A redesigned innovation capability

Strategy& was retained by an automated equipment company to analyze and improve the overall effectiveness and output of its front-end innovation efforts. We began by identifying points of weakness in the client's centralized R&D process, including; an excessive internal focus, leading to weak open innovation and scouting capabilities, and over-siloed behavior caused by too little contact with business units.

We redesigned and realigned the company’s R&D operations by applying best practices in the conversion of ideas to product concepts and in open innovation. The innovation team partnered with the business units to establish a board that functioned like a venture capital firm to prioritize product and customer solution ideas, seed them with funding, and then move them from the centralized ideation team to the product portfolios of individual business units.

In parallel, we analyzed how well balanced the client’s new-product portfolio was, and provided it with tools to assess its portfolios for balance in both the short and long term. The company’s new R&D “operating system” turned out to be instrumental in defining viable pathways to future growth.