Managing Innovation for Sustainable Growth


Create and sustain a culture of innovation and

manage innovation at enterprise level



By Nikunj Nirmal

Head of Engineering
Amazon International Expansions
Dallas, TX, USA


Most of the organizations strive to innovate. Innovation is needed at all levels and of different types. We see new products and innovation in existing products every day. Virtually all organizations try to innovate their processes for simplicity, speed, and efficiency. Systematic innovation and a culture of innovation can create a sustainable advantage for the organization and create a position of industry leadership. The organizations world over follow time tested strategies for capital management, strategic planning, human resource management, employee development, and leadership. Building innovation in organizations DNA sets the organization apart. Rather than waiting on the competitor come up with next big idea, organizations need to innovate and remain ahead of the curve.

This paper will cover the ways to create and sustain a culture of innovation and manage innovation at enterprise level. We will discuss how the project managers and program managers can lead the innovation at team and organization level. Why do we need to worry about innovation? How do successful organizations such as GE, DuPont, Visa, P&G, Google, etc. manage innovation? What is the responsibility of leadership in managing innovation?

All views are that of the author and does not represent the views of the organizations he works for, is associated with, or has worked in the past.


Innovation is a critical factor in the success of any organization in the rapidly changing business environment. With the ever-increasing pace of technological advancements and the need to remain competitive in the global marketplace, organizations must innovate to survive and thrive.  Innovation is the key to creating new products, services, processes, and business models that can help companies stay ahead of the competition. However, innovation is not just about coming up with new ideas; it is also about managing these ideas effectively. Managing innovation is not an easy task, especially when it comes to scaling innovation across the organization. Organizations must have the right processes, people, and tools to manage innovation effectively. This white paper will discuss how successful organizations manage innovation within their teams and at scale. We will also examine case studies of companies that have successfully managed innovation.

1   Why focus on innovation?

It helps companies to differentiate themselves from their competitors, increase market share, and improve profitability. Innovation can take many forms, including new products, services, business models, and processes. However, innovation is not a one-time event. It requires a sustained effort over time to stay ahead of the competition.

1.1     The Importance of Innovation Mindset

Innovation mindset is not just about developing new products or services; it is about embracing change, adapting to new circumstances, and identifying opportunities for growth. A strong innovation mindset enables organizations to stay ahead of the curve, anticipate market trends, and create value for customers. Here are some of the benefits of cultivating an innovation mindset:


To read entire paper, click here

Editor’s note: Second Editions are previously published papers that have continued relevance in today’s project management world, or which were originally published in conference proceedings or in a language other than English.  Original publication acknowledged; authors retain copyright.  This paper was originally presented at the 15th UT Dallas PM Symposium in May 2023.  It is republished here with the permission of the author and conference organizers.

How to cite this paper: Nirmal, N. (2024). Managing Innovation for Sustainable Growth: Create and sustain a culture of innovation and manage innovation at enterprise level; presented at the 15th University of Texas at Dallas Project Management Symposium in Richardson, TX, USA in May 2023; republished in the PM World Journal, Vol. XIII, Issue I, January.  Available online at https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2024/01/pmwj137-Jan2024-Nirmal-Managing-Innovation-for-Sustainable-Growth.pdf

About the Author

Nikunj Nirmal

Dallas, TX, USA


Nikunj Nirmal is a business and technology executive, and an accomplished leader with an extensive experience in digital strategy, brand and customer experiences, intellectual property acquisition, product management, enterprise architecture, and technology roadmap for Fortune 100 organizations. Nikunj is the Head of Engineering for Amazon International Expansions to launch ecommerce business in new countries.

Nikunj has worked in several leadership roles such as Chief Technology Officer, Head of Digital Transformation, Head of Innovation Labs (USA), IT Delivery Head, and Shadow Board Member. With strong focus on customer experience and innovation, Nikunj has extensive experience in leading large-scale digital transformation programs and delivering CX centric solutions to drive sustainable growth. Nikunj serves on Forbes Technology Council and is Mentor for WingsForGrowth. He has been on the Technical Advisory Council for Linux Foundation for Artificial Intelligence, serves on two Advisory Boards at The University of Texas at Dallas (UTD) – Global Business and Retail Innovation and Strategic Excellence (RISE), Advisory Board for the University of Houston’s Customer Experience Program, Texas A&M Digital Marketing Advisory board and has worked as Adjunct Faculty at UTD. Nikunj is passionate about mentoring and building high performance teams.


  • MBA (Strategy and Finance), University of Texas at Dallas
  • MS (International Management – Specialization in Information Technology), University of Texas at Dallas
  • Graduate Diploma in Embedded Systems, IIT Bombay
  • BE (Mechanical), M S University of Baroda


  • Global Business Leadership, GlobalNXT University
  • Project Management Professional (PMP®), Project Management Institute


Twitter – @nikunjnirmal