G2 Inc. is an idea-driven company, fostering both research into new capabilities and innovation to enhance the current state-of-the-art. G2 leadership is aggressive in locating and pursuing opportunities for internal research and development, and our idea-driven culture is most evident in our employee-initiated research and innovation activities. The results of these activities have led to much discovery and development, and have produced two products along with other technologies.
In the grant stage of a research activity, investigators explore the viability of a new idea, isolate the questions that need to be answered for the idea to be successful, and develop an approach for addressing those questions. Promising research ideas are captured in white papers that serve as the basis for customer engagement, either as research proposals in response to formal calls or as talking points for more informal customer interactions. If there is a customer match, the investigator who initiated the idea is freed up to work full time on the research project. Successful research outcomes can then be implemented as customer services or commercial products. Knowledge and lessons learned are captured from research activities with less successful outcomes. In the grant stage of an innovation activity, investigators explore novel methods or capabilities that would improve an existing capability. This work is done in the context of an existing project or capability, but it is driven by the investigator's insight and creativity, not by existing requirements.
Once an innovative idea has proven to have merit through the grant program, there are still hurdles to implementation. Oftentimes, it can be challenging to fully demonstrate the vision of the idea so it enables our customers to fully see the possibilities the idea holds. Here, G2 works with the investigators to help address the challenge. Promising innovation ideas generally move to a demonstration phase, which allows the investigator to tell a “story” about their idea in a manner that will resonate with customers. These demonstrations provide the opportunity to introduce an idea in a manner that enables a rich understanding of the possibilities. They allow investigators to receive feedback from the customers on pressing problems, often leading to new ideas and grants. The demonstration phase also serves as a proving ground for governing whether an innovative idea moves to a productization phase. The act of applying the innovative idea to real-world customer challenges helps guide the inventors and may open their minds to new ways of looking at their ideas. Additionally, the investigator may discover different, previously missed opportunities that lead to new innovation grants.
The demonstrations present a feedback loop that keeps the innovation engine rolling. Successful demos support customer engagement, and customer interest fuels further development of the demoed capability and opens up new opportunities in additional areas.