Innovation is as important in services as it is in manufacturing. However, competing on innovation in services demands a different organizational approach. Relative to innovation in manufacturing, innovation in services has five distinctive characteristics—it is: distributed throughout the organization; fluid, that is, more continuous than discrete; broadly relevant to hiring and promotion decisions; influenced by reward systems and culture at the firmwide level; and enabled by leadership. The foundations—both cultural and structural—for competing on innovation in services must operate pervasively throughout the organization. This article examines innovation in investment banking and discusses its implications for competing on innovation in other service industries.
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