I have spent a great portion of my career in large corporations. I was always passionate for innovation, from brainstorming ideas to making those ideas reality.
Innovation happens everywhere in each step of the organization so then why is so difficult to scale those ideas.
Organization are not adapted to speed. Big organization are bureaucratic like any public government. Making very difficult to discover new ideas.
Trying to help ideas to be discovered and executed is hen I found ideas management software. At first I was very interested to use it, making contact with people who submitted great ideas. Years pass by where thousand of ideas were put to work or that is what I thought. Some were evaluated and in some cases even getting rewarded.
However after more than 3 years ideas weren’t visible, the product was never developed even the ones that has better visibility, and then everything start falling apart.
The conclusion was that then the software become a store for after implementation ideas to get rewarded. Meaning that customers were requesting a change so that after implementing that change on the customer the people involved in the project submitted the idea to get it the rewards.
This is not the sort of innovation that you are looking for.
Innovation failed as all the ideas implemented were created together with our customers for their specific needs or because some Executive wanted to see a big number in the innovation platform.
This quote reflects this same though “When you have an Chief Innovation Officer or some similar position in the company then the company give a s… about innovation. This is created to show stakeholder that they are trying to innovate without innovation”
What is the solution?
We need to approach the solution in a different way.
Innovation in large corporation is important so they can move the ladder up. Companies needs to promote intrapreneurship.
Let us think what are the required steps for this to happen:
- Setup an independent budget for it. Create a Fund with entrepreneurs and VC experience people which can bring money from company and external investor.
- Promotion. Ideas management is a good tool here to identify ideas that should apply to the program.
- Application. Intrapreneurship will apply follow similar requirements from any other accelerator program.
- Acceptance. Ideas are evaluated for an jury panel which should consist on entrepreneurs mainly to avoid the bias caused by corporate executives.
- Accelerator program. the accelerator teams should create a program that is suitable for the innovation that they are trying to build depending on the vertical and the length of investment.
Many companies are implementing this concept for external entrepreneurs, so they have an interest in what coming new in external companies and de-risk the failure inside.
However the change should happen from inside out, one example is FordX where they hired a great team of entrepreneurs to run the program as an accelerator.
Public large corporation executives have the bias on taking long term decision as they need to report short term improvements to the stoke market. This is why an formed entrepreneur is more suitable to make decision on new ideas.
NOTE: look at the concept of LTSE where Eric Ries is trying to build a stoke exchange for long term thinkers.
What tools do we need to improve innovation?
There are multiple tools that are available.
Ideas management tools: when you want to promote the generation of ideas internally (small and big one).
- Pros: any type of ideas can be uploaded. From process improvement, one script improvement, minor manufacturing process changes (using continuous improvement like Kaizen)
- Cons: employees engagement is tough. Rewards needs to show appreciation constantly so multiple manager needs to spend time supporting the employees that have created the ideas. If this does not happen, self-steam goes down and even the most prominent employees will stop using the tool. It is a cost-benefit gambling.
- My view: I don’t discourage to implement this, as they could come great products from this, but there is cost-benefits so that if there is no company culture on creation of new ideas then this will fall apart.
Mentoring software: mainly focus on developing skills to junior employees. This could be for ideas generation or scaling in the corporate ladder.
- Pros: great tool to develop internal teams with the current experience existent internally in the company.
- Cons: all employees needs to be willing to give their time making sure that in their work day they can allocate time to mentor others.
- My view: I really love to implement this kind of platform internally in the company but what I have seen is that if there is no culture in helping and giving back within the company this solution falls apart very easily.
Innovation software: in this branch he platform is trying to merge certain areas of mentoring, ideas and product management softwares so that companies or projects can collaborate. In the back-end there is a clear view on what is going on.
- Pros: in some organization it could be a complement to potentiate great ideas and impulse the creation of new innovation with clear potential.
- Cons: it should be a pathway clearly defined using different way to get the selection into process as explained above.
- My view: this is the future of innovation in large enterprises. This software with a clear implementation on multiple areas and set of rules to avoid bureaucracy can make companies to stay longer and stronger in the future to come.
Please refer to the book Innovation Dilemma that explain this in more details and it is always a bible for the innovation changes in companies.
Team Coaches works for you
Team Coaches provide a software that contains all the tools require to simplify and unify all the activities in one place and can help corporation to implement this concept and run with it during in the Accelerator Program.
If you like our product you can book a demo and we can talk about how we can fit in your programs.