Radical Innovation: How Mature Companies Can Outsmart Upstarts

Radical Innovation: How Mature Companies Can Outsmart Upstarts

by Richard Leifer, Christopher M. McDermott, Gina Colarelli O'Connor
     
 

How many big businesses have pioneered the technologies and business models that now dominate e-commerce, personal computing, biotechnology, and wireless telecommunication? The answer: hardly any. The problem is not that executives fail to recognize the need to infuse their organizations with the kind of model-busting innovative capabilities of agile startups.

Overview


How many big businesses have pioneered the technologies and business models that now dominate e-commerce, personal computing, biotechnology, and wireless telecommunication? The answer: hardly any. The problem is not that executives fail to recognize the need to infuse their organizations with the kind of model-busting innovative capabilities of agile startups. It's a lack of understanding of what to do and how to do it. But now, this groundbreaking book reveals the patterns through which game-changing innovation occurs in large, established companies, and identifies the new managerial competencies firms need to make radical innovation happen. The authors define a radical innovation project as one that delivers a product, process, or service with either unprecedented performance features, or with familiar features that will enable market transformation through significant performance improvements or cost reductions. These projects are nurtured within the established organization, not skunkworks. They are not concerned with exploiting current lines of business, but with exploring entirely new ones. Based on evidence from a five-year, real time study of twelve radical innovation projects within ten major corporations—including General Electric, IBM, Nortel Networks, DuPont, and Texas Instruments—this book addresses seven managerial challenges large companies face in creating and sustaining radical innovation: dealing with radical ideas in the 'fuzzy front end'; developing new models for project management; learning about unfamiliar markets; working through uncertainty in the business model; bridging resource and competency gaps; managing the transition from radical project to operating status; and, engaging individual initiative. The authors, experts in a variety of areas such as entrepreneurship, R&D management, product design, marketing, organizational behavior, and operations and project management, distill a comprehensive, interdisciplinary approach to mastering each of these challenges, from the conceptualization of viable ideas to the commercialization of radical innovations. Designed to push the envelope of thinking about the most significant challenge facing large companies today, this important book offers a revolutionary new paradigm for long-term corporate success.

Editorial Reviews

Financial Times
It is full practical ideas both, for the would-be innovator and for the rare company that wants to encourage innovation rather than simply talk about it.
Science and Technology
Radical Innovation is required reading for any manager in the management of research and development activities.
Industry Standard
Businesses actually learn something from Radical Innovation, since the authors lay out a systematic method for firms to manage this phenomenon.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780875849034
Publisher:
Harvard Business Review Press
Publication date:
10/28/2000
Pages:
261
Product dimensions:
6.37(w) x 9.51(h) x 1.06(d)

Related Subjects

Meet the Author


Richard Leifer, Christopher M. McDermott, Gina Colarelli O'Connor, Lois S. Peters, Mark Rice and Robert W. Veryzer are all faculty members in the Lally School of Management and Technology, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

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