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How to Promote a Culture of R&D in Your Business

From software to pharmaceuticals, companies that excel in their categories are the ones that invest heavily in Research and Development (R&D). Any company that has a competitive edge in the market would view R&D as a core function. So, how to promote a culture of R&D in their business should be a top priority for all organisations.
The keyword here is culture

Industry-leading firms don’t view R&D as a miscellaneous activity that goes on in the background. They approach it as a strategic investment that will help them survive and thrive in the highly competitive landscape.

To make it easy for organisations, here are six ways in which you can embed R&D in your company culture.

1. Involve R&D in decision making

The scientists and engineers who toil in R&D are usually alienated from the decision-making process. They may not know the strategic direction of the company or whether their projects are in sync with those. So, they wouldn’t know whether they need to iterate to be in alignment with the larger company objectives.

To empower R&D, you’ll have to involve them in decision-making. It’s crucial to get their inputs before you develop or implement any strategic course of action.

2. Discourage silos

Marketing needs to know the short, medium, and long-term projects that R&D is working on. R&D needs to know from finance whether their project will be adequately supported. R&D would need the latest figures from sales.

In other words, verticals should be engaging with each other. It cannot be a quarterly or an annual event. These conversations have to be regular and institutionalised.

3. Encourage experimentation

While it’s good to be driven by the strategic goals of the company, the system should also be incentivised to experiment. R&D should be encouraged to think of solutions to the problems that consumers face or are likely to face.

Serendipity is a function of the number of attempts you make. R&D allows you to increase those chances.

4. Invest in re-skilling and up-skilling

R&D flourishes in organisations that value learning. Where every employee is actively encouraged and given opportunities to re-skill and up-skill, they are more likely to routinely engage with their colleagues in R&D.

Human resource teams should integrate engineers in R&D into their training programmes. This will ensure that the content is in sync with future industry demands.

5. Celebrate innovation

A breakthrough idea or a new cutting-edge feature should be celebrated across the system. The organisation should appreciate the engineers and scientists behind it in their internal communications. This will encourage others to experiment and innovate.

Importantly, this will also signal to outsiders that the company respects innovation. It will make it easier to hire the right talent.

6. Engage with academia

Organisations should reach out to and constantly interact with academics and researchers in their domains. This will open doors for collaborations and speed up innovation. R&D team members should be encouraged to publish papers in industry journals. Such tie-ups will also add credibility to the internal R&D.

Companies that change the world with their technological solutions don’t do it because they’re lucky or because they’re adequately funded. They get lucky and get funded because they value R&D and institutionalise it. They succeed because R&D is part of their company culture.

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Join us on LinkedIn Live!

If you liked this, then you’ll love our upcoming LinkedIn Live event!

On the 23rd of April, 2021 at 11 am, our very own CEO Wesley Rashid and R&D Manager Anh Vu will be joined by Edo Salvesen, CFA and Director of Finstock Capital, to discuss everything you need to know about claiming R&D Tax Credits in - “Unlocking your R&D Potential”.

Attendees will be invited to join Anh for a complimentary 1-on-1 R&D clinic, don't miss it!

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