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Institutionalizing Innovation Competency

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This group is in the data gathering & analyzing phase, investigating the roles, talent development and talent managment practices contribute to institutionalizing breakthrough innovation.

Institutionalizing An Innovation Competency Through People

Launch Date: 2010

Expected Wrap-up Date: Fall 2014

This ROR is investigating how firms develop innovation workforce excellence and career paths for innovation experts as a mechanism for institutionalizing a breakthrough innovation capability. Two forms of data are collected. Our qualitative data includes 180 interviews of personnel associated with breakthrough innovation in our eleven participating companies.  Data collection is complete and is being analyzed. Survey data are also being collected at this time. 

In the May meeting we presented draft results on New Business Creation roles through Discovery, Incubation and Acceleration at three levels of hierarchy, based on our interview data. In November we will focus on Breakthrough Innovation Portfolio manager level roles, i.e. mid manager level roles across the Discovery, Incubation and Acceleration spectrum. As always we look toward your feedback. 


Members can support this project by completing the Breakthrough Innovation Survey.


Project Insights

Incubation experts serve an important role. Companies face a challenge in clarifying roles for Breakthrough Innovation beyond exploratory research…what happens after the invention or technical opportunity surfaces?  What happens if it’s not clearly and easily aligned with the Business Units or the company’s traditional business models?  Individuals can develop expertise at incubating business opportunities. This means that keeping these people engaged and rewarding them for their work would be helpful for a company that wants to develop expertise at Breakthrough Innovation. 


Why support Institutionalizing An Innovation Competency Through People?


PepsiCo created two new breakthrough innovation organizations several years ago. This ROR topic is very timely for us as we are just now beginning to wrestle with the day-to-day and career challenges of managing folks working on risky projects in organizations with longer-range research agendas.

Ted Farrington
Director, Process Technology Research Center



Participants in Institutionalizing Innovation Competency

Ted Farrington, Pepsico
Bruce Kirk, Corning

Subject Matter Experts:
Gina O'Connor, RPI 
Lois Peters, RPI

Member Roster (log-on required) 

Member Companies represented:

Air Force Research Lab
Archer Daniels Midland
Armstrong World Industries
Arthur D. Little
Aston Johnson
Babcock & Wilcox
Bambardier Aerospace
BASF Plant Science
Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL)
Cabot Microelectronics
Campbel Soup
Carpenter Technology
Champion Technologies Inc.
Chevron Phillips Chemical
Colgate Palmotive
D. Swarovski & Company
Dynetics, Inc.
Elsevier Engineering & Technology
General Motors Company
Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company
Hershey Company
Hume Growth & Innovation Advisors
Intellectual Assets
John Deere
Kelsan Technologies Corporation
Lawrence Berkeley Lab
MKS Instruments
Molson Coors
Momentive Performance Materials, Inc.
MWV Packagaing
National Energy Tech. Lab
National Institute for Nanotechnology
Newell Rubbermaid
Orbital Sciences
PARC (Xerox Sub)
PPG Industries
Procter & Gamble Company
Roche Diagnostics
Rutgers University
Sabic Americas, Inc.
SABIC Innovative Plastics
Sasol North America Inc.
Schneider Electric
Starbucks Corporation
Stevens Institute
TechLake & Associates
Teknor Apex Company
Teledyne Isco
The Boeing Company
The Clorox Company
T-Mobile USA, Inc.
Touchstone Research Lab
U. S. Army Engineer Research & Development Center
University of Pennsylvania
USG Corp.
Waters Corporation