In bigger organizations, individual teams can easily become siloed, oblivious to the actions of the company as a whole and the work other departments are doing. This is detrimental to the long-term success of a business no matter which groups are removed from the greater goals of the organization. It’s especially dangerous when the individuals responsible for R&D are unsure where the company is headed or how it plans to get there.
The role of R&D in business cannot be denied. Yet, it’s easy to leave research and development leadership out of important business strategy discussions and decisions, dismissing them as subject matter experts with no impact on strategy. How does any entity, no matter its size or industry, expect to stay ahead of the competition when its innovation engine isn’t sure in which direction it should accelerate?
Aligning your approach to R&D with a greater long-term business strategy allows for proactive, rather than reactive, innovation. The research and development your R&D team prioritizes, and the metrics their efforts are measured against, should reflect business goals. What novel technologies, products, or processes will help you grow market share, enter new industries, and reach additional customers? Innovating with these goals in mind, as well as the detailed long- and short-term tactics defined to meet them, helps engineers and scientists pursue avenues that support business objectives.
IQ Ideas Plus™ 2.0, a complete innovation management solution, gives R&D teams access to technical literature, helps them evaluate novel ideas, and facilitates cross-team collaboration. This functionality, powered by intuitive AI and streamlined automation, allows engineers and scientists to work more autonomously and find information that helps them innovate toward business goals.
Your business strategy takes into account your customers, both existing and ideal. While sales and marketing teams may interact with your target customers on a daily basis, R&D employees may never talk to the end user of their inventions. This creates a disconnect. When researchers keep the customer and their needs in mind, the resulting technologies may be more relevant and helpful to customers, and therefore easier to market.
Informed Business Strategy
While R&D should always align with business strategy, sometimes a company’s vision cannot possibly account for radical innovation. Success in the R&D department can also impact overall business strategy. Allocating resources for both incremental and radical innovation allows engineers and scientists the flexibility to pursue truly novel discoveries.
Aligning your business and R&D strategies is not a one-time effort. The competitive and technology landscapes you work within are constantly changing. Your organization’s long-term strategies to appeal to customers and remain ahead of the competition will do the same. For continued success, ensure your R&D team does not become isolated from these shifts.