Innovate Faster or Innovate Better?

Which types of companies innovate better? This decisive matter that ultimately sustains long-term operations considers talent, funding and governance as the three key elements that define a company’s profile. Therefore, the special formula for high innovation performance becomes: combining difficult-to-replicate assets with "just enough" entrepreneurial behaviours.

The question of whether to innovate faster or to innovate better has puzzled strategists for decades. According to Yale School of Management Professor Dick Foster, when we compare and contrast start-ups and established firms in this context, we observe certain differences in their talent, funding and governance equations. In particular we see that the market tends to speed ahead of autonomous organizations inhibiting their speed and meaning they cannot innovate faster. On the flipside, these entities can certainly innovate better than the market in which they participate. There are some activities that only large companies can do thanks to their distinctive assets such as technology, channel relationships and scale operations to name a few.

Based on the above, author Scott Anthony profiled the so-called fourth-era corporations that create powerful growth businesses by uniting these difficult-to-replicate assets with “just enough” entrepreneurial behaviours.

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