The Dyadic Fourth Generation R&D Organization

On the operations side of 4G innovation the Tenth Principle of 4G directs the creation and operation of two new types of innovation labs that supplement traditional R&D labs and market research activities such as focus groups and surveys that are jointly staffed by partner organizations. The new labs facilitate focused multidisciplinary problem solving and learning in a collaborative activity such as a multiyear project between a company and a selected university. In the first type of lab which is an Innovation Discovery Lab, new capability is targeted to be acquired with 4G open innovation and developed with intellectual property protection such as filing patent applications before customer testing occurs in the second type of lab, which is an Innovation Application Lab. 4G open innovation includes the inputs of licensed external technology acquisition and also corporate venturing to create start-ups as suppliers of new strategic capabilities. The Innovation Discovery Labs are typically located next to a university. The Application Labs are located in places which facilitate customer testing of prototypes and help prepare partners to create and operate an Innovation Hub. This creates a Dyadic Organization as shown in the “Dyadic 4G Organization” figure.

A new fourth generation (4G) of innovation management with twelve principles is required to overcome limitations (constraints in TRIZ terminology) in most disciplines of management and restore value creation to adequate levels and rates by effectively enabling radical innovation and improving incremental innovation. Unlike disruptive innovation, 4G innovation begins with the objective to discover and solve a core problem limiting economic growth in an industry with a solution based on radical innovation. Radical innovation in 4G creates value at a higher level based on a dominant design that has 3 parts – (1) a set of new capabilities needed by a group of customers delivered by (2) new capabilities and business models for suppliers that extend and restructure the (3) linked capabilities in the value chains that cross multiple markets and industries and that form structures such as supply chains and distribution channels.

The benefits of such fourth-generation processes that integrate across the business functions are great. The biggest challenge of course is for the senior leadership in a Corporation to undertake such a large-scale organizational change project.