Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Innovation Process at Whirlpool

Here's an interesting article about the innovation process at Whirlpool. Such processes always raise a series of interesting questions. Perhaps most importantly, one must ask whether a process such as this one strikes the right balance between promoting incremental innovations versus breakthrough/radical innovations. If the process focuses too much on short term financial targets, then it will drive out breakthrough ideas. On the other hand, without the discipline of metrics and targets, management may find itself wasting a great deal of money on ideas that cannot be executed profitably. It's always a delicate balancing act. I'd like to know more about how Whirlpool deals with this tension in their innovation process.

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