Innovation in Aerospace and Defense
Department of Defense (DoD) leadership and Aerospace & Defense (A&D) executives are recognizing that, notwithstanding past success, there is an innovation challenge in the industry today. We have insights into elements of repeatable innovation success based on work across multiple industries: broadening focus of efforts, approaches for sourcing of ideas, role of executive leadership, and managing a balanced innovation portfolio.
We use this to design new approaches and co-create concepts that can have an impact on mission need, cost, and end-user satisfaction. New frameworks can open perspectives, help nurture a broader set of innovations that can have real competitive impacts, and guide investment of resources across the innovation portfolio.
Ten Types of Innovation: thinking about the way we do business and how we engage with the customer community:
Using leading thinking on the discipline of innovation based on close collaboration with innovation pioneers, we have extensive innovation experience with leading defense contractors, creating and incubating innovations to strengthen their businesses. We develop and implement structures and processes to institute a sustained and repeatable innovation capability, and we ensure our clients’ innovation capabilities and strengths are communicates in major proposals. In addition to client engagements, we have implemented these innovation tools to improve our own business.
- Innovation diagnostic for a leading defense contractor
- Interviews of top executives to characterize perceived innovation successes and shortcomings
- Introduction of key success factors from other industries that enable repeatable success in innovation
- Transition of leading technologies into the marketplace for a top-10 defense contractor
- Incubation of adjacent commercial businesses leveraging core capabilities
- Designed a structured innovation process to select and grow new non-core businesses
- NASA proposal support for a leading prime contractor to bolster their innovation story
- Designed an “innovation engine” to explain how ongoing innovation would be accomplished
- NASA reviewer feedback – this was a distinctive capability that differentiated the proposal
- Incorporation of innovation principles and processes to improve competitiveness and reduce costs internally
Project Snapshot: Innovation Agenda for Growth
- Context: A major prime contractor was seeking new ways of creating differentiation in a competitive environment that defaulted to cost shoot-outs
- Approach: Innovation agenda development:
- Characterized organization’s history of innovation, identifying the underlying elements of success
- Analyzed geopolitical and military future scenarios to select most relevant company capabilities and product offerings across multiple plausible futures
- Collaborative working sessions using innovation frameworks, complemented by primary and secondary research, to create a list of concepts and initiatives to create differentiation
- Articulation of an organizational innovation agenda based on a structuring of individual ideas into coherent innovation themes
- Impact: Innovation agenda was used by senior management to direct Independent Research and Development (IRAD) allocations and drive all parts of the organization to develop new ideas to support agenda