Strategic Innovation: Embedding Innovation as a Core Competency in Your Organization

Strategic Innovation: Embedding Innovation as a Core Competency in Your Organization

Strategic Innovation: Embedding Innovation as a Core Competency in Your Organization

Strategic Innovation: Embedding Innovation as a Core Competency in Your Organization


Strategic Innovation offers a flexible, customizable template that managers, executives, and business leaders can use to introduce an effective innovation strategy throughout their organization. The authors, Nancy Tennant Snyder and Deborah L. Duarte, provide the tools needed to craft a workable strategy for embedding innovation as a core competency across an enterprise. Instead of innovation for innovation's sake, the authors offer a proven business-focused way to change a culture from point-in-time innovations from a few to a continuous pipeline of innovations from everywhere and everyone.

Based on the real-life example of Whirlpool a solid company with a significant track record and global reach- Strategic Innovation shows how the world's largest appliance company put innovation in place as a core competency. During this process, Whirlpool transformed itself from a quality producer of appliances to a customer-focused company that strategically embeds innovation throughout the organization. Filled with challenges and struggles, and ultimately successful results, the Whirlpool story can help any organization develop a successful innovation strategy. Written as a practical guide, the book contains in each chapter a variety of hands-on resources including checklists and worksheets. Strategic Innovation offers the tools, ideas, and approaches needed for transforming an organization to a company where anyone and everyone can contribute to the organization's prosperity-through innovation.


It's hardly surprising that innovation has become the new mantra of CEOs everywhere. In our suddenly sober world, there are few alternatives to innovation. Most companies have reached the point of diminishing returns in their cost cutting: they are working harder and harder to eke out smaller and smaller efficiencies. After a decade of frantic deal making, industry consolidation has mostly run its course. In any case, investors have learned that a big acquisition is more likely to destroy shareholder value than create it. Fewer and fewer companies are generating consistent and profitable organic growth. And with customers becoming ever more powerful and value conscious, it's nearly impossible to raise prices.

So yes, innovation is the only alternative. Yet in most companies, innovation is more rhetoric than reality. If you doubt this, go interview a few midlevel employees in your organization and ask them to describe the “corporate innovation system.” Ask them how they have been trained to be more innovative. Ask them where they go with a break-out idea. Ask them what processes and methods have been put in place to support innovation. Ask them how innovation has been baked into the company's performance evaluation system. Ask them whether they really, truly believe that top management regards every employee as an innovator, potentially capable of shaping corporate direction.

If innovation is more buzzword than core competence, it's not because top management is disingenuous. Leaders know that above-average performance demands rule-breaking innovation. The problem is that most senior executives . . .

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