By Tuck Communications
Published Apr 21, 2011
Vijay Govindarajan and Chris Trimble’s “Stop the Innovation Wars” is recognized as one of the best Harvard Business Review articles of 2010.
“Stop the Innovation Wars,” an article by Tuck faculty members Vijay Govindarajan and Chris Trimble T’96 that appeared in the July-August 2010 issue of Harvard Business Review, has finished second in HBR’s 52nd-annual McKinsey Awards.
Judged by an independent panel of business and academic leaders, the annual McKinsey Awards recognize outstanding articles published each year in the management journal. Govindarajan, the Earl C. Daum 1924 Professor of International Business, and Trimble, an adjunct associate professor at Tuck, shared second-place honors with Roger Martin, dean of Canada's Rotman School of Management.
In their article, the authors offer firms a model to bridge the inherent divide that exists between a company's innovation team and the unit responsible for ongoing operations. Their approach, which calls for a partnership between the two groups, breaks with conventional wisdom that suggests the best way to manage hostilities is to sequester those doing the innovating.
That may ratchet back infighting, say Govindarajan and Trimble, but it also stifles innovation. “When a large corporation asks a group to innovate in isolation,” they write, “it not only ends up duplicating things it already has but also forfeits its primary advantage over smaller, nimbler rivals—its mammoth asset base.”
Govindarajan and Trimble have spent the past decade researching innovation initiatives within companies. Many of those cases are brought to life in their most recent book, The Other Side of Innovation: Solving the Execution Challenge (Harvard Business Press, 2010).