Organizations spend billions of dollars on research and development in the hope of scoring the next game changer.
The life blood of start-ups is innovative people with innovative ideas. But unlike, say, marketing campaigns or IT upgrades, it’s difficult to quantify the return on investment on the people part of innovation. More importantly, it’s hard to know how to get more bang for your buck. Many organizations’ R&D strategy tends to focus on equipping intelligent people with top of the range technology and hope for a breakthrough. Until now.
Robert Keller of the University of Houston followed 644 scientists and engineers from five corporate research and development organizations over five years. He measured job performance, as rated by supervisors, and the number of patents and publications achieved by each individual. He discovered that three key personality traits predict high performance and innovation:
- Internal locus of control
- Innovative orientation.