Bottom-up Innovation and Top-down Innovation

Corporate Innovation Management
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Ruud v Houten

Bottom-up Innovation and Top-down Innovation

I just read an interesting article by professor Deschamps on encouraging innovation within large organizations. 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.
Source: Jean-Philippe Deschamps, "The Eight Attributes of Bottom-Up Innovation Leaders


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