Decision Making and Innovation
April 7, 2009: 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Continuous innovations that are either slow to market or lack strategic fit are unlikely to offer much competitive advantage. Why are some work teams more effective developing ideas and products that fit the organizational strategy like a glove? This presentation summarizes the 3 year research into decision making concerning innovation in the durable consumer goods industry. It suggests key factors contributing to successful decision making which are affecting timeliness and strategic fit of decision outcomes.
450 North Cityfront Plaza Drive
Martin Zummersch (Speaker)
For the last 20 years, Dr. Martin Zummersch has been involved in Product Development and Innovation. He has worked in the industrial goods and durable consumer goods industry in the U.S., Europe, and the P.R. of Asia for companies that are market leaders in their respective industry. Most recently he worked for Fortune Brands and Elkay Manufacturing. While leading engineering organizations, he was responsible for the development new product development strategies, the creation of successful product portfolios, and the development and launch of large product platforms. This includes the implementation of portfolio planning systems and decision tools.
Dr. Zummersch has also worked as adjunct faculty at the Case Western Reserve University, Weatherhead School of Management, where he completed the research studies investigating group decision making concerning innovation. He is greatly thankful for the support of Dr. Leonard Lynn and Dr. Jagdip Singh, the co-authors and mentors for this research study.
Some of the key findings from the study that will be discussed include:
1) The importance of decision factors varies greatly by project category. Decision making in innovation differs greatly from decision making concerning efficiency projects. What works in one category has detrimental effects in others. While managers are eager to identify and apply best practices to various setting, they need to recognize and manage this disparity.
2) In Product Development and Innovation it is key to
a) Rely on decision making processes that utilize quantitative data analysis. It is the single largest predictor of making decisions that meet strategic intent. Gut feel does not work.
b) Include the “right” people in the process. Who are the subject matter experts within your organization that can help you making good decisions?
c) Manage the ambiguity surrounding the decision and decision making process (information, decision criteria, etc.). It is the single largest predictor for timely decision making.