Often I read articles or books about top-down vs. bottom-up innovation and why one approach would be better than the other. After spending more than five years in the collaborative innovation space, I would advise going hamburger style!
Working with external partners to bring better products and services to market faster and/or develop better intellectual property has never been more popular in the world of business than what we see today.
Getting started with open innovation and developing the right foundation for open innovation has been a key challenge at many companies in the last three to five years. Now, internal as well as external forces are moving these companies towards the next level of open innovation in which we go beyond just products and technology and start to explore how a more open and collaborative mindset can be applied to all more business units and functions. Think procurement and engineering as examples.
Innovations should clearly contribute to growth, optimization and protection of the business. However, CEOs often challenge innovations already at the beginning of respective discussions and huge amounts of ideas get lost, together with prospective business benefits. In this IM Channel One Roundtable Discussion we introduced EY’s way of utilizing innovation management to address the three most relevant board room challenges: top-line growth, bottom-line growth and business resilience.
Kick in the door when it opens, says Mari Baker, CEO of PlayFirst, on her former affiliation with VC firm Kleiner Perkins. She transitioned from her executive roll at BabyCetner and soon sat in on pitch meetings, reviewing the portfolios of numerous start-up companies. Along the way, she took on an appreciation for the difficult choices made by venture capitalists. The experience taught her to be more thoughtful of approaching firms for future capital. It also solidified her understanding that being funded is more than just asking for cash; it’s establishing a long-term relationship between the company and its funders.
Why would a company that rose to prominence based on its innovativeness abandon its lifeblood when the founder exists the building? There are many examples of this happening out there. However if they follow in the footsteps of the world’s ‘serial innovators,’ leadership can keep a company’s innovation flame lit without having to bring back the founding CEO.
Global companies focused on open innovation can accelerate corporate innovation strategies by partnering with a select set of early stage, disruptive technology providers. The result can accelerate open innovation initiatives to fulfill existing market needs or to access new market opportunities while leveraging intellectual resources from outside your organization.