The Culture of Innovation at Waters

By November 17, 2017

Kevin Wyndham: Focused on delivering benefit to customers

For 60 years, Waters has been creating advanced analytical measurement tools for the most exacting scientific applications. Innovation and providing benefit are at the core of our culture: We develop the innovations that allow our customers to innovate and solve the critical challenges in life, material, and food sciences.

Senior Research Director Kevin Wyndham helps lead this mission by cultivating and maintaining a culture of innovation. He has led Waters’ liquid chromatographic consumable innovations as the company has grown into a market leader expanding into new product families, market focuses, and points of customer involvements.

“Today, as the world changes so quickly around us, it’s more important than ever to maintain a culture of innovation. Customers, technology and competition are changing. Customers want products that are easier-to-use yet more robust than ever, and they want systems to be integrated.”

Wyndham believes innovation requires and understands three things: what customers need, what technologies are available to address those needs, and the market viability of any product. “When we merge these three pieces, we help our customers succeed, and that’s when we succeed.”

  • In the short-term, seek focused innovation that keeps you competitive.
  • In the medium-term, push for transformational innovation that can changes the basis of competition.
  • In the long-term, seek breakthrough innovation that can change the world.

“We certainly acknowledge the risks that innovative companies face. In many maturing companies the challenges of growth can hinder innovation,” Kevin says. “For example, as companies grow, no one person can follow all the products the company makes, be on top of all customer needs, or have the scientific expertise in all the markets or applications areas. When companies have less focus in a single market or product area, it can often hamper creativity and lead to more “inside-the-box” thinking. Waters has avoided this pitfall by keeping the focus squarely on customer needs. Waters continues to grow while maintaining a thriving innovation engine by focusing on core values of providing benefit.”

Wyndham spoke about the importance of innovation for entrepreneurs at the American Chemical Society Entrepreneur Summit on November 15 in Washington, D.C.

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