cost and efficiency pressures are such that there is not enough budget to allow for social networking across large distances.  Furthermore, the effect of social contacts fall off rapidly with time, so even if R&D managers hold internal meetings the return-on-investment in increased interaction is not guaranteed.  Furthermore, disciplines are getting so specialized communications needs are for very specialized expertise (e.g. not just any electronics, GaN LNA implementation at 40 GHz).  Hence, R&D managers need new tools that automatically build an expertise directory that allows engineers to quickly locate people who are working in exactly the same area.

Industry Jolted by EV Engineer Shortage

Here is a short article describing of key skill-set shortages in hybrid / EV automobiles: Industry Jolted by EV Engineer Shortage.  On one hand this is a new skill-set that was not really in existence a decade ago.
The already-tight market for mechatronics engineers just got more competitive with Thursday’s announcement of a proposed joint venture, led by Magna International Inc. founder Frank Stronach, to develop vehicle-electrification technology.
On the other hand, the industry has known about this trend for more than 10 years.  They could have easily trained new engineers if strategic skill-set planning had been in place (or tools existed to forecast skill-set needs for long-term).  As was pointed out in Toyota Way lost on the road to phenomenal worldwide growth, it takes years to get engineers trained to work effectively.  That training and management is even more difficult when new disciplines or technologies are being introduced in the products.  Even so, some people believe that market forces will take care of everything:
Veteran engineer Chris Theodore, whose fingerprints are on the Dodge Viper and Ford GT, also is unfazed.
“There is an imbalance,” Theodore says, referring to the dearth of mechatronics engineers. “There’s more knowledge required.”
But the shortage is temporary, and the impact of EVs on automotive engineering should not be exaggerated.
“The pendulum will swing the other way,” he tells Ward’s. “When all is said and done, we’re in a physical world.”
What do you think?  Does your organization face similar problems?

Strategic Skill-set management key to sustainable growth

Washington Post had an article about how growth caused skill-set imbalances at Toyota and may have lead to quality problems – Toyota Way’ was lost on road to phenomenal worldwide growth:

 How did Toyota lose its way? The core reason, according to a number of auto-industry experts, is that the carmaker outgrew its human expertise. ‘Toyota cannot develop engineers as fast as they can proliferate new models,’ said Jeffrey Liker, a professor of engineering at the University of Michigan and author of five recent books on the virtues of the Toyota Way. ‘Each engineer is doing more and has more opportunity for error.’ Before the avalanche of growth, Toyota took about 10 years to train first-class engineers, Liker said. These engineers and senior managers had time to absorb company values that gave them an intuitive feel for weighing quality demands against cost concerns — and how to squeeze suppliers on cost without getting inferior parts, said Susan Helper, a professor of economics at Case Western University in Cleveland and an expert on global manufacturing.

As per the article, rapid growth prevented Toyota from allowing the 10 years required for training.  The key question for R&D managers is not whether growth is good (it is required, necessary), nor is it if they can afford to spend 10 years to train engineers (they can not), but how do they use new R&D processes and tools to accelerate training and transfer more knowledge to engineers.

An added dimension is that of complexity – not just from increasing complexity of products but also from inclusion of new technology (electronics, computers etc):

As Toyota’s new cars became less mechanical and more dependent on electronics and computers, management’s intuitive feel for quality was further diluted, along with its expert understanding of how suppliers made parts, Helper said.

Clearly, traditional training regime will be challenged in this new world of doubling capabilities every 18 months.  It is pretty well known how automotive companies have trouble synchronizing development with electronics such as GPS or entertainment systems.

To cut costs, Toyota “dramatically reduced” crash testing of new car models, according to Koji Endo, a longtime auto analyst and managing director of Advanced Research Japan, a corporate research firm in Tokyo.
“They do virtual testing using computer models, and it is expertly done,” Endo said. “But from time to time there are unexpected real-world problems that the computer models do not account for.”

This is the final challenge – integrating new and advanced R&D tools into management and making sure that processes to manage risks scale with R&D tools.  As tools such as Finite Element Method (FEM) or Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) become even more capable / cheaper (due to computing enhancements), R&D managers will have even more pressure to use numerical models instead of physical.

Not only do managers have to evolve new processes and tools for skill-set management, but they have to align skill-sets with strategic needs.  Exciting times!

Why are companies still struggling with cross functional core teams?

The concept of cross-functional core teams have been around for decades. The belief is that a diversified team will be able to make better collective decisions and move projects faster by taking parallel, but coordinated functional paths. Most companies have embraced the concept and run development project teams with members from Marketing, Quality, R&D, Operations, etc. A closer look reveals, however, that these companies have the form but not function. It continues to amaze me how even multi-billion dollar technology companies struggle with it. Functional areas are highly siloed with each not knowing what they need to produce for other functions to do the work. Why are we still struggling with this?

