Innovation’s Roots and Routes

Sheryl Winston Smith

Listen to podcast – How does innovation originate and spread across a multi-divisional organization?

“Innovation happens in Kongsberg every day, but this does not mean launching a product every day. We are continuously developing existing products, while seeking new capabilities and applications,” says Geir Håøy, CEO of Kongsberg.

This multidivisional Norwegian company with 200+ years of experience has been able to constantly inject innovation to their long-lasting projects.

“We try to make every technology available for the entire group. Our technology forum holds regular meetings, assessing the trends and competencies needed to move forward. Also, we are working closely with our customers and the supply chain. Innovation does not only happen inside the company.” says Håøy.

Swing big and miss big

“One of the most common analogies in the world of entrepreneurship is strikeouts and home runs. The example I love is originally from a baseball record keeper, saying ‘I swing big and miss big’. You cannot hit home runs unless you are willing to fail,” says Professor Sheryl Winston Smith at BI’s Department of Strategy and Entrepreneurship.

What Smith finds interesting about Kongsberg is their intentional mechanisms that make innovation possible across their different business units.

"Some of the biggest breakthrough innovations come from taking the idea from one area to another, what we think of as knowledge recombination," says Smith.


Listen to the episode and learn more about:

  • Is innovation a structured process?
  • Learning from failure
  • Borrowing innovation from other business units
  • Norway’s entrepreneurship ecosystem


Stay Ahead with research-based insights for decision-makers

Stay up to date with the latest research and leading business practices. Come join the roundtable and listen-in on the discussions between top academic experts and industry leaders.

Read more about the podcast

Published 19. December 2022

You can also see all news here.