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Balanced Innovation

| On 28, Dec 2007

Bob Carter

In order to understand the relationship between Innovation and growth, it is necessary to first understand why some new product development (NPD) projects are successful while others fail. Funding the right NPD projects is a key leadership challenge that can make or break an organization. I have found that in almost every case, successful NPD projects are balanced. This is also true in the area of new business proposals.  Like NPD projects, winning proposals have a balanced approach to the solution. Innovation can often be the key ingredient in both NPD projects and new business proposals, so the key to successful Innovation is balance. Balanced Innovation is where the intellectual, human, and organizational factors validate each other. The intellectual factors are What you know, do, and are (like science, technology, and engineering); the organizational factors are How you learn, How you solve issues, and How you plan and organize; the human factors are the emotional connections you make, the behaviors you exhibit, the way you tell your story, and Why you do what you do. So success is dependent on the What, How, Why Balance.


Organizations should focus their investment funding on balanced projects. This doesn’t mean that unbalanced projects aren’t worth considering, but the project leader should have a plan of action to achieve balance as part of the development program.