Abstract: Many of the best practices of the Renaissance have already been
largely integrated into today’s R&D practices to stimulate business
innovation. Some of the practices adopted from that creative period of Renaissance
• Promoting “collision” between engineers, scientists, and managers ultimately
leads to better collaboration and ultimately produce the best ideas.
• Giving researchers their space to
spend time on their own ideas and projects.
• Setting stretch goals to encourage innovators to “shoot for the stars.”
The article concludes that a friendly and healthy degree of rivalry between two
or more teams working on a given project can have a strong motivational impact
and can lead to new levels of creativity and more valuable, business
innovation. The article conclusion is that modern R&D organizations are missing an
opportunity to promote pioneering innovation by overlooking this potential of
Published: McKinsey Quarterly, May 2010
Authors: Bernard T. Ferrari, and Jessica Goethals
Link: Using Rivalry to Promote Innovation