Delta Faucet, a global manufacturer of kitchen and bathroom accessories, had long been considered an innovator in their industry; however, recent innovation projects had delivered less that desirable ROI. They believed that increased business complexity and complacency surrounding the innovation process were at fault… but needed clarity on the source of the slump.
Delta wanted to take a fresh look at how they were innovating, focusing primarily on the evaluation and refinement of organization-wide front end of innovation (FEI) practices.
After diving into the evaluation, we found that the current structure of Delta’s FEI (a separate function from R&D, Business Development and an incubation) was atypical compared to most organizations’ integrated approach. This discovery forced us to broaden our scope, as we couldn’t make recommendations for the FEI function without understanding the entire innovation structure.
\ Our Approach
Since 2005, NewEdge has acted as an SME for the IRI — working with member companies to conduct research in innovation best practice. To aid in our evaluation of Delta’s innovation structure, we utilized a series of frameworks that have been developed through said research, including:
- Breakthrough Innovation Maturity Model — how companies are most successful in driving long-term innovation
- Long-Term Innovation Strategy Formation Maturity Model — how successful long-term innovation strategy is built
We conducted interviews in which we walked Delta participants, representing a broad range of functions and brands, through the maturity models and had them rate the organization based on current practices. Over XX interviews were conducted, including candid conversations with the CEO and several key VPs.
Through this process, several pinch points and redundancies were identified in Delta’s innovation processes.
At the highest level, the organization lacked a corporate innovation vision and strategy beyond an intent to innovate and some high-level corporate strategy focus areas.
Upon getting the results, Delta acted fast! In a matter of weeks, projects in pipeline had been amended to reflect new innovation processes and fill gaps.