The research has shown a direct correlation between significant returns for shareholders – what Arthur D Little terms the “Innovation Premium” – and a management approach in which innovation is central. “Innovation is key to competitive advantage and profitability. Leading businesses can stay ahead of their competitors by making innovation their main strategic thrust,” said Martin van der Mandele, chairman of Arthur D Little Netherlands, who was speaking at the Sustaining Innovation conference sponsored by Arthur D Little. According to Arthur D Little there are six approaches to sustainable innovation that result in high-value returns. These are as follows: – Innovation strategy – developing a competency platform that ensures sustainable innovation. For example, Canon’s core competency in office systems has allowed a wide range of extra products to be developed. – Innovation process – making the realisation of innovative ideas the core business process. Nokia has exemplified this by transferring concepts to products seamlessly and quickly, capitalising on market potential using the latest technological opportunities. – Resource deployment – exploiting a broad spectrum of internal and external resources. DaimlerChrysler has adopted a co-invention approach and works with suppliers as part of an extended enterprise. – Innovation structures – forming resource networks for activating the flow of ideas and knowledge. Alcoa has a technology board which aims to capitalise on knowledge and technology across business units. – Innovation culture – fostering organisational learning and managing knowledge as a strategic asset. BP is reaping the benefits of successful knowledge management. – Partnership for innovation – innovation brings advantages for all stakeholders: customers receive enhanced products and services; employee initiative is encouraged; and partners are involved in advanced developments.
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