Academic journal article Research-Technology Management

Innovation in the "New Normal"

Academic journal article Research-Technology Management

Innovation in the "New Normal"

Article excerpt

The idea of a "new normal" has come to define our current economic era. It brings with it connotations of tight resources, rapid technological change, shortened product life cycles, and intense global competition. These are not temporary challenges to be weathered until better times return, but an ongoing set of challenges requiring structural shifts in how we do business.

A new normal is emerging for innovation as well, driving the adoption of a range of new innovation practices, outlined at the IRA Annual Meeting in May and reflected in the papers in this issue. The practices emerging in response to the new normal can be summarized in four phrases: a focus on core competencies, an increase in the use and variety of open innovation, the emergence of new private-public partnership structures to compete in a global world, and radical collaboration with employees, customers, and other stakeholders.

Both Uma Chowdhry, this year's IRI Medalist, and Joseph Miller, CTO of Coming, write of the importance of core competencies to the long-term survival of a firm. More than ever, core competencies define the firm. Its strategy, including its technology strategy, revolves around this core. In "Out of a Near-Death Experience," Miller describes the "innovation recipe" at Coming, which is based on the use of core technical competencies to develop unique keystone components essential to products of the future. Chowdhry, in "Transforming American Industry," discusses the regeneration of firms through the disciplined development of new core competencies. She describes these competencies as an integrated collection of technical capabilities, emerging from past competencies and stretched to meet new challenges and opportunities. Both authors discuss the long-term discipline required to sustain critical capabilities in the midst of short-term pressures to cut comers.

As successful corporations seek to focus efforts on their most powerful core capabilities, they must become expert at leveraging external resources. One way to do so is as part of public-private partnerships. Henry C. Foley and his co-authors describe one such partnership, a prototype for a structure that may well become increasingly important to innovation management. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.