Innovation is risky enough without sabotage! One of the great unspoken risks to innovation comes from internal factions that do not fully understand the intent and role of innovation within the organization. Well intentioned individuals may sap the energy from even the best market-winning ideas. It is critical for executives and innovation managers to establish ground rules to enable innovation to occur in a repeatable fashion.
The path to effective innovation is neither clear nor straight. It is one subject to the tidal forces of commercialization using a language that is often very technical. As a result, innovation may easily fall prey to short-term thinking and misunderstanding. Once innovation work is slowed, a vicious cycle begins that demands instant innovation to support nearer term portfolio objectives. In addition, a 'chicken and egg' style definition problem further hampers communication.
The presentation will cover the experience of a mid-sized, market-leading manufacturer of microphones and audio electronics. A three-stage innovation process was installed by the company in 2000 as a precursor to more traditional stage-gate product development. The humble beginnings were targeted at reduction of technical risk prior to the commercialization phase. Although ultimately effective, much was learned over a six year period. Some of the wisdom gained along the way will be shared.
Jeff Krull is a product development consultant that helps companies establish innovation as a systematic part of their overall business strategy. He has implemented stage gate systems and outsourced development, configuration management and other key facets of effective product development for industrial and consumer products companies.
With over 17 years of industry experience, Jeff has been VP of Product Development for Shure, Inc. His organizations produced products that have won several industry- related and innovation awards. Jeff holds a bachelor's and master of Science in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering from the Illinois Institute of Technology, as well as an MBA from the Stuart School of Business.
Jeff currently resides in the suburbs of Chicago with his wife Debbie. They have both survived a teenage daughter, Nyssa. Jeff is an active member of the Chicago PDMA Chapter and serves as their webmaster. He is currently completing training for his private pilot's license. Jeff plays softball and is a lifelong fan of the Chicago Cubs.