A cool breeze brings welcome relief on a sweltering summer day. A tornado leaves death and destruction in its wake.
I see more and more companies struggling to cope with the rapidly changing financial climate. Take the manufacturing sector for example. Credit has long been the life blood of the sector. But suddenly, the rules of the game are different. How does a business that has been dependent of credit for significant capital investments continue to move ahead when credit dries up?
One traditional refuge has been the incremental cost reduction program. But, small reductions in cost aren’t sufficient in today’s climate. Typically, it’s not too difficult to find a way to find a five percent cost reduction. However, it is an entirely different story when the R&D head is asked to find cost savings of 35-40%. Such steep reductions in cost are no longer the realm of incremental engineering. Achieving today’s aggressive requirements demands radical product change strategies. This is the domain of innovation.
If you already have built a high performance innovation culture, then your engineers are already in the practice of considering every incremental engineering project as an opportunity to apply innovation best practices and create new value. However if your organization is like most, this concept may still sound foreign. No one can afford the luxury of this ignorance now.
The rules of the game are changing. Yesterday’s solutions are an inadequate response to the new challenges we face. Companies must innovate in order to survive and thrive. Take control of your destiny and change the rules.