Press Release

Strategy-Driven Innovation: Johns Hopkins APL Authors Examine Lab’s Integrated Systems Approach

Tue, 07/25/2023 - 13:54

A comprehensive examination of the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory’s (APL) integrated approach to strategy is featured in the current issue of the “IEEE Engineering Management Review,” published by IEEE. The article, “Becoming a Strategy-Driven Technology Organization — A Case Study,” was written by former APL Chief of Staff Ron Luman, APL Assistant Director for Programs and Chief Strategy Officer Tim Galpin, and Assistant Director for Science and Technology and Chief Technology Officer Jerry Krill.

The article covers the background, design and implementation of APL’s systems approach to strategy, first envisioned by current APL Director Ralph Semmel in 2011 and today fully matured through collaboration with Laboratory leadership from across its four sectors and six departments (four enterprise, two technical).

APL is a not-for-profit university affiliated research center (UARC) that solves complex research and engineering challenges facing the nation. Visitors from collaborating government, industry and academic organizations often express deep interest in the Lab’s deliberate approach to strategy-driven innovation, and the authors published the paper in part to share the model with others.

Luman, who retired from the Lab in 2022, believes the story behind APL’s systems approach to strategy could have far-reaching benefits. “Our strategy and its implementation system are pegged to the organization’s vision, rather than to profits or market share,” he said. “We believe that the approach is equally applicable to commercial, not-for-profit and government technology sectors alike.”

“The external publication of our strategic approach is one way we can move forward with our vision that innovation will preserve our nation’s preeminence,” said Galpin. “We believe this can be accomplished by U.S. institutions taking deliberate planning steps.”

An updated and expanded version of the article will be published later this year in the Johns Hopkins APL Technical Digest.