How to Innovate in Tough Times

mit-sloan-logoIt can be a formidable challenge to make sure your innovation projects continue to prosper at a time when many company budgets are shrinking. A recent article from Knowledge@Wharton summarizes recommendations from a panel of experts who spoke at Wharton – on the topic of how to sustain technology innovation, specifically, during tough times. Some of the panelists’ recommendations:

  • Align projects with the larger organization’s aims.
  • Hone your people skills. People “need to like your idea, but they also need to like you,” observed panelist Eric F. Bernstein.
  • Show how your innovation will save money.
  • Have an advocate for your project at as high a level in the organization as possible.               

The Knowledge@Wharton article also quoted Wharton marketing professor George S. Day , who noted that some leading companies continue to invest in innovation even during difficult economic periods. Day has written in MIT Sloan Management Review on topics such as being a vigilant leader and aligning an organization with the market.

Courtesy of MIT/Sloan Management Review

2 responses to “How to Innovate in Tough Times

  1. Thank you for sharing your study with our readers. I, for one, would be very interested in receiving a copy of your report. Please send it to

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  2. We conducted a study in Spain to understand which factors influenced the business capacity of firms, and we got 95% of surveyed people in 10 organizations said they either didn’t know or disagreed to the statment “There is a strong correlation between the innovation projects we develop and our company’s overall strategy”. This factor turned to have a high statystical correlation to the innovation capacity of a firm.

    The study meassured 225 variables. If anyone is interested in learning more, you can send an email to and we will send you the Executive Summary.