Google’s Advice to Manufacturers: Innovate and Think Big
Innovation is in the “DNA of manufacturers and it is vital that they establish a “culture of innovation” in order to sustain it over time.
If there is any industry where innovation is the mother of necessity, it is this industry, the global head of Manufacturing Industry for Google at Work and a veteran manufacturing and IT consultant.
The Google’s president contrasted companies with innovation cultures with those who believe they are innovative but really have just “cycles of innovation that are one-offs” or have top-down innovation rather than encouraging innovation throughout the organization.
Ask yourself, are you enabling not just your lieutenants but the lowest-level personnel with the tools, techniques and trust to think big,to make incremental improvements and leapfrog improvements?”
Innovation is an important driver of growth. That research found that the “most innovative companies in our study delivered growth at a rate of 16% above that of the least innovative and they are more bullish about their growth prospects.”
Manufacturers should follow a Google practice of allocating time on a 70/20/10 basis in order to support innovation:
- 70% of time should be devoted to “small steps” – daily lean improvements, improving yields, cutting 2% of operational costs.
- 20% of your time should address “jump steps” – more sizable changes in your department or company to develop new products or improve employee retention. “How can we really grow our department, grow our business,” he said.
- 10% of your work hours should be focused on “moonshot” ideas – fundamental changes to the company, its products or operations and personnel. “How can we truly change the industry?”
Companies should spend time on “moonshot” innovation “thinking much differently about how you are doing business today, about the products you have and what they serve, customer needs and how you solve them said Salomón Juan Marcos Villarreal, president of Grupo Denim.