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If only we'd known sooner [innovation projects, change management]

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Developing a new product may involve entering new markets, acquiring new distribution channels, or developing new customer service capabilities. Identifying these activities and interpreting how these activities relate to the organization's strategic identity are two separate problems. Problems easily confused by innovation managers. New product development requires, first, analysis of new markets and/or new technologies to identify what new activities would be required for implementation. Second, the activities must be featured in a process of interpretation that asks whether these proposed activities can and should be synthesized into the firm. The potential of organizational change to derail an innovation project suggests that management focus on avoiding unforeseen changes. Three techniques for managing innovation-driven change are given in the literature: (1) capture change requirements early; (2) do not allow change requirements to derail a project; and (3) minimise the change requirements by developing products that cultivate existing firm capabilities. So how do innovators and managers learn about change requirements? How do organizations manage change initiatives that innovation projects instigate? The study we did explored these questions by detailing exactly how 51 innovation-driven change initiatives are managed in 13 innovation projects in two Fortune 500 companies

Published in:

Potentials, IEEE  (Volume:19 ,  Issue: 4 )