Profiling Innovation

Michael O’Duffy of the Centre for Software Engineering met with the chief executive of a number of manufacturing and services companies in North Dublin in 2005 to profile innovation. A similar process was adopted by him with a programme of innovation early adoption by companies. It produced an interesting insight to the manner in which innovation was interpreted and acted on.

All CEOs showed a strong aspiration to address innovation. A high proportion identified as one of the top three objectives for the current or coming year. Similarly the CEO typically took responsibility for initiating and/or sponsoring innovation.

The spread of an innovation culture varied. In many instances it was the brief of a few senior personnel and did not reach to other staff. For companies with a family or otherwise tightly controlled ownership, it was not uncommon to not consider or even deliberately avoid enjoining staff in ideation and early stages of innovation and to limit their involvement in its implementation. Unionised companies were even more sensitive to staff involvement in innovation and other change programmes.

Innovation very rarely became a source of discussion with customers and suppliers and was never a basis for external collaboration. External collaboration was typically a consideration for third level education institutes where there was an expectation of ideas and technology knowledge.

A number, minority proportion, had engaged in product development. Process development applied only where there was product development. The inclusion of an innovation profile was limited to a small number, but where considered it was followed through successfully. The carrying out of R&D based solely on a new idea or concept was considered a luxury in that it was too limited an impact and was too risky for the likely value generated.



Contact Michael O’Duffy to discuss how CSE can help
phoneT: +3531 700 5427
Copyright © Centre for Software Engineering
Website: Red on Green Design