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April 21 | Innovation

Review on Best Practicese of RVC Released

It is no secret that different companies have different approaches to the issue of innovation, but no matter what methods are applied by a particular firm, it is likely to remain on the sidelines of the market without the new practices. In terms of sanctions on Russian companies it is especially important to establish such mechanisms, and therefore RVC, together with the Club of Directors of Science and Innovation iR & Dclub undertook the organization of the project for the exchange of experience of the best practices of corporate innovation management among Russian companies.

РВК

During the past year the group of interested professionals visited seven major Russian and international corporations and banks who were willing to share their experience with colleagues in the field of innovation. "Our people do not really like to study at a theoretical level, - Vladimir Costea, Executive Director of the Directors Club for Science and Innovation, explained the choice of this format. - And the most effecient way of learning, as we thought, it's a way of "what or how do you do?" People are good at learning from each other. "

According to the results of these meetings, a collection of "best innovation management practices in Russian companies,"  came out including a list of observations that generalize the experience and detailed case studies of four companies. "We released the consolidated collection of case studies on the management of innovation in large companies and work with internal and external developments, - said Deputy General Director - Director of Development RVC Gulnara Bikkulova. - But each company is individual, because it comes from the challenges that are posed either by top management or the state. And, depending on this, as well as on planning horizons specific tools are selected."

Gulnara_Bikkulova
Gulnara Bikkulova

At that stage, the drafters have identified 12 practices and principles that enable companies to develop theie innovative products and solutions.

1. The commitment of senior management to innovative development. This option combines all the businesses that had an opportunity to share the experience. "Innovation - it's painful, hard, difficult, it is always a diversion of resources, and if there is no clear position of top management or owner who dictate policy, no innovation is possible", - said Vladimir Costea.

2. The principle of «separate to innovate» - the need to allocate innovative divisions and develop them independently of the main production is also common to all companies. Moreover, the scale of these innovative cells can vary from a small department or lab to the a big plant or shop.

3. The presence of an innovation culture, including comfortable space and particular corporate principles. "We are bringing about the concept of the “flexible office” organization, - Vyacheslav Gershov said, who is Director of Business Development at SAP Labs. - It can be very easy to reconfigure, for example the way  the people seat, you can write on the walls, and more. In general, all the conditions have been created so that mobile teams could at any time organize to work on the project. "

4. Project approach: all innovations are implemented as projects with start and end points, and the entire control technology is spelled out in detail.

5. The head of the innovation units should have the right to make mistakes and the ability to close the unpromising projects without consequences for himself.

6. Evaluating the innovations must be based on criteria different from the evaluation of the effectiveness of the traditional product. "Sometimes innovative product is an ugly duckling, it must be evaluated in long cycles. To demand profitability at the early stages means killing the innovation", - said Costea.

7. Subdivide innovations and apply different types of management practices for each type.

8. The development of own "innovation ecosystem" or insertion into the outer one. Innovations are born in small teams that are not shackled by plans and standards, so new ideas are drawn in conjunction with start-ups, with the participation of venture capital funds, accelerators, co-workings. Whether such units are to be established in their own company or be outsourced is a solution for the company, and there are positive examples for both approaches.

9. Competence approach. A number of companies are focusing on the development of a specific competence, and then develop a variety of applications for it and adjusts it for a specific task. For example, the company "3M Russia" perfects the technique of manufacture of regular geometric shapes (pyramids-microlenses) and their location on a surface with minimal deviations. This technique is implemented for the production of traffic signs, LCD-TVs, and sandpaper. "With the competence-based approach, there is one problem. I talk a lot to startups, and I can say that no startup can articulate what is its competence. I'm afraid corporations jave the same problem ", - said Vladimir Costea.

10. Internal technobrokeridge. Some companies are in close contact with the customer, finding out their needs and translating them into their own research and business units. This allows you to make a product that is exactly in demand, although it is unlikely it will be radically new.

11. The possibility for authors of innovative product to start up a spin-off and become director of a subsidiary of the company in which the product originated. This practice has been used successfully in "Communication Engineering".

12. Finally, it is common practice when a large holding company may acquire skills and competences, absorbing smaller innovative companies. At the same time both for holding companies and start-ups it is important to understand what problems they solve and how they can help each other. "For the most part innovative companies do not often seek startups at the market to buy them. Another mechanism works. For example, we have a technology platform and we are interested that other companies, including startups develop it. We are ready to support such start-ups, - said Vyacheslav Gershov. - But the market is imbalanced in Russia: the majority start-ups dreamboat that they be bought by some big corporation. And what about thinking of growing at their selves? There is now almost no such examples. And if a startup originally focused on the fact that it will be bought, usually they are not success. "

This is just one area of work to promote the development of innovation in the Russian companies. "We understand there are certain things that are indispensable: companies need to communicate and share experience, to understand what is going on in the world. We are implementing this with iR & Dclub, it is rather educational and training programs. We will continue to develop this direction ", - Gulnara Bikkulova said.

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