USD alumni in Silicon Valley have a great opportunity for research-based learning about innovation next Tuesday evening, March 26. I heard Professor Priya present to the SBA Board of Advisors last fall, and I saw how much the successful entrepreneurs in the room engaged with her on the ideas she discussed.
Professor Priya, who teaches strategic management at USD School of Business, will present the results of her research on innovation within companies. Her research has big implications for questions that arise for both entrepreneurial and established companies.
One of the entrepreneurs on our Board started small and was driven by innovation; now his company is much bigger and he wants to continue to have a culture of innovation. How does he accomplish this goal when the company isn’t as small and nimble as it once was? Or, for large, established companies, how do they create a culture of innovation, especially when many of the role models – like Apple – intentionally protect the innovators from the rest of the company culture?
For her research, Professor Priya studied Silicon Valley companies, from small to very large, to learn about innovation within them. The direction of the research was to find out how innovators acquire the resources they need – people, money, materials – outside of the normal process of R&D in these companies. She asked employees to identify which of their colleagues were known as innovators in the company, and she found that they pointed to people who had innovated outside the normal company bounds and hierarchies.
I’m looking forward to introducing Priya and greeting many of our alumni from the area at this event next week.