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Fortune 1000 Companies
5/21/2009 12:45:19 PM

Fortune 1000 corporations often find it difficult to drive innovation into new revenue streams. These organizations do innovative work, but often the firms have too much innovation and need to develop processes to channel this innovation into commercial success. The corporate DNA that supports historic success often inhibits new innovation by forcing it through these structured processes. While these processes ensure a controlled and thoughtful approach to innovation, they force ideas prematurely into a stage-gate development funnel that is synchronized with financial budgets and management planning.




Fortune 1000 corporations often find it difficult to drive innovation into new revenue streams. These organizations do innovative work, but often the firms have too much innovation and need to develop processes to channel this innovation into commercial success. The corporate DNA that supports historic success often inhibits new innovation by forcing it through these structured processes. While these processes ensure a controlled and thoughtful approach to innovation, they force ideas prematurely into a stage-gate development funnel that is synchronized with financial budgets and management planning. While this approach encourages predictability, it often stifles ideas that emerge outside the normal process timing or are not aligned with current corporate objectives.

Do these innovations go away? No. Most corporations have invention disclosure processes to capture the ideas even if they are not patented or published. If the idea happens outside the normal Research & Development (R&D) process, then the innovation remains in the minds of a network of employees as informal knowledge. The challenge of timing is what to do with this informal knowledge before employees move on and innovative ideas are essentially lost or even worse migrate to competitors or supply chain partners. While bibliometric analysis cannot directly assess informal innovations, there is an assumption that in large corporations each patent is backed by many innovations that do not become public.

The strongest reason for patent-specific analysis is the 17 year monopoly. With this monopoly comes clear corporate value when the innovation is commercialized. In essence, there are years of monopoly profits. In some industries, such as Biotech or Pharmaceuticals, a few patents can deliver the revenue monopoly. In other industries, such as Semiconductors, Telecommunications or Information Technology, a portfolio of patents is needed to protect the monopoly revenue of each product - and these patents could number into the thousands.

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