With the increasing push from corporate boards and shareholders for innovation, many managers and leaders need to find which of the many different ways innovation they should use to achieve and accelerate innovation.
It is important to understand that there is no single best approach, but you can find one most suited to your current needs.
Innovation initiatives are spread among the whole organization. There is no central unit or formal Head of Innovations but everyone can come up with new ideas.
interesting innovation supporting tools include:
Creating a new department centralizes company-wide innovation efforts. The department collects new ideas from all employees and across hierarchies, gather ideas from outside of the company, evaluate unique ideas, execute feasibility studies, and prepare business cases.
The biggest challenge is setting the right key performance indicators (KPIs) and return of investment (ROI). Another is the not-invented-here syndrome (NIH) that will have to be challenged.
The lab is a more-or-less autonomous business unit that can benefit from its parent company's resources, knowledge, and innovation base. Moreover, it is free from the bureaucratic ways of decision-making of many large companies.
This results in new or unique opportunities that can be explored quicker while bypassing the strict corporate guidelines and procedures. In some cases, the lab can sell its services to the parent company's clients, increasing revenue.
To harness the existing potential of a growing start-up or emerging technology, companies can use mergers and acquisitions (M&A) to gain substantial market growth or to acquire a solution or service they were missing.
Google purchased YouTube in 2006 as one of its many acquisitions. Microsoft acquired LinkedIn. LinkedIn acquired Lynda.com and created LinkedIn Learning. Twitter bought Quill, a business-focused messaging service.
Some companies set up accelerators or incubators for small and independent start-ups. Their advantage is early access to new and unique ideas without expensive investments into internal innovation department capabilities.
For example, L'Oreal and its Founders Factory. L'Oréal provides each start-up with access to an in-house team of experts that gives operational support and mentoring.
There are many new and out-of-the-box ways of how-to emerging innovation.
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