From the October 24, 2011, Wall Street Journal article, Top ‘Innovators’ Rank Low in R&D Spending, by Melissa Korn—
Korn writes of a new report by Booz & Co showing little correlation between the amount a company spends on R&D and the perception of the company as being innovative by other companies. For example, out of 1,000 companies, Apple ranked 70th in terms of R&D spending but was perceived as the most innovative company; Google ranked 34th in R&D spending but was rated 2nd most innovative; and 3M ranked 86th in R&D spending but was rated 3rd most innovative.
Korn also gives examples of how companies encourage creativity:
- Involve employees company wide to help generate ideas.
- Hold interdepartmental brainstorming sessions.
- Provide a Web forum for recommendations. In this regard I’ll provide a shameless plug for Web2Intranet.com.
- Pfizer, which ranked 2nd in R&D spending and was rated 16th for innovation, invites researchers to attend business meetings and encourages employees on the commercial side to attend scientific reviews.
- 3M, mentioned in the podcast episode on Serendipity and in my book review of Built to Last, allows employees spend 15% of their time exploring side projects and offers seed grants to encourage innovation.