What is this World Class R&D in a nutshell?

Much of the argumentation for World Class R&D (WCRD) revolves around two key tenets:

  1. R&D pursues products that have blockbuster+ revenue potential
  2. This pursuit is subject to discontinuous discovery+.

WCRD seeks to identify management practices to achieve these two tenets. We need to keep our very creative individuals motivated and passionate even though breakthroughs come discontinuously. We need to manage our funding sources so they don't pull the plug on R&D pursuits when they do not appreciate the nature of discontinuous discovery. We need individuals to have the emotional fortitude to stop their own pet projects that are just leading down a dead alley.

We hire talented people, set up mechanisms so they stay talented, and then concentrate on their behaviors, passions, interests and beliefs. It's all about the people. It's all about their behaviors. We need management practices that allow managers to spend much more time, the bulk of their time, managing people and their needs. What can we do for talented staff so they can be as effective as possible? What's going on in their lives that's getting in the way of their effectiveness? This is not cumbaya! This is effectiveness of industrial R&D.

If you don't buy into the tenets (integral to the 'core arguments') then much of what is written by the editors of WCRD may appear off-beat or unconventional. That doesn't mean much of what is discussed by other members of the community will not be more conventional.

We are tying to get from here to there. There is much in our travels to WCRD that can be applied to other R&D approaches. For example, if you're working for a company that's dedicated to the production of B-movies (i.e., low uncertainty and not subject to discontinuous discovery), then you can still benefit by many of the arguments appearing under Governance or Organizational Behaviors.

Further ReadingWorld Class R&D, Take II

World Class R&D, Take III