World Class R&D Institute Overview

The World Class R&D Institute is a non-profit organization dedicated to research, education and advocacy for a fundamental overhaul of management practices in industrial R&D. Different from other similar efforts, we do not fix the managers. Instead we fix the work setting within which they manage. We allow good managers to become great.

Tag Cloud of World Class R&D TerminologyWe combine a behavioral approach with financial discipline. The behavioral approach instills a discipline to the work that comes from having skin-in-the-game, competition, responsibilities, etc. Industrial R&D is a creative endeavor. You get creativity by tapping into the innate tendencies of individuals, not by measuring their work activities. We tap into innate tendencies, and we ensure financial discipline, by applying the behavioral approach to the design of the work activities. Creativity comes from within, and so too must the discipline that allows for sustainable funding of creativity.

Industrial R&D is a commercial pursuit: we seek financial results. We translate current science into products that consumers want and need. We develop new science based on our insights into future consumer wants and needs. World Class R&D leverages today’s science, but fully understands that it’s tomorrow’s science where breakthrough products are often found.

Much basic research occurs within the industrial setting, but it is not academic research. We do not pursue science for the sake of science. We seek a science that is inherently breakthrough, tolerant of ambiguity, and wholly directed at building an understanding of ‘big picture’ issues. Each technical discipline strives to be the best it can be within its own narrow confines. R&D management ensures these technical disciplines roll-up into the ‘big picture’ – the pursuit of blockbuster+ revenues.

World Class R&D management practices stretch from the laboratory up to the board room. Improvements in effectiveness come largely in the laboratory, but these improvements can only be sustained with the support of better management and funding decisions. One bad management or funding decision can wipe out years of productivity gains in the laboratory. Worse, bad decisions can ‘poison the well’ for future efforts to improve productivity.

The Institute is fully dedicated to the practice of management in industrial R&D. We provide the theory and the academic underpinnings, but our focus is on practical solutions for industry. We provide direct services to clients: research into specific challenges as identified by industrial and other clients. We provide education, training and certification of individuals in the principles and practices of World Class R&D. We provide advocacy both in academia and in industry to give new and innovative management practices a seat at the table. You’ll find our speakers at conferences, executive MBA programs, speaker bureaus and on the stump in the media and press.

Our aim is nothing short of a complete revamp of management practices in industrial R&D.

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