By Jim Euchner, VP of Global Innovation, Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., RTM Editor-in-Chief
My grandfather was an inventor. He worked at Kodak during its golden years, where he invented a variety of still camera devices, including an early stereo-imaging camera. When I got to know him, he was already retired, but he was still inventing. I remember, in particular, a sundial he designed and built that was precisely engineered to give the proper time in Peterborough, New Hampshire. I recall checking the time on it one sunny summer day and finding that it was correct. This desire of my grandfather to make such a device was interesting to me, and a little strange. Where had this obsession come from? I had not yet come to know the mind of an inventor.
By MaryAnne M. Gobble, Managing Editor, Research-Technology Management (RTM)
In the last installment of this column, I initiated a new series of topics aimed at defining the vocabulary of innovation management. The object is to look critically at the profession’s terms of art, exploring their origins and mapping their limitations, to provide new clarity, and in the process restore some of their power. By looking at the terminology at the heart of innovation management and exploring how it has emerged and evolved, perhaps we can also get a glimpse of where innovation is heading.
In the first entry in the series, we looked at the concept of disruptive innovation. This time, we’re examining another concept whose usage has become confused and, at times, diluted: open innovation (Read this column at RTM; follow RTM on Twitter @RTMJournal).
By Jim Euchner, VP, Global Innovation, Goodyear, and RTM Editor-in-Chief
Barriers to innovation are declining. It is easier today for an innovator to get into business than it has been at any time in history. There are many reasons for this, but most are driven by some aspect of the digital revolution. Today’s digital tools help the entrepreneur on every step of his or her journey, from funding to marketing to product delivery.
Manufacturing and service industries are often seen as largely independent. Whether in national economies, business classifications, education, training, or employment, they tend to be thought of as separate. Indeed, the growing role of services in developed economies has been the topic of much discussion over the past decade or so. Yet manufacturers can offer services; in fact, they can, and increasingly do, base entire competitive strategies on service innovation—finding ways to rethink their offerings and replace one-time product sales with ongoing, value-creating relationships. This is the process of servitization; icons in this mode are companies such as Rolls-Royce Aerospace, with its Power-by-the-Hour model; Xerox, with its document management solutions; and Alstom, with its Train-Life services.
(The following throwback article appeared in Research Management, precursor to our award-winning journalResearch-Technology Management, in November 1982. This article was taken from testimony Rabinow gave as part of a panel of speakers before the U.S. Subcommittee on Investigations and Oversight, House Committee on Science and Technology, in 1981.)
Twenty years ago, Shoshana Zuboff published In the Age of the Smart Machine, a seminal work on the nature of automation. Her focus was on the capability of machines that automated work to also informate their environment, a term she coined. Informating is the generation of information as a by-product of an action. Zuboff observed that “the same systems that make it possible to automate office transactions also create a vast overview of an organization’s operations, with many levels of data coordinated and accessible for a variety of analytical efforts” (p. 9).
By George B. Kistiakowsky, Special Assistant to the President for Science and Technology, The White House, Washington, DC, 1960
(The following throwback article appeared in Research Management, the precursor to IRI’s award-winning journal Research-Technology Management, in the summer of 1960 and is a transcript of remarks delivered by Mr. Kistiakowsky at the dedication of the Esso Research Center in Florham Park, New Jersey, on November 5, 1959. Aside from the reference to the Soviet Union, the relevance of these remarks to today is remarkable.)
By James Euchner, RTM Editor-in-Chief and VP, Global Innovation, Goodyear
“You can never be too rich or too thin.” —Wallis Simpson
Investment in R&D is critical for the long-term viability of industrial companies. But how much R&D is enough? It’s a question most CTOs face as they prepare budgets for another fiscal year. And there is no one good answer for it. Studies can be found to support any budget recommendation the CTO might choose to make.