A stronger position

R&D and the project portfolio

A downturn is bound to change the structure and competitive landscape

Most companies are exposed to the economic downturn to some degree. History shows that a downturn is bound to change the structure and competitive landscape of many industries. Even in less exposed industries, some companies will get out of the downturn strengthened while others are weakened.

R&D and the project portfolio

Corporate strategies and functional efforts must be aligned to meet challenges in downturns with the most powerful response.

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In this viewpoint we focus on how to respond in R&D and with the product portfolio. We provide an overview of the different initiatives companies can take to meet the downturn, and bring the product portfolio, the R&D activities and finally the company through the downturn into a stronger position.

A common point of departure is essential

Regarding R&D we often meet highly differentiated insights and viewpoints in the top management team. We have often facilitated analyses and discussions to reach a common level of understanding needed to make informed strategic choices. Both in good times, and especially in downturns R&D and the product line should not be a matter of the head of R&D lone, since the impact of different strategies is companywide, and can influence the company for years to come.

Depending on the corporate strategy, the freedom you as a company have to act in the downturn, and the relative strengths of your product line and your “R&D muscle”, you can basically select one of three responses to the downturn and apply the change management suited for each of them. Look at the figure at the right, and learn more about the three strategic responses and the required change management approaches in our other viewpoints. By looking specifically at R&D and the product portfolio, and matching them with each of the strategic responses, you are provided with an array of opportunities to act upon.

Invest to win

When you appear strong in relation/ in comparison to your competitors, and have the power to invest in products and R&D during downturns, a number of opportunities arise, which could bring you into a very strong and lasting competitive situation – also when times changes. Your efforts could possibly change the rules of the game in the industry.

Lars Kirkegård
Lars Kirkegård
+45 2338 0011