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Innovation: How Disciplined Is Your Company?

Posted by David Brousell on April 15, 2014

bulb2.jpgMost manufacturers would tell you that innovation is one of their most important activities. Without innovation, growth is stymied, the future becomes uncertain. Yet, according to a new Manufacturing Leadership Council poll on innovation-- primarily focused on small and medium-size companies--most manufacturers approach innovation less than rigorously and sometimes with a surprising informality.

Moreover, while many manufacturers consider innovation to be an important activity, the value placed on it is no more or less than that placed on other key pursuits such as operational efficiency or lean manufacturing. The problem becomes one of balance: only 15% of survey respondents say their companies are doing a very good job of balancing innovation with these other, equally important activities.

The big issue with innovation boils down to the management of the process itself. The survey reveals a host of interesting contradictions between manufacturers’ perceptions of their innovation prowess and their ability to execute on innovative ideas.

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