Innovation Workshop

The purpose of this intensive workshop is to help research managers understand the best practices of creating a high performance innovating organization.  How do do leading firms balance tactical projects driven by the Business Units with innovative projects that will dominate the market?  How do firms maximize the value of their intellectual property portfolio?  How do firms form technology based collaborative research projects with other world-class firms?  The answers to these questions are applied to the group’s current research activities. 
The workshop is held at your site. Alliance Management Group consultants work with your R&D management team to tailor the workshop to meet your specific needs.

Module 1
The Innovation Cycle

Innovation activities are typically classified as transformational, transitional or incremental.  Transformational product innovations (also called radical or breakthrough advances) are followed by a cost optimization period that focuses heavily on process improvements and cost reductions.  While both classes of activities are important, the organization demands of “creative destruction” leads to the need of a “schizophrenic” or “ambidextrous” organization.  What are the leadership challenges associated with creating and maintaining differential cultures – one whose mission is to maximize the profit from the old product and process….while the other’s assignment is to render it obsolete.
Module 2
Risk and Uncertainty Management

At the center of the R&D decision making process is the effective management of program uncertainties as well as project risks.  These terms are frequently interchanged and often misunderstood.  A variety of techniques are discussed that make program uncertainties manageable including, project assessment techniques, franchising risk via external alliances, contemporary economic evaluation approaches, and “radical” consumers who lead the acceptance of new products.   These techniques deliver real value when combined in logical ways. 

Module 3
Innovating from the outside in

One of the great ways to create an innovative climate is to invite the outside in.  Tom Allan’s seminal work on technology gatekeepers highlights the advantages of linking the firm internally and externally.  The R&D organization is seen as a knowledge work enterprise.  CTOs are challenged to maximize value internally and externally.  How can the R&D organization work effectively with the Venture Capital Community?  How do firms structure their out-licensing activities to maximize value and minimize internal disruption?  How can firms build their businesses (or destroy them) using alliances?  This segment will cover the thorny issues research directors face when they step outside the laboratory walls.  

Module 4
The Alliance Framework

Modern technology and product development involves forming alliances with business partners.  The Alliance Framework is a state-of-the-art planning tool used by both sides during the alliance creation process.  It significantly increases the quality of technology-based alliances while significantly decreasing the time needed to reach a deal.  The goal is to create links between the business plans of both partners and the key provisions of the alliance contract.  The alliance framework deals with all of the detonators in alliances including; the 3 alliances in 1 problem, wounded princes, useful implementation tools, and allocating intellectual property rights in collaborative research agreements.  It also has application to internal linkages across key departments and business units. 
Module 5
Motivating Technical Professionals

Innovating organizations have to meet organizational goals while providing intrinsically satisfying work.  Maslow and Herzberg’s work provide the basis to understand human drive and organization motivators.  The role of alternate career paths (dual ladders) has become increasingly important.  But the challenges of effectively managing contemporary knowledge workers takes on new dimensions in an environment of greater opportunities and external connections via global communities of practice and lower institutional loyalty.  This segment is designed to update management on how to attract, retain and motivate technical professionals.

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