Innovating Bottom-up or Top-down
Ruud v Houten, Netherlands
Check out 2 recent articles
by professor Deschamps on this question. Deschamps makes a useful distinction between promoting bottum-up innovation
and steering top-down innovation
to develop an innovative company.
BOTTOM-UP INNOVATION is fuelled by the ideas and initiative of individuals within a company. Companies can stimulate idea generation through hiring creative entrepreneurs and mechanisms such as: innovation performance measures, give “free time” to explore new ideas, network with idea providers, get close to the customer, and use reward systems to recognizing the providers of great ideas. Most important is to establish an innovation culture
that encourages creativity and entrepreneurship. Such a culture must be customer-centric by understanding consumers intimately. Oher cultural factors are: encourage organizational creativity, appoint innovation champions, establish an entrepreneuerial culture, and a "can-do"climate and remove or reduce organizational barriers to innovation.
TOP-DOWN INNOVATION is initiated and fuelled by an innovation vision and strategy
of a company’s top management. A seamless innovation process
is also important (sub-processes: business and technology intelligence, idea management, technology and supply base development and deployment, product and technology strategy and planning, program management, product lifecycle management). Internal and external networking with suppliers and partners and involving them in the innovation process as well as provuiding adequate innovation resources are also important in this form.