In this current global market, large corporate companies have seen first-hand their industries disrupted by innovative startups. Startups that bring new technology to their clients and offer customers something novel to an already existing need.
For established corporates to stay ahead, they need to allow for disruptive innovation to happen internally. Allowing entrepreneurial, accelerated corporate startups to grow in the structural walls of the successful corporate. External innovation labs, intrapreneurship programs, internal accelerators, M&A and CVC are just some of the vehicles available for corporations to growth through innovation.
Corporations need for innovation has become an increasing trend over the past years for two main reasons: necessity to change a reactive and inertia-driven internal culture and the need for bottom-line impact before the core business window of relevance expires.
When considering the key components that drive innovation, the differing innovation vehicles available to corporate companies are more and more prevalent in the process of enabling change to occur in a timely and cost-efficient manner. However, corporate companies need to be aware that there is no one size fits all vehicle that will facilitate all their needs. Instead, it’s vital for corporates to educate themselves on the different vehicles’ strengthens and time horizon impact – and deploy them strategically. In other words innovation vehicles must be in-sync with the company’s expected outcome.
Successful companies that have differentiated in their industry have become successful innovators by allowing for experimentation & collaboration. These companies have taken the time to align the innovation vehicles properly to facilitate exponential market growth and dominance with new technologically enhanced innovative ideas of an already existing model.
To deploy any of the innovation vehicles available, companies must first: define their internal needs, envision the outcomes they want to achieve and design strategies to achieve these outcomes.
As the majority of corporate companies rely on KPI factors (such as profitability margins) as a means of defining successful innovation, some vehicles are superior to others when delivering financial impact in a timely manner.
If cultural impact is desired, some innovation vehicles are better than others at delivering that. Understanding that this component is necessary to create productive environments for innovation to occur in a corporate setting means prioritizing activities with a strong emphasis on capability & cultural development.
But in most cases there is not a question of doing one over the other. The needs of a corporation are complex and the right mix of cultural impact and financial ROI needs to be found.
Innovation managers and strategists need to understand when to deploy which vehicle, to manage the expectations of all internal and external stakeholders. All vehicles of innovation need to coordinate with an innovation strategy which needs to be aligned with corporate and entrepreneurial goals.
Innovation vehicles are just part of the overall cog in the wheel of innovation. However, the underlying factor is that all have to be in-sync for change to happen. Corporate innovation isn’t about managing or deploying an unconnected set of vehicles. It’s about a holistic end to end process translating actions into impact by properly designing, combining and aligning activities.