What are the rules of investing in science-based innovation? How much long-term thinking does it take to get through tightened markets and economic downturns? These questions are at the core of Vicki L. Sato´s research, who is a Professor of Management Practice in the Technology and Operations Management unit at Harvard Business School. In addition, she is also an advisor to Atlas Venture´s life sciences team.
In her view, smart science-based businesses regard today´s economic difficulties as an opportunity to boost their research and innovation for long-term competitive advantage. However, she cautions, different situations require different business decisions and investing in R&D is not always the key to success. The right approach, Sato argues, is to evaluate innovation management challenges from various perspectives, such as corporate strategy, organizational design, decision-making, and resource allocation. This is even more important as key investment metrics, which are measuring a company´s past and current financial performance, will not suffice as a stand-alone parameter in determining future success. Even though this is not a new observation and Sato admits that “the rules haven´t been written yet in this field of study”, the faculty research focuses on best practices and cases studies and may therefore come up with insightful and valuable concepts on investing in science-based businesses. We are looking forward to any future updates!
Source: Harvard Business School Working Knowledge, June 1, 2009. Author: Julia Hanna