APQC Reveals How Best-Practice Companies Integrate Innovation into Their Corporate Cultures

APQC Reveals How Best-Practice Companies Integrate Innovation Into Their Corporate Cultures

(Houston, TX - January 8, 2008) - To strengthen a business culture of innovation, successful organizations hire employees for more than functional capabilities and encourage them to collaborate beyond their peer groups to generate new ideas and solve problems. These are just a few of the findings from an innovation study released by APQC, a recognized leader in benchmarking and best practices.

APQC's study, "Successfully Embedding Innovation: Strategies and Tactics," reveals how some of the country's top organizations achieve success in innovation, ingrain it into their organizational cultures, and make it part of each employee's job. An executive summary of the findings and full report are available at www.apqc.org/innoreport

Organizations named as best practice partners included Air Products and Chemicals Inc.; the cardiovascular division of Boston Scientific; Computer Sciences Corporation; Ethicon Endo-Surgery; and Hewlett-Packard's imaging and printing group.  To be selected, these companies had to demonstrate superior performance in at least one of the innovation study's focus areas.    

"It takes time and focused effort for enterprises to shift their paradigms and integrate innovation into their business strategies and culture," said Marisa Brown, innovation senior program manager, APQC. "Our study examines top performers in innovation to determine what they do when employees want to cling to the ways things have always been done and how leaders convince employees that innovation represents something more than extra work."

Other study findings include:

  • Clearly articulated strategies and road maps provide transparency and direction for innovation.
  • Establishing innovation specialty groups - in addition to centralized ownership - helps to broaden engagement.
  • Encouraging risk-taking is essential for innovation to thrive.
  • Designating physical and/or virtual spaces dedicated to innovation can encourage creative thinking.
  • Visible participation and active involvement by leadership at all levels are essential if innovation is to "stick."

"These best-practice partners understand the criticality of innovation and do not just give it lip service," said Dr. Kevin Desouza, assistant professor at the University of Washington who served as the study's subject matter expert. "These organizations have embedded innovation into their mission statements, rewards and performance systems, resource allocation programs, and even into how they engage with their customers and business partners." 

For additional free innovation benchmarking and best practices visit www.apqc.org/innovationhome or call 800.776.9676.

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Paige Dawson
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paige@mpdventures.com