Better early than late: how leader handoffs affect innovation projects
New research from Stanford looks at the impact changing leaders has in bringing new ideas to market
There is extensive literature on innovation, covering many facets of what innovation is and how it works. However, among the topics not typically addressed in this field are the handoffs that often occur during a creative or innovation development process. This omission is odd because almost every creative or innovation development effort requires different people to lead different stages. Even movie production — which most people think is guided from start to finish by a single director — is, in reality, a multi-stage process, with writers, editors, and producers often leading important sections of a project’s evolution. Handoffs are even more common in R&D, product innovation, and long-term innovation efforts in corporate settings, where it is usually the case that multiple leaders take an innovation from its early stages to completion.
There is a gap, then, in research around the role that handoffs play in innovation efforts. This gap is addressed in a new study from Stanford GSB’s Justin M. Berg and Alisa Yu. In a recent paper, they look at the impacts that innovation handoffs have at various stages to determine how they affect innovation development and the innovators themselves.
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