The leadership challenge for today’s companies is managing innovation in the context of their current business. This article will illustrate innovation management best practice through a case study with original data from the German company Bayer.
We argue that when making investments in innovation, leaders cannot pick the winning ideas on day one. Instead, we have to allow the winning ideas and teams to emerge by creating the right context. While investing resources in innovation is important, it is also about how we use those investments to manage uncertainty and reduce risk in new ideas. Companies need to take a portfolio approach that involves making many small bets, tracking progress via key metrics and increasing investments only in those ideas that show evidence of traction.