The IQ of Innovation: Anne Marie Knott

  • Season 1, Bonus Episode 2
  • November 16, 2021
  • 18 minute listen

The IQ of Innovation: Anne Marie Knott

“Just as smart individuals are high IQ—individuals solve more problems per minute—high IQ companies solve more problems per dollar of R&D.”


How do firms know they’re getting the right bang for every buck they spend on research and development? Olin’s Anne Marie Knott explains her concept of RQ—the research quotient—and what it means for measuring the return on innovation.

Episode Notes

During On Principle’s regular season, we tell the stories of business leaders navigating tough calls and pivotal moments. Between seasons, we share bonus episodes that delve deeper into earlier interviews, elaborating on research, scholarship and experience about values-based, data-driven decision-making.

In our first-season On Principle episode with Nina Leigh Krueger, CEO of Nestle Purina PetCare for the Americas, we also spoke to Anne Marie Knott, Olin’s Robert and Barbara Frick Professor of Business. Her research focuses on questions around innovation, R&D and entrepreneurship. We talked to her about corporate innovation and how companies know they’re seeing a return on their innovation dollar.

In today’s second bonus episode of On Principle, we dive a little deeper into our conversation with Anne Marie as she explains the genesis of RQ and some of the tools firms use to drive research, invention and innovation.

We also learn a little about her background, how she creates her semi-regular RQ 50 list of top corporate innovators and why she thinks firms haven’t more widely adopted her measure of corporate innovation—even as the research community seems to embrace it.

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This podcast is a production of Washington University in St. Louis’ Olin Business School. Contributors include:

  • Katie Wools, Cathy Myrick and Judy Milanovits, creative assistance
  • Jill Young Miller, fact checking and creative assistance
  • Hayden Molinarolo, original music and sound design
  • Mike Martin Media, editing
  • Sophia Passantino, social media
  • Lexie O'Brien and Erik Buschardt, website support
  • Mark P. Taylor, strategic support
  • Paula Crews, creative vision and strategic support

Special thanks to Ray Irving and his team at WashU Olin’s Center for Digital Education, including our audio engineer, Austin Alred.

Additional information

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