Session on Corporate Innovation

Yesterday (14 May 2013), I had the opportunity to conduct a session on “Corporate Innovation” to a diverse audience (3 to 10+ years experience). It was an interesting, and interactive session. The one strong view which was echoed from the participants was that there is VERY LITTLE INNOVATION happening at the ground level within most organizations!

Sharing below the key messages from my session

Overview to Corporate Innovation

  1. Innovation has evolved from “Nice to Do” To “Good to Do” to “Must Do”. Innovate to survive
  2. There is no “universal / standard definition” of Innovation
  3. Innovation within an organization can happen at any time, at any place and from anyone. Innovation can occur at any level within an organization – from entry level to executive management
  4. Innovation can be of technology, process, business, delivery methodology, product or user experience
  5. What the wise have to say about Innovation. To read a set of interesting Innovation Quotes, click here
  6. Focus of Corporate Innovation is how to “Simplify” / “Solve problems” / “Make things easier and better” / “Improve efficiencies” for internal (employees) and external (customers , partners, suppliers, vendors) stakeholders. Of course, corporate innovation initiatives focus on “Reducing costs” / “Improving Revenues”

* Innovation Life Cycle : Every innovation typically follows a life cycle as depicted below

InnovationLifeCycle

* Importance of Corporate Innovation

  1. Getting employees to “Think”, “Learn”, “Reflect”, “Experience”, “Comprehend” and “Apply” : Build a culture of innovation
  2. Key Differentiator ; Competitive Advantage in the market
  3. Additional “Revenue Potential” ; Non-Linearity
  4. Better Customer Engagement
  5. Market Positioning & Thought Leadership

* Lessons from my Corporate Innovation Journey

  1. There are three distinct phases in the Innovation Life Cycle and each requires a different mind set
  2. Your idea need not be unique; How you position your innovation makes all the difference
  3. The Business Plan is just a baseline plan
  4. When you start the GTM [Go-To-Market] activities can make all the difference
  5. The first customer is the most crucial in your journey to success
  6. Corporate Innovation should be a priority from the top
  7. Internal communication and collaboration is critical to succeed

Extracted from paper published in the IIMB Summer Magazine (2012)

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