Shaping Innovation Success

By Jim Euchner, Editor-in-Chief, Research-Technology Management

“I think there is a world market for maybe five computers.”
Thomas Watson, chairman of IBM, 1943

“There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home.”
Ken Olson, president, chairman, and founder of DEC

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Opportunity Finding

By Jim Euchner, Editor-in-Chief, Research-Technology Management Journal

The medium is the message.

                  – Marshall McLuhan

Marshall McLuhan theorized that every new technology (or medium) carries with it an implicit meaning, a set of implications that go beyond its direct, utilitarian purpose. The meaning of the technology plays out over time and shifts the ways that we think about and interact with the world. Thus, technology not only fills needs in today’s world, but also sows the seeds of new needs and desires.

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Occupational Hazards

By Jim Euchner, VP of Global Innovation, Goodyear, and RTM Editor-in-Chief

A career in R&D is an interesting one. It offers the opportunity for continuous learning, the chance to work with interesting people, and the satisfaction of creating something new. Yet there are occupational hazards, as I am reminded each year during annual review season. Basically, I’ve learned, you can’t count on being rewarded for your contributions within an appraisal year—despite the almost Herculean efforts on the part of most of those in management to assure that rewards do match performance. Then, every once in a while, sometimes when you least expect it, the rewards do come.

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Innovation Culture and Open Space Meetings

By Jim Euchner, VP of Global Innovation at Goodyear and Editor-in-Chief of Research-Technology Management (RTM)

Everyone files out of the meeting room. The senior R&D leadership team has just reviewed the plan for the coming year, the budget to support it, and the results of the employee engagement survey. A few questions, invariably respectful, follow the prepared presentations. As the staff leaves, there are scattered quiet discussions about the survey, which reinforced everyone’s sense that employees are strongly engaged with their work, but which also surfaced an inexplicable (to the leadership) lack of trust for the leaders.

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Innovation Portfolio Management

By Scott Mathews, Technical Fellow in the Chief Engineer’s office at Boeing Research and Technology and co–guest editor of this special issue of RTM.

It is difficult to understand why doing portfolio management well is so challenging. Shouldn’t it be as simple as deciding on a few attributes, like net present value and time to market, lining up all the opportunities and ranking them on those attributes, then funding the best of the bunch until you run out of money? If life were so simple, we would all have 2.5 children and live happily ever after. Clearly, it’s not. Continue reading

Innovation is Change Management

By Jim Euchner, RTM Editor-in-Chief

It is perhaps a tautology to say that innovation is change management. By definition, innovation is giving something new to the world, and accepting something new requires some level of change. We often think of ourselves not as change agents, however, but as creators, inventors, and designers caught in a web of resistances that are largely beyond our control. We might be more satisfied and successful if we thought of ourselves formally (and perhaps primarily) as change agents.

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The Secret to Developing Technological Innovation Managers

By Ed Bernstein, IRI President

Do technology innovation managers have access to equal professional development as other managers? I was confronted with this question at a conference of innovation professionals at the University of Berkeley’s Haas School of Business this past March. The speakers at the Economist’s 2013 Innovation Forum seemed to lament that technological innovation management does not possess the same avenues for cultivation as other areas of business. As president of an association which offers such avenues to such professionals, I was somewhat nonplussed.

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The Millennial Challenge: Generational Leadership Expectations

By Greg Holden, Business Writer

Today’s business executives are still adjusting to the behavior of the rising generation of leaders. Whether called “Gen Y’ers,” “millennials,” or “the trophy generation,” these individuals bring with them an unprecedented approach to employment that often carries the negative moniker of entitlement. But these millennials do represent the next wave; people who, 15 to 20 years from now, will hold top posts in the world’s corporations.

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