Connect to build innovation capability

According IBM’s recent report, the nature of innovation is changing. Increasingly dependent on team work and collaboration, innovation has become “more open and increasingly occurs within economic ecosystems.”  

Successful organizations, IBM observe, are not afraid to experiment, are more likely to embrace open forms of innovation and also more likely to establish dedicated teams.

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Leading UK retailer John Lewis have opened up their innovation approach with JLab. Start-ups offering benefits in identified strategic areas compete to gain funding and collaboration from John Lewis.

The IBM report highlights a number of organisations connecting externally to increase the breadth and pace of innovation. For example:

AkzoNobel seek out partnerships and attract ideas that address areas of focus through an on-line portal, Open Space:

AkzoNobel are extending their reach for ideas and directing think to priority trends and needs.

GE adopts crowd-sourcing through “Quirky”. This platform connects inventors for building ideas and shares revenue when they are developed.

GE is a founding partner of Quirky and seeks to find and build ideas for a smarter, more efficient home.

Other companies such John Lewis are attracting and incubating potential start ups with relevant ideas.  Their JLab competition offers 5 winning start-ups funding and access to company expertise.

John Lewis’s ambition in connecting with start-ups goes beyond sourcing ideas. The aim is to build the innovation and entrepreneurial skills across the organisation. Recognising this, John Lewis has refined their JLab approach to increase the access to company experts and has senior “sponsors” assigned from across the business.

So performing companies are adopting approaches that access expertise and ideas outside their organisation. They are also connecting and collaborating to build better innovation behaviours inside too.

The report from IBM can be accessed here: How_innovation_breeds_business_success (1)

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