Building Innovation: A Case Study on When to Separate R&D and Manufacturing
Management thinkers have long debated whether innovation or execution is the more important driver of organizational success. A 2011 survey by the National Center for the Middle Market of mid-sized-company executives singled out two of their major challenges: innovating new products and improving operational efficiencies in manufacturing. If large corporations struggle to balance these competing priorities, the challenge is only harder for Middle Market companies.
A central question is whether innovation and execution - which are linked together strategically - should also be linked together structurally. For large and small companies the decision is reasonably straightforward. However, Middle Market companies are engaged in a bit of a trapeze act: assessing the optimal time to release the small-company, unified model and grasp the large-company, distinct-functions model.
To help Middle Market executives make that decision, fellows at the Center studied TechCom - a multi-product Middle Market company that has tried several approaches to managing R&D and manufacturing. TechCom's archetypal family-business origins, its successful growth trajectory, and the variety of its experiences make it an instructive example.
To learn more about TechCom's journey and how in can impact other Middle Market companies, download the full white paper.