It's been about two weeks now since I started this series of blog entries on the subject of innovation. I have given the subject a lot of the thought both online and offline. What is interesting is that I came across nothing on a par with 3M’s "20% personal projects time" rule, that is. I've not managed to come up with any more specific actions you can take.
But not quite there are two more things. One of which I have mentioned in passing already.
You can copy the big corporations, of all, and create your own research and development group. This group can be specifically charged with innovation. This is traditional approach taken by big corporate, and in particular, pharmaceutical and other research based companies.
Big R&D departments are not so fashionable these days, they still happen, Microsoft in particular is an example of a company that spends extensively on traditional R&D. Of course as I pointed out there is a danger in creating an R&D department.
Another way to get innovation is to buy it. I had kind of forgotten about this until an article in the recent issue of Knowledge@Wharton brought up the subject.
Although some companies like Cisco have made a strategy of buying innovation iit has always seemed a bit of a cheat me. After all it is not so much your innovation, as so many else's, you are just rich enough to buy it! And this is probably not be a viable strategy for small company.
So there you go, another couple of ways to get innovation. In my next blog entry, I intend to round off the subject with some thoughts I've been having. Then we can return to business is usual... of course. I'm not really sure what business the usual is in this blog, but there you go!