R&D Leadership and Credibility

(Identify expectations of CEOs and the changing role of R&D leaders)

Originating in an Innovation Research Group, this topic was taken up by a subcommittee of ROR in cooperation with McKinsey & Co. Senior McKinsey staff interviewed CEOs and CTOs at 24 major companies to discern the expectations that CEOs had from R&D and problems that CTOs had in communicating with CEOs. Results were presented at the 1991 IRI Annual Meeting and published in RTM the following year.  Keys identified for success of technical leaders were to think and act like a technical businessperson, make R&D accountable to the corporation, and involve general managers in R&D decisions.