Creative project leaders made 13 times more money

24 October 2010

Another study on the impact of personality was carried out by the business development specialists, Greg Stevens and James Burley, who looked at 267 projects in a large chemicals multinational run by 69 different project leaders over a ten-year period. This study showed that teams run by project leaders with the most creative personality characteristics made 13 times more money for the company than those run by less creative leaders. As predicted by the IPAR research, comfort with intuition was the most important personality characteristic in predicting whether an individual would be so much more productive than the others.

(Miller, 2009, p. 41)

The study referred to is: Greg A. Stevens and James Burley. “Piloting the Rocket of Radical Innovation”, Research-Technology Management (March-April 2003), pp. 16-25.



Advise to innovators:

24 October 2010

Remember that you are usually dealing with a human audience, endowed with limited time, patience and objectivity. It’s very easy to get so excited about our idea that we “spam” our audience with much too much information on it, too soon: quite possibly when they are in the middle of doing something else, or just want to go home. As we will see later, it’s much more effective to start by teasing out their interest.

(Miller, 2009, p. 16)

Do you have a new idea? Drop it like it’s hot.

24 October 2010

At least 90% of commercial product development projects never see the light of day, even if they’re well run and well resourced.

Even for something as simple as a new sandwich variety, only 60-70% of ideas proposed by the supermarket to the manufacturer are launched, and only 20% are still on sale a year later.

The chances of success are much lower if the idea is genuinely new, rather than just a new variant of an existing product. For example, one study of the “universal” success rate of ideas for substantially “new to the world” products in corporations, in a variety of industries, showed that of three thousand raw, unwritten ideas, only three hundred were actually submitted in written form. Development work started on small-scale feasibility projects for only 125 of these, resulting in only 1.7 launches, and only one of those was a success. Overall the success rate from idea to commercial success was just 0.03%.

Our ideas may fail for all sorts of reasons: they may not work, we may be wrong in assuming that we’ve created something that will be useful to people, or we may just run out of money or energy before we’ve succeeded in getting it to the stage when others can see the idea’s promise. However, even if we have a good idea and all the resources we need, we may still fail to get it adopted.

(Miller, 2009, p. 14)