If you only read one thing this week…

Research and development spending by ifyouonlyreadonethingthisweek
April 30, 2007, 4:48 pm
Filed under: If you only have 15 mins, Management, organizational learning

Robert Hertzberg, writing for CIO Insight, takes a look at current trends in research and development spending in technology firms. The article is here, but perhaps the most interesting comments are on how innovation is managed, with most companies having a process for identifying promising practices and ideas:

Much of the R&D effort at … Adobe … is built around the familiar “stage-gate” discipline of reviewing early-stage products at regular intervals, with some getting killed and others continuing to get funded. But Adobe, now a $2.6 billion company, didn’t want to take the chance that some good ideas weren’t getting a hearing. So it created a position for an “idea mentor,” whose job is to make sure the creative sparks that fly around the company’s software labs don’t get extinguished prematurely.

The idea mentor is very popular, says Adobe executive Bixel. “He has a good sense of business—but that doesn’t really matter. His assignment is to encourage the engineers no matter what, and to make sure they get heard. As the company has grown in size, that’s one of the biggest challenges.””

How should we be managing our ‘research and development’ and innovation process in the non-profit sector? Let us know your ideas by leaving a comment.


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