As engineers we often feel disconnected from the job our company’s leadership must do to focus on keeping a company innovative. We think we may be highly collaborative and yet mostly we are really only collaborative within our own engineering silos. Conversely, our leaders get locked into their own silos of “collaboration” and then as a company, innovation struggles. Our good ideas we generate don’t seem to bubble up to the rest of the organization. Guillaume Rochard, Global Aerospace, Defense, and Security leader from Price Waterhouse Coopers (PWC) presents a report that documents the impact that leveraging a collaborative engineering culture has on growth. It examines how leading companies are giving more recognition to engineers who are making a difference to the company.
The report focused its research on answering three questions:
- How companies are trying to use innovation to drive ROI,
- How the approaches to innovation themselves changing,
- What the leading best practices are that yield real results.
There are some interesting customer examples of where specific innovation techniques have succeeded. I was very happy to see that the research showed that 91% of AD&S executives say they’re planning to collaborate with customers over the next three years. As an engineer I feel that the more direct collaboration with end customers, the better I am able to design innovative solutions that meet their needs. Although the article is aimed at executives to read, I feel it is invaluable for engineers to read in order to understand their challenges and then to take time to provide feedback to leadership on what is working and what is not. The report offers many tangible strategies engineering teams across the company can take to help one’s company discover and leverage the great ideas that engineers come up with.