Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute’s (RPI) radical innovation research study started in 1995 and was sponsored by the Sloan Foundation and the Industrial Research Institute. Inspired and guided by this research, the rInnovation Group team has been at the forefront of innovation for over 15 years. The company was formed in 2001 upon the release of the first book “Radical Innovation – How Mature Companies Can Outsmart Upstarts”. The award winning second book from this research, “Grabbing Lightning – Building a Capability for Breakthrough Innovation” was published in 2008. The team is composed of the authors, former RPI students, featured executives who have led new business development programs and our strategic innovation partner network.
The rInnovation Group helps companies to overcome the challenges of adopting a systematic approach to innovation to deliver upon growth and corporate renewal ambitions. We do this by working through implementation issues associated with the structural, organizational and management requirements for innovation. By focusing on strategic clarity and uncertainty reduction during project discovery and incubation, projects transition smoothly into the new product development process.
Through RPI research findings, as well as those of others, it has been validated that investment in R&D alone will not lead to improved performance outcomes. On the other hand, investing in innovation capability development does, by providing a mechanism for transforming R&D discoveries into tangible market value. In turn, the effectiveness of innovation programs is increasing, as companies learn how to bring more discipline to innovation management.
Through our Innovation Roadmap™, our Fortune 1000 clients have successfully enabled entrepreneurial and dominant operations cultures to co-exist, repositioned the company for sustained growth, increased revenue contributions in divisions and business units by a factor of 2 to 3 times, accelerated the lifecycle of strategic innovation projects by over 33%, and improved the bottom line in one division enough for it to link back to the contributions of CTO’s R&D team.
Strategic innovation is a pre-requisite to drive growth during these uncertain times and fundamental to business rejuvenation and critical to survival in mature or declining industries. Incremental innovation and cost cutting measures are not sufficient to sustain company growth and prosperity. While many large, established companies have used acquisitions and external incubators to fuel their growth, internal engines of growth have been often neglected. This is largely because the management processes associated with highly uncertain ventures are so dramatically different from what companies have in place for incremental innovation. Strategic Innovation can and should be done within the context of the company; large, established firms can develop competencies in this highly profitable arena. Companies simply need to learn how to do this well!