R&D at 3M

WSJ has interviewed 3M CEO Mr. Buckley in the article At 3M, Innovation Comes in Tweaks and Snips. Even though the article title is about innovation, the actual interview has some excellent points about effective R&D management, skill-set management and motivation.
  • Senior leaders can reinvigorate an area just by making sure the team knows and feels that the area is important to them:

    “Mr. Buckley: I remember my meeting with Chris Holmes [who heads 3M’s abrasives business]. I had been in the company maybe a month. During a business review I said, ‘Tell me what is going on in abrasives. What innovations are we doing?’ Chris said we were doing this and that, but abrasives [were] not considered sexy. I said, ‘Why not? I think abrasives are sexy. Why can’t abrasives be sexy?’ I think it’s those simple comments to people who have been convinced over a period of years that they are unimportant. Chris was utterly inspired by that. 

  • Innovation and outside the box thinking is not cheap.  Creativity requires significant commitment of resources and recognition at C level

    WSJ: How else do you get your people to be creative? Mr. Buckley: Everybody wants to find out how to can creativity. You can’t. Creativity comes from freedom, not control. We let all the people in the R&D community spend 15% of their time researching whatever they like.

  • Innovation is not always targeted towards a brand new market.  It can be a new way to manufacture a product to give the company a competitive advantage.

    Mr. Buckley: It was finding ways to simplify how you make the lowest-cost high-performance respirator possible.
    We often think innovation is making a breakthrough at the top of the pyramid. That’s often not where the hardest challenges are. The hardest challenges are often: How do I make a breakthrough for next to nothing?

  • R&D management improvement is not conducive to Six Sigma like processes.  R&D is discontinuous and requires management insight

    I don’t know because it isn’t a process. [The quality-improvement process] Six Sigma’s worked wonderfully in our factories, but we tried it in our labs and it doesn’t work. It’s obvious why. The creative process, whether it is with me or anybody else,is a discontinuous process. You can’t say if I put more money in it I am going to get more out.

  • Hands-on senior management that walks the lab has enormous value -both in motivation and in efficiency/results.

    WSJ: How often do you go to the labs?
    Mr. Buckley: It’s dangerous when I go over. I’m told, “Every time George goes over to the labs he gets a new idea for a new product.” I probably go once every two weeks.

four Steps To Certification
Earn an ISACA certification and enhance your professional IT Certifications Exam VCE: credibility. ALL exams besides Certiport are scheduled immediately through the 4itexam suitable testing firm (Pearson Vue, Kryterion, and many others). In truth, regardless of the place you’re in your IT profession, certifications will almost at all times offer you an edge over non-certified IT professionals. Practice IT take a look at exams are used to measure what you already know (information) and the way nicely you may apply what you understand (performance).
We gear our practice exams to be more challenging than the precise certification exams. Once you obtain notification informing you that you’ve successfully handed the Microsoft examination, you can begin microsoft exam the online endorsement process. Schedule your exam by creating an account with Pearson VUE , the leading supplier ibm certification of global, computer-primarily based testing for certification and licensure IBM exams.
Certain info that you simply present during the registration course of, such as your electronic 70-461 dumps mail handle, can be required to check in to your 70-461 certification account once you’ve passed your certification examination. Liberty Munson Microsoft MCP takes viewers by way of the mcp beta exam analysis course of, to elucidate why outcomes aren’t (and can’t be) instantaneous. Certification coaching can help you cowl new areas whereas also reinforcing the talents you have already got.
Length: Exams Free Online GMAT Practice Test contain a most ninety questions gmat practice test each. Remember to try on-line communities on Facebook, LinkedIn and Reddit to see what others are saying about gmat exams. Microsoft Certified Skilled 5 or 70-410 braindump 5 is another some of the standard certifications at present. You possibly can take part in quite a few activities 70 533 dumps and coaching programs, together with increased certifications, to resume your microsoft certification.
Whether you are on the lookout for a certification to get your first IT job otherwise you’re ready to boost your IT career 70-697 braindump with an advanced certification, comparable to in IT security, microsoft will help. These VMware certifications validate the 2v0-620 abilities they discovered in school and might help make up for not having the right work expertise for the job.
The PMP Exam has 200 a number of-choice questions and most of those are based PMP braindump mostly on theoretical situations that force you to apply your data to real-world scenarios. Over the years, CIW Certifications have gained important trade and governmental recognition PMP for delivering requisite skills for careers in each IT and administration leadership. With your certification in hand, you are joining a neighborhood of more than 2 million IT professionals who are PMP – Project Management Professional licensed.
Official study guides: Strengthen your information 2v0-620 in a particular domain and get in additional 2v0-620 examination observe time. These exams are delivered on-line, offering flexibility 1z0-808 dumps in scheduling, and they are accessible by any web connection. Oracle 1z0-808 Exam Dumps certification consists of two separate exams, 1z0-808 vce and 220-902. In poking around my common certification sources this morning, I saw a tweet from Anne Martinez that reminded me that there is a variable delay in getting scores from beta exams.
We’ve got helped thousands of individuals 70-698 dump get monetary savings on exams like Microsoft MCSA , Community+ , and Safety+ , Microsoft MCSE certification checks, and Microsoft MCSA 70-740 Practice Test Questions 70-740 examination. IT certifications are testaments to your skills and proficiency 70-697 pdf in a sure area. MCSA Windows 10 Practice Quiz certification validates entry-level expertise in at this time’s essential IT domains, together with laptop restore, software program & working systems, community 98-367 exam dump administration, info security, cloud computing, and troubleshooting of both desktops and cell units.
There’s a wealth of certification training and learning choices 70 486 dumps available that may prepare you on your Microsoft (70-486): Developing ASP.NET MVC Web Applications certification examination. Regardless that I’ve been utilizing Chef for 3 years, I discovered this class immensely useful; not solely did it enable me to look at and evaluate my present practices to these presented within the coaching, however I discovered several 1z0 808 dumps new techniques for using Chef tools.

