Three steps to improving innovation
In earlier blogs this month we have talked about the importance of business innovation, as well as trends that are guiding it, but what are the implications of all of this? What should businesses do to make sure they are not left behind within the changing innovation space?
Each company is different, and should approach innovation to suit their culture – but there are three big steps that if taken will improve your business’ innovation capability:
1. Redesign your innovation model: Re think, re organise and restructure
Take a step back and scrutinise your organisational set-up, removing any restrictive internal processes that you find. It may feel uncomfortable, but it is important to allow non-standardised processes to exist. These should still be managed using a ‘test and learn’ approach to ensure performance is still held accountable and judged fairly.
As organisations re-order themselves, there is a clear need to give innovators room to manoeuvre. One option is to set up innovation functions away from traditional business units, housing them in different areas or buildings. L’Oreal has recently opened it’s 6th innovation hub in India, showing real commitment to this cause.
Most big businesses need to speed up the decision making process. This can be achieved by rethinking the role of your investment board, releasing funding pragmatically, and avoiding comparisons with established lines of business.
2. Embrace openness & partnering: Collaborate, sharing risks and resources
Using tactical and strategic partnerships can accelerate the route to market. In order achieve this, be ready to collaborate with start-ups and SMEs as well as potential competitors (where they bring complementary assets).
Nimble start-ups can become invaluable resources to your innovation capability. They help to high-light emerging trends, and can be quick and resourceful. Collaboration can lead to acquisition, such as geo location startup Geoloqi acquired by Esri, a large mapping software company
Whatever you do, embrace strategic partnerships from an early stage in the development process. This will speed up time to market as well as minimalise, and solve, risk across two or more partners.
3. Foster entrepreneurship: Hire, reward and educate
Lastly, but by no means least importantly, create a vibrant entrepreneurial culture in order to harvest great innovations. To do this, look inside as well as outside your organisation. Respect a greater variety of jobs, value generalists vs. specialists, and be prepared to embrace a new profile of incoming employees. Click here to find out your tech innovation stereotype.
Don’t forget to foster awareness of entrepreneurship and innovation within your organisation, and make sure you develop a higher internal tolerance towards failure. Accept that some projects fail, but do it cheaply and quickly.
Remember embracing change is part and parcel of innovation. These three rules: Redesign your innovation model, embracing openness and partnering and fostering entrepreneurship will help you to mitigate risk on the way to success.
To learn more about business innovation, please read more blogs from this series
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