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Innovate to compete. Dr Georges Haour Bogazici University, March 27, 2012.

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innovate to compete

Innovate to compete

Dr Georges Haour

Bogazici University, March 27, 2012

Georges Haour is Professor of Innovation Management at the executive education institute IMD. He acts as an adviser on managing R&D/Innovation, entrepreneurship/new ventures and technology commercialisation.

For several years, he was involved with the incubator Generics (now Sagentia), in Cambridge, UK. He works with many SMEs and start ups.

A few years ago, he acted as expert for the Tubitak document on innovation policy in Turkey

Born and raised in Lyon, France, he has a degree in Chemical Engineering from the Higher School of Chemistry ENSCP, in Paris. He holds a Master of Sciences (New York) and a Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of Toronto, Canada.

Prior to IMD, Georges was manager at Battelle, in Geneva, where, for nine years, he led a business unit of 35 staff, carrying out innovation projects for large companies in Europe and Japan. Growing the business to Euro 5 millions per annum, he hired professionals from six countries. Several of his innovations have been licensed to firms, resulting in substantial new business for the client companies.

Earlier, he was researcher at ATT's Bell Laboratories, in Murray Hill, New Jersey. He also worked with Marshall McLuhan at his Centre for Culture, Society and Technology, in Toronto.

Dr. Haour has 110 publications, 8 patents and four books, including the recent Resolving the Innovation Paradox - Enhancing Growth in Technology Companies, ( ) and his latest book From Science to Business, published in 2011, is on value-creation through effective technology transfer from universities to firms ( ).

today s menu
Today’s menu
  • A brief look at the
    • innovation process
    • corporations
  • Trends
  • Attributes of an innovative firm
  • Something novel, which, in enterprises, aims at commercial success
  • Involves a people-intensive, messy, idea-to-cash process
  • May be anywhere, often non-technical
innovation may be anywhere
Innovation may be anywhere


Intel inside


matrix org.

dual ladders


Business model

Dell, EasyJet

IT enabled




Innovating products/services is “messy”

Generating Selecting Implementing

Ideas &


Feasibility Development Scale up Launch

Inputs from customers and stakeholders


Metaphore for the innovation process:

the «funnel»

Freeze !


Specifications ?




  • Idea management
  • “Early failures”
  • Risk taking
  • Effectiveness
  • Project management
  • Efficient
  • Discipline
  • On time

In the pharmaceutical sector,innovation funnel is regulated by FDA and EMEA

Pre-Clinical Phases

Clinical Trials


Few human Subjects


Limited Number of Patients


Many Patients (>1000)


Comparative studies Launch


(active substance?)


(how active?)



IND Investigational



NDA New Drug Application

  • Bringing a molecule to market costs 900 Mio$
  • In average, this process takes 12 years
in our time of globalization trends of innovation process are common sense
In our time of “globalization”, trends of innovation process are common sense
  • Federate external inputs
  • Leverage electronic space effectively
  • China & India
trend a federate with distributed innovation
Trend A: federate with Distributed Innovation


Company B

  • Universities
  • Government Laboratories
  • Private Firms
  • Co-development
  • Licensing





Company A

SMEs and start Ups

CorporateVenturing Fund

in distributed innovation
In Distributed Innovation

Company becomes architect of its innovations, in a entrepreneurial perspective, integrating pieces from the external sources into its innovation puzzle…

…while retaining a strong, outward-oriented R&D function


trend b use better electronic space for
Trend B: use better electronic space for
  • Innovation management: managing teams and preparing/extending face to face meetings
  • Tapping external sources: solution-seekers find problem-solvers on the web

(examples: innocentive and ninesigma)

trend c new geography of innovation
Trend C: new geography of innovation
  • China and India, laboratories of the world : in China, 800 non-Chinese R&D units (ICTs and life sciences)
  • Firms locate R&D units in large, dynamic markets, to also have access to local talent, not forlower cost
  • Innovate for the Chinese markets, but for the whole world as well
  • However:
    • Scarce appropriate personnel
    • Counterfeiting & (steadily improving) patent situation
innovation blossoms where there is
Innovation blossoms, where there is
  • Diversity, anti-conformism, entrepreneurial spirit and some chaos
  • High motivation
  • Autonomy of staff

Examples: J&J versus Pfizer

but corporations
...but corporations
  • Are submitted to financial tyranny
  • Aim for efficiency
  • Favor the stability of the crystal state
  • Hate mavericks
  • Have disciplined development process

Fostering innovation in firms means mitigating the above

firms mitigate for innovation in two areas
Firms mitigate for innovation in two areas
  • Managerial practices
  • Attitudes and values
managerial practices 1 portfolio of developments projects
Managerial practices1- Portfolio of developments projects
  • Streamline innovation projects…
  • Risk/return graphs and technology maps to help structure the discussion on prioritizing projects
  • Innovation board as «control tower» for innovation projects

(example: “old”Nokia)


Innovation Board prioritises/guides the innovation projects for maximum competitiveness of the firm

Freeze !


Specifications ?




managerial practices 2 crucial human factor
Managerial practices2- Crucial human factor
  • Truly celebrate innovators
  • Skunk teams and commando projects

(example: catching up on key offering)

  • Smallish teams regularly reshuffled
  • Values-driven management

(example: Amgen)

  • Truly « empower » and support people
  • CEO obsessed by innovation (Apple !)
managerial practices continued
Managerial Practices (continued)
  • Smallish R&D sites - below about 500 staff
  • Invest in ways ensuring meaningful dialogue between units (IT, but also forums, well prepared visits,…)
  • Partner with universities-three channels:

- collaborative developments

- licensing

- start ups


attitudes values innovation culture
Attitudes & values « Innovation Culture »
  • Challenging projects
  • Curiosity of the « why not » ?
  • Trust
  • Making mistakes is fully part of learning
  • Communication & openness
  • Outward-orientation
  • Diversity
  • Autonomy of individuals
  • Supportive management

Hence: motivation, excitement, passion

It takes a long time to build

technical knowledge workers
Technical knowledge workers
  • Value content over process
  • Identify strongly with their scientific discipline
  • Have high need for autonomy (10% rule, 20% at Google)
  • Need organizational stability

(M & A temporarily kills innovation)

Needed: management by walking around

connect techno world business world
Connect techno world & business world
  • Multi-functional projects….

...but, scarcity of effective managers/leaders

of projects

  • Well prepared « traineeship » of manager in openerdifferent part of firm constitutes an effective mind-opener

Needed: researchers-entrepreneurs !

as a firm embarks on its innovation journey
As a firm embarks on its innovation journey…
  • Critical to be consistent: values, HR rules, practices, all must be aligned to foster innovation
  • Relentless people-centric execution
  • Nothing is more crucial for the success of innovation than talent and motivation of the staff
  • Outward-oriented firm, not only towards customers, but, also, R&D good at scouting and federating external business-oriented technologies
  • Effective leaders of complex, multi-actor innovation projects: « mini CEOs » bridging science and business, cultural gaps
connect management development as agent of change
Connect: Management Development as agent of change

Technical Expertise

Management Skills

Business Sense