Quest for Innovation

This 2006 American Management Association study “The Quest for Innovation” has an amazing amount of information and a lot of good metrics for benchmarking your organization.  Below are a few results that out found interesting:

  1. Customer and competitors drive innovation:  Top two factors (Page 69).
  2. Innovation strategy and plans are difficult: Lack of definition around innovation, an innovation strategy and plan are key impediments to innovation. (Page 70)
  3. R&D is not the driver: Only 27% of the executives surveyed felt innovation occurred in R&D (Page 74)
  4. Being good at innovation is hard: Only 15% of the executives believed their firms are good at innovation (Page 73)
  5. Collaboration is key: Collaboration with external entities and effective team work second most important factor in innovation (Page 66).
  6. Identifying and evaluating innovation is difficult: 46% of the companies do not have a standard process (Page 72)
  7. Rewarding innovation is difficult: 26% of respondents felt innovation is not rewarded.

There is a lot more to the study (its huge).  Please check it out when you have some time.

What are some of your observations around innovation and R&D in general.  One of the companies I worked at had a great process for assessing ideas and ferret out innovation, but there was no strategy or plan to drive it further.  Funding for innovative projects kept getting cut for near term fires…

Recognition approaches (other than bonuses)

Conference Board has another interesting list and a good reminder of what else can be used to reward team members (beyond bonuses):
  1. Tokens of Appreciation
  2. Public Acknowledgment
  3. Development Opportunities
  4. Perks

Personally, I have found that all rewards work best when they are backed up by a thorough evaluation of the contribution.  Nothing kills morale more than recognizing people who have not really contributed.  Also, depending on the age (or experience level) of the employee, 2 and 3 work better than other. 

We’re happy with the amount of choices you may have at your disposal with our ‘design your individual’ software, but we’re also dedicated to offering high quality grownup football uniforms which are both comfortable and durable. I have tried factories in each Thailand and China to manufacture buy cheap football kits sportswear, health clothing and football shirts for my on-line store and profitable brand. Contact, flag or intramural play, Power Picture has you Manchester City Home Football Shirt 2018/2019 lined with custom football t-shirts, shirts and more. We’re proud of the standard shirts from Manchester City Away Football Shirt 2018/2019 our on-line retailer, so take a look for your self and be one step closer to kitting your club out with stylish and comfy clothing. We acquired black A4 shirts with golden yellow cheap Liverpool football shirts design for our flag football workforce. It’s time to get ready with trendy customized football hoodies and customized womens shirts. Whether or not you’re heading Liverpool Home Football Shirt 2018/2019 to the big recreation or simply wish to wear your loyalty on your chest, the very best number of Navy t-shirts, tank tops, and more is correct here on the official Navy Store Liverpool Purple Away Football Shirt 2018/2019 the place your buy supports Navy Athletics. The Boombah INK 7 on 7 Soccer Extremely Efficiency Quick Sleeve Compression shirts includes a superb minimize Extremely Efficiency blended knit fabric that gives an incredible Liverpool 3rd Away White Football Shirt 2018/2019 compression fit with locked-down protection.
At Cisco Athletic, we create and manufacture youth and grownup flag football shirts to outfit cheap Tottenham Hotspur football shirts flag football gamers with quality gear whereas on the sphere. Regardless of whether or not you want customized lengthy-sleeve or short-sleeve shirts or shirts, sweatshirts Tottenham Hotspur Away Football Shirt 2018/2019 or jackets for men , women or your youth football team, flock or flex print – with our online software Tottenham Hotspur Home Football Shirt 2018/2019 it takes simply 4 simple steps to design your staff gear.
Customized football shirts products are most popular in North America, Western Europe, and Oceania. Following custom Kid Tottenham Hotspur 3rd Away 2018/2019 group shirts on your reference. With our straightforward to make use of ‘design your own’ instrument you possibly can create gorgeous men’s custom football shirts that Everton home Football shirt 2018/2019 will final you for years to come back. Pink Lily’s cute football shirts are available many fabulous colors and styles, so discovering a tee that’s completely in sync with your fashion and pays homage cheap Real Madrid football shirts to your favourite sport is straightforward.

