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The Clash of Structure and Chaos

By: Marie Alice Dibon
Posted: February 27, 2009, from the March 2009 issue of GCI Magazine.

page 5 of 8

Renaud Jonquières, global marketing manager of pharmaceuticals at BioMérieux explains, “Not only do we often acquire companies that are not quite within the bounds of our expertise, because they are innovative, or bring to the table rupture technologies that will add value to our existing offering, but we have been on occasion going in totally different fields in order to solve specific problems. If you want to foster innovation, you have to be extremely open-minded,” says Jonquières.

At Estée Lauder, suppliers are brought in constantly to present new technologies and educate staff. The company also partners heavily with outside labs, private firms or from academia. They give grants to very prestigious research teams and collaborate on numerous projects. That is another way to interface with the outside. Going out is important.

5. Send Them Out

Not one large dermatology or major cosmetic science meeting goes by without a presentation from Estée Lauder’s labs. “We have the ability to publish our work early on, and that is very important,” emphasizes Maes. Pushing people out, making them interact with the outside world and with different teams is essential. First, it will keep peace in the house, as creative people tend not to be the easiest to manage, and even more so when they feel restrained.

Exposure to others, especially unfamiliar people and teams, creates instability. Most creative personalities are not unphased by it. In fact, it makes them more productive. “Teams function better in a creative fashion when people inside them don’t know each other very well, whereas teams that have been constituted for some time lose their creative edge, but will be perfect to organize and execute,” explains Marc Dangeard, a business coach working with entrepreneurs in California’s Silicon Valley, who closely observes innovative companies and helps them grow.