The Matter Of Corporate Innovation
The Motivation Of Innovation
In an ever-changing industry, we cannot afford to hobble innovation, no matter how small the effort may be. This is because the lack will undermine our ability to adapt, react and thrive in the market and allow our competitors to cut and surpass us with the next technological edge. Innovation is the vital winning strategic factor in any organization. We should never be placed in the slow lane in the race. To build the culture of innovation is to build the engine of growth, and the new difficulties we will face can be overcome if we grow our innovative technological arm to empower us to adapt and compete.
The management of Company G understood the importance and, therefore, in 2006, I was entasked to improve the patenting process in Company G.
The situation was that the patent submission was on the average of merely two `Invention Disclosure` items an year in Country S (anonymized) as compared to a much higher rate in HQ in France. The acceptance of the patent submission for filing was close to one for every three (3) years then.
The first thing to do was to gather information on the situation for analysis. I looked at what had been done over the past thirteen (13) years, and noticed a trend in the past attempts — all my predecessors had jumped at the problem without getting clarity of the actual situation.
Understanding what were the lacking steps, I started with conducting observations on the subjects (the engineers) to understand what was hindering them from innovation or contributing to patents.
The most effective way is to be close enough to observe them and earn their trust in order to elicit their candor. I started by working beside them and logging the observation. In…