A View from the Netherlands on Innovation


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Willem de Vries, Managing Partner of the STEM Industrial Marketing Centre in cooperation with Erik de Boer from New Business Development Associates (NBDA) take a look at the state of innovation within corporations in The Netherlands compared to other countries.


Innovation, what is the standard? Successful innovating: it is a matter of survival!
Many people believe innovation requires masses of creativity along with a good many brainstorming sessions at country retreats. These things will obviously not hurt, but having an inspired idea is only 10% of the work. The hardest element of innovation is to successfully execute and launch a wonderful new idea. That is the other 90%. And it is often grossly underestimated. That is the cycle that goes from generating an idea to the evaluation of the market’s results and reactions; meaning the users and buyers. This creates input for a next step in the innovation process. But what is the standard in innovation? How much money should be invested in innovation? When is an innovation successful? And which approach
to innovation management is best?
Recent studies of the global Product Development and Management Association (PDMA, see box at left) show Dutch businesses score lower on a number of aspects of innovation. Prof. Henk W. Volberda (see box at left) also showed in his recent study that Dutch companies do not innovate enough. This has consequences; the Netherlands has dropped
from fifth to eighth position on the ladder of the most competitive countries (World Economic Forum 2013) – in which the UK takes the number 10 position.


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