The traditional boundaries between the scientific and business aspects of a firm have become increasingly blurred over the years. Organizations nowadays are rallying their people around ‘Innovation’ as a business agenda. This focuses attention on R&D cells, where champions are expected to leave their labs to learn and drive the business as a whole. Is the concept, however, that straightforward to put into action? No, it is not. For many organizations, it is not so easy to remove the prevalent bureaucratic roadblocks and establish a route to sustainable success. Investment in R&D divisions across industries has surged dramatically in recent years. This brings about a new perspective to R&D leadership that requires focused and consistent efforts. Instead of just forming a cross-functional R&D team to drive new projects, firms are making deliberate efforts to build their mindset and capabilities. Many are nowadays exploring the different aspects of leadership and weaving them back to the expectations from the R&D champions.
“Our R&D champions need to be more involved in strategic conversations and have a say in the commercial agenda.”
One of our clients, a leading multinational corporation, has launched an initiative to promote ‘Leading-edge Innovation’ as the global business agenda. They expected their R&D champions to work together to create solutions with strong market differentiation value. The team, on the other hand, was tightly aligned to their particular vertices and, in general, lacked the cohesion to advance towards the shared goal. The client leadership team sought our assistance in developing a fresh way to level up their R&D strategy and champions to drive the initiative. The goal was clear: to create an innovative ecosystem with a culture of agility through alliances between world-class talent.