Innovations @Tata group: Extrapolating to New Products Management Matrix

In this article, we will extrapolate the innovations @Tata group comprising of 200+ companies to Booz-Allen & Hamilton’s new product management matrix and see how they could be measured against international bench marking studies.

In 2006, Tata group started the practice of capturing and celebrating innovations of Tata companies through Tata Innovista, which presents awards across various categories viz:

  1. Promising innovations:
    • These are innovations that are successfully completed and have generated/ generating revenues. This category is further grouped into:
      • New Product
      • New Service
      • Core Process
      • Support Process
      • Services enabling customer
      • Social Innovations
  2. Leading edge innovations
    • These are innovative ideas that can be worked on and carried forward. This category is further grouped into:
      • Unproven idea
      • Uses proven technology
  3. Dare to try
    • These are innovations that have been tried to be commercially unsuccessful
  4. Design honor
    • These innovations seeks to promote design thinking

In the year 2011, a total of 3200 innovations of various types were submitted to Tata Innovista for review and out of these 3200 innovations, 13 were awarded as follows:

  • 8 innovations under Promising innovations, and
  • 3 innovations under Leading edge, and
  • 2 innovations under Dare to try

Click here for more details of the products and services from the respective Tata companies which received these awards.

Due to the unavailability of data related to all of these 3200 innovations, which if available, would have helped us in grouping them into the respective cells in our matrix for measuring the degree of newness across company/ market accurately, we have used the data from the 13 innovations of the group companies that were rewarded based on their impact to the organization’s bottom line.

The above 13 innovations are mapped to our New Product Management matrix as shown below:TataInnovistaMatrix

From the sketch, only 1 out of 13 innovations or proportionally speaking 8% (although an inaccurate representation and may not be statistically relevant) of innovations @Tata group could be considered as breakthroughs.

In a bench marking study on the type of innovations delivered by organizations across the world, it has been observed that only 10% of innovations are breakthroughs!

The question thus is: What does it take for the Tata group to increase this %? 

It seems to me that there is a quality of learning that could result in this increase and it requires a careful nurturing of Knowledge, Skills and Abilities (KSAs) in the employees to think afresh and breakaway from the past methods of doing work. More the quality of this learning, more is the degree of newness towards delivering breakthroughs. And, organizations should measure this quality of learning through an objective means, like, using Learning metrics as in a Balanced Score Card.