Aligning Business and Innovation for Sustained Goals

November 25, 2014

PricewaterhouseCoopers’ “Breakthrough Innovation and Growth Report,” the largest and most comprehensive study of its kind, explored innovation from a global, multi-sector perspective.

The results show that the most innovative 20% of companies have already grown at a rate 16% higher than the least innovative. This means that, on average, each of the most innovative companies delivered a quarter of a billion dollars of additional revenue over the past three years, compared with the least innovative (Shelton & Percival, 2013). By interviewing more than 1,500 executives, PricewaterhouseCoopers found there was a clear correlation between innovation and growth. They isolated several key components to identify what the most innovative companies were doing compared to the least innovative. The report’s findings line up closely with the strategies of the Konica Minolta Business Innovation Center North America.

InnovationKey to BIC’s strategy is an alignment of business and innovation objectives. Innovation for its own sake can be a useful tool, but having a well-defined organizational structure, and objectives around innovation, helps build alignment and higher performance, leading to results that are repeatable and scalable. BIC is implementing a variety of business model initiatives, including customary ones such as top-down data-driven trends and focused work streams, as well as more creative initiatives that are focused on start-up ecosystems and venture capital.

Reading this study was illuminating to me. Since coming on board, I’ve lived and breathed sustained innovation. it’s been a tremendous amount of work putting together a plan and team that balances so many different pieces, so to further see how well positioned we are for success is especially gratifying.

That is because ideas aren’t isolated; they are celebrated in groups that enable the entire organization to act as one entity. Of particular importance is the convergence of business and technology management to ensure that no one unit or division is missing the opportunity to capitalize on new ideas and possibilities. Effective innovation processes are iterative, beginning with the collection of ideas and progressing through stages of idea prioritization, experimentation and decision-making about which ideas should be commercialized, and ending with the delivery and monetization of the innovation. When it works well, this process allows for the speedy development of great ideas, and the quick failure of bad ones.

Collaboration is a huge part of the BIC strategy. We do not operate in a vacuum; every manager or employee potentially has a piece of the puzzle to create a new business opportunity.

We believe that sustained innovation is a journey, not a destination. The enterprise doesn’t stop innovating after a goal is attained; it’s engaged in a continual process of invention, experimentation and discovery.

Ekta Sahasi
VP, BIC North America

Ekta is responsible for fundamental business and cultural transformation, incubating new product and solutions and investing in new ventures and technologies across the verticals of healthcare, finance, legal, education, government and construction from the company’s North American BIC in Foster City, CA. She is a 15-year entrepreneurial veteran of start-ups and Fortune 500 companies throughout Silicon Valley, previously serving as the director of Research and Innovation Products at PayPal and eBay, where she co-founded the eBay Research and Special Programs team. She is a graduate of the General Electric management/leadership program. Connect with her on Twitter @esahasi.