Innovation is, undoubtedly, one of the key factors in the success of any organization. In this post I do not address innovation in the sense of creativity or idea generation. I rather look at innovation in the domains of work methodologies, work processes or management strategies. To establish a distinction, the former is the ability to come up with new and valuable ideas, that can distinguish one organization from its competitors. The latter is the ability to implement organizational processes that can support the development and growth of these ideas, materializing them into specific products or services. Or yet, the former is the spark that kick-starts an organization, the latter is the fuel that keeps it going ahead of the competitors.
While the former results from an often undeterministic combination of inspiration and perspiration (and possibly many other factors), the second results from the constant improvement of organizational processes. It is in this improvement that research can have a significant role.
Unfortunately, many of today’s organizations, especially the more traditional ones, still lack a research culture. This is an understandable fact. Indeed, research does not always hold the expected results. Sometimes, we just work for months or years on a hypothesis, to conclude that we cannot use it. This has costs: human resources, time, changes in existing processes, experimentation, among others. In a time in which so many organizations are already struggling, this additional effort is unbearable. In other cases, carrying our research is simply not part of the organization’s activities or goals.
However, this does not mean that such organizations must necessarily stop in time. Indeed, the information society in which we live makes it increasingly easier for organizations to share knowledge and thrive. An especially successful symbiotic relationship can be established between companies and academic organizations, which are research-oriented in nature.
Let me use a proper example. The CEO of an organization seeking to improve the performance of the workforce does not need to set up a research division that will study all the factors influencing performance, select a few to work with, develop new approaches, apply and validate them, and draw usable conclusions. The sheer cost and effort of this task would deter most of the organizations, especially the small and medium-sized.
However, this same CEO could analyze innovative approaches being developed by other organizations, namely research-oriented ones, and establish successful collaborations. By doing so, the company would still benefit (indirectly) form innovative research results.
This is the benefit that Performetric’s clients have. They gain access to a unique tool that is the result of several years of scientific research and validation, instantaneously supporting better decision-making and strategic planning. However, this relationship is mutually beneficial. We, at Performetric, also benefit from an increasing number of clients, which allow us to gain an increasing knowledge on the interesting and complex mechanisms that influence Human-Computer Interaction.
In Performetric, as in so many other research-oriented service-providing organizations, a close integration between the business fabric and the research community is thus the key to start a virtuous circle, with significant advantages for both sides.