Innovation in Dutch companies - a research by Twynstra the bridge

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60 % of the Dutch companies find themselves successful innovators; In the top-10 of companies that are said to be innovative, the product-oriented companies dominate. People still tend to link innovation with technology.

These are some of the findings that Twynstra the Bridge has published in their report on innovation in Dutch companies (the innovation monitor). The research was especially focused on collaboration between companies with respect to gradual improvement and radical innovation. The report gives a good overview of innovation in the Netherlands. Some interesting findings:

  • Over 80% of the respondents focuses on improvement or the development of products in existing markets. Less than 20% is focused on radical innovation of new markets and business-models.
  • Companies in which top-management has an initiating role with respect to innovation, has a bigger chance to be innovative. And not only because these managers are so innovative themselves but rather because they work hard to design an innovation-climate and they want to bring innovation in the ‘genes’ of the organization.
  • Many companies aim to innovate faster and more radical by collaborating with other companies. The more top-management supports innovation, the more collaboration with other companies is observed and the more these collaboration leads to tangible results.
  • The phase (of the innovation process) in which you start to collaborate, doesn’t matter. In each phase does collaboration lead to better results. Interestingly, the companies that deliver services collaborate more often than the product-oriented organizations.
  • When the respondents are asked (by means of an open question) what they see as a success factor in these collaboration, they mention mutual trust. They also mention open communication, shared ambition and to be able to create a situation of mutual benefit.
  • A pity is that in the need for trust, companies tend to avoid risks. They work with known partners and that doesn’t always support the innovation process.
  • Companies that look actively for partners to collaborate with and that are selective in their choice, are more often pointed towards radical innovation. Whereas companies with a waiting attitude are focused on reducing risks in collaboration.
  • Being good at collaboration in your own organization is an important condition for successful collaboration with other partners.

Innovatiemonitor 2006.pdf1.74 MB