General Motors - multiply innovative potential | Network Perspecrive
General Motors / Corporation that designs, manufactures, markets, and distributes vehicles and vehicle parts with the ambition to solve the complex transportation challenges of today and tomorrow.

Multiply innovative potential

In multinational companies such as GM innovations are usually developed with difficulty. And not because of the lack of great ideas. And not because of the lack of resources. The problem lies in no connection between the former and the latter. The ideas are usually not developed because lack them the connection to the resources that transform them into the products or services.

Employees that are innovators work in every single company. They usually face customers needs or have their own technical or organizational problems to solve. But usually, once the idea is generated, innovators do not develop it. They lack time, motivation and support from other employees and R&D team.

In large organizations, innovators rarely have direct access to people with resources that lead their idea or prototype to a ready, large-scale solution. The former and the latter are usually located in different parts of the organization with no direct contact even though they need one another.

Network structure & culture

In such a case networks can help. GM has discovered the power of networks and has implemented networks into a GM-2020 development program. The company has created an adaptive space, the virtual and physical space in which information, people and resources connect. Network analysis and visualizations are used to find innovators hidden in every single business function. Next, the network of cooperation is useful in finding barriers of cooperation between innovators and teams implementing innovations as well as in localizing the shortest paths for them to connect.

The effect? The same R&D teams generate 3 times more innovations in the first year.

See also

Adaptive Space - book by Michael J. Arena