Experiements boost productivity

Here is another article that suggests that well planned experiments and statistical data can help boost productivity and drive productive discussion.
However, in my experience, meaningful experiments are rather difficult to do in R&D Management (as opposed to R&D itself).  Unlike manufacturing, where you can build the same widget multiple times and compare results using statistical analysis.  Since R&D is a process of generating knowledge, once development is complete, it rather difficult to do it again in the same way.

The same is true for companies, too – as many people who have presented management with information that didn’t fit the bosses’ worldview can attest. One way to cut through such problems is to use the same sorts of statistical methods that economists use to tease out the lines of cause and effect in complex situations.

What do you think?  Any examples on meaningful experiments in R&D management?

United Kingdom Cheap Football Shirts shop:
It is time to prepare with trendy custom football hoodies and customized womens kits. Whether you’re heading to the big recreation or simply want to put on your loyalty kids replica football kits uk in your chest, the most effective selection of Navy t-shirts, tank tops, and more is right here on the official Navy Store where your buy supports Navy Athletics. The Boombah INK 7 on 7 Soccer Ultra Performance Arsenal 3rd Away Football Shirt 2018/2019 Quick Sleeve Compression shirts encompasses a nice minimize cheap Manchester United football shirts Ultra Efficiency blended knit fabric that gives a terrific compression fit with locked-down protection.
We’re happy with the amount of options you’ve got at your disposal with our ‘design your individual’ instrument, but we’re additionally dedicated to offering high quality grownup football uniforms which might cheap Arsenal shirts football shirts be each comfy and durable. I’ve tried factories in each Thailand and China to fabricate sportswear, health clothing cheap Chelsea football shirts and football shirts for my online store and successful brand.
So go forward and order your customized football hoodies, women soccer T-shirts, Referee Tee cheap Liverpool football shirts and custom womens kits and rock in your match. We are going to work with you intently to come up with the perfect set of football designs Liverpool Purple Away Football Shirt 2018/2019to your organization and then ship the order to our manufacturer. This excellent picture collections Liverpool 3rd Away White Football Shirt 2018/2019 about Lamp Thought Icon Png Luxury 13 Sporty Soccer Football Icons Freebie Pinterest is out there to download.
Customize lots of of dry performance t-shirts designed to maintain gamers cool in any circumstances. Along with custom soccer kits Tottenham Hotspur Away Football Shirt 2018/2019 and shirts, we offer matching soccer shorts, custom jackets and equipment. Finally if you want to get new and the most recent wallpaper associated with Lamp Idea Icon Png Luxury 13 Sporty Soccer cheap Tottenham Hotspur football shirts Football Icons Freebie Pinterest, please observe us on fb or bookmark this website, we strive our best to offer you daily update with fresh and new wallpaper 2014.
When you’ve got a specific fashion in thoughts order our custom made Kid Tottenham Hotspur 3rd Away 2018/2019 soccer uniforms constructed specifically in your crew. Sharing your love of football, or possibly simply your cheap Real Madrid football shirts assist for the football enthusiast in your loved ones, is simple with Pink Lily’s tremendous Real Madrid Away Football Shirt 2018/2019 trendy number of cute soccer shirts. At TeamShirts, we perceive teamwork and how important prime quality football uniforms and a custom staff look are on your staff’s performance and pursuit of success.
After choosing the style and cheap Barcelona football shirts colors of your crew football shirts you possibly can choose the collar kind, material and whether or not you want long or short sleeves. Packages costs include a group identify printed on front and a participant quantity cheap Bayern Munich football shirts on the back of the soccer kit. Personalised T-Shirts with a Skinny Match, Retro Styling or V-Neck. Group Colours has cheap Juventus football shirts all the options you want for creating men’s customized football shirts.
Designing and creating customized t-shirts for your group cheap Paris Saint Germain football shirts couldn’t be simpler. I needed kits for a flag soccer group and only had a week to get them delivered. Pick from a top notch assortment of Michigan State Football Jerseys Paris Saint Germain Away Football Shirt 2018/2019 and T-Shirts for the #1 Spartans Fan or Alumni. Whether or not you are a part of a school workforce or simply having fun with some buddies, you possibly can design custom football uniforms and fan kits for cheap arsenal shirt players on the sector, workers on the sidelines and folks in the stands.