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Mobilizing an R and D organization through strategy cascading

Author: Loch, Christoph INSEAD Area: Technology and Operations ManagementIn: Research Technology Management, vol. 51, no. 5, September/October 2008 Language: EnglishDescription: p. 18-26.Type of document: INSEAD ArticleNote: Please ask us for this itemAbstract: Cascading business strategy down into an R and D organization is widely used as a useful tool to drive strategy into the organization and align researchers and developers behind the organization's strategy. Strategy cascading is often seen as a formal tool of driving strategy top-down in the organization. This article argues that the key benefit from cascading lies not in top-down control, but in clarity for the technical personnel of what they can contribute, in the motivation that stems from being able to voice their views and concerns, and in the dialogue between senior management and the R and D organization. Dialogue is what mobilizes a technical organization to not only fulfill numbers, but also to contribute creatively according to their abilities. In other words, cascading becomes most useful when it is seen not as a tool to enforce strategy, but as an empowerment device for the R and D personnel to understand the sources of value for the business and to explore how to innovatively produce the highest value.
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Cascading business strategy down into an R and D organization is widely used as a useful tool to drive strategy into the organization and align researchers and developers behind the organization's strategy. Strategy cascading is often seen as a formal tool of driving strategy top-down in the organization. This article argues that the key benefit from cascading lies not in top-down control, but in clarity for the technical personnel of what they can contribute, in the motivation that stems from being able to voice their views and concerns, and in the dialogue between senior management and the R and D organization. Dialogue is what mobilizes a technical organization to not only fulfill numbers, but also to contribute creatively according to their abilities. In other words, cascading becomes most useful when it is seen not as a tool to enforce strategy, but as an empowerment device for the R and D personnel to understand the sources of value for the business and to explore how to innovatively produce the highest value.

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