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National Research and Technology Institution Transforms into a Science-Based Policy Organization

Challenge

A National Research and Technology Institution within a federal government agency enlisted the services of Arthur D. Little to support their efforts in transforming their organization into a science-based policy organization.  The organization’s leadership wanted to create a dynamic work environment that emphasized creativity, innovation, and partnerships among all levels of government and within the private sector.  The primary challenge facing the institution was the leverage of their key strategic assets of leading, world-renowned scientific knowledge creation and research expertise, coupled with policy expertise, which was not optimized to ensure its maximum impact relative to the vision of a healthy forest and a healthy forest sector.  The situation was compounded by the extreme competitive pressures facing the natural resources industry sector in the core areas of pulp, paper, and timber products; as a result key players in the industry had very limited interest and resources available for investing in innovation.  Working with Arthur D. Little, the institution leveraged High Performance Innovation Management to both “lead by example” relative to the industry sector, as well as to optimize their alignment among strategy, key processes, organization, and resources.

Approach

Arthur D. Little’s approach involved a comprehensive assessment of the innovation climate using comparisons with best-in-class examples from private and public organizations and guided by 3rd and 4th Generation R&D Management and High Performance Management principles.  We created a detailed pilot design of core Innovation Management processes and led the hands-on implementation of those processes throughout the national organization comprised of five specialized Research Centers and a national headquarters operation.  The Arthur D. Little team worked side-by-side with the executives within this institution, as well as a very broad cross-section of scientists, policy analysts, economists, and key employees from throughout the science, policy, and program units of the organization to realize their objectives.

Value

As a result of the Arthur D. Little team’s work with this institution, its key Innovation Management processes are now fully embedded and leveraged for planning, prioritization and investment/operational decisionmaking.  Based on its successes to-date, this institution has received wide recognition as an internal best practice organization within its parent department of the federal government, and from key private sector stakeholders.

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