How large organizations win with and through innovation in the coming years is quite simple. It only takes three steps.
1. Build a strong foundation that brings internal and external resources together.
The foundation is the right mix of culture, leadership, people, structures and processes.
2. Focus on digital for your innovation outcomes (business models, products, services and processes) as well as for your innovation capabilities.
Everyone talks about digital today so this is easy enough to understand (but harder to do) when it comes to innovation outcomes, but what about the corporate innovation capabilities?
Look at how corporate innovation teams and their companies in general develop and manage ecosystems for innovation today. This happens on a very low maturity level without clear strategies, approaches and structures. Furthermore, there is an utter lack of digital platforms, products and services to help do this in smarter ways.
This is a great opportunity for visionary leaders to help their organizations win by building smarter (digital) capabilities that can help bring out better outcomes. We don't really know what this will look like yet, but the ability to get better insights / analytics through data, a service based on machine-learning and AI to identify and gain access to the right partners and resources at the right time and the co-development of intellectual property in virtual ways are good starting points.
3. Keep pushing to make your organization capable of absorbing the inevitable change.
Large organizations have no problems as such with innovation, but they struggle mightily with the changes that comes along with it and in particular with new business models and organizational shifts. Read this short article and understand better what the failures of the necessary organizational shifts can cost you: Why You Don't Understand Innovation.
Yes, it really is simple to win with corporate innovation. These steps are straight-forward and easy to understand. There is no need for a silver bullet. However, as it often is in life and business, the difference between winning or losing is the execution. This is where it will be interesting to observe and help companies in the coming years.
If you are looking for a great example of a company that is winning big on this then look at Amazon. They are scary, impressive and fascinating all in one. An interesting thing about Amazon is that they do not really talk that much about innovation.
They "just" listen better to the inside and outside, adapt to what they learn, experiment all the time and in different ways while learning from failures and they execute in very sharp ways. I look forward to covering Amazon more soon. Stay tuned for this.
Stefan is an acclaimed author, keynote speaker, advisor and entrepreneur. He is a global thought leader on leadership in general and corporate innovation management in particular, he travels around the world to interact with executives and corporate innovation teams who want to take their innovation capabilities and efforts to the next level. The Silicon Valley mindset is key for this to happen. This mindset is rooted in one word: impact. By leveraging new technologies, talent, strong ecosystems, agile leadership, and ingenious approaches to business, Silicon Valley impacts entire industries in ways that shape the world. For a company to thrive—or even survive—in the next decade, its leaders will need to understand the Silicon Valley mindset and be able to put it to work. He helps executives on this through his Silicon Valley Fast Track venture. Stefan completed his entrepreneurial background in A.P. Møller Shipping School and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology — Sloan School of Management. For more information about the Silicon Valley Fast Track, please visit: www.siliconvalleyft.com.