What are the key challenges for corporate innovation units? Let’s have a discussion on this. Below you get my starters. Your input is highly appreciated!
Hit the window! The window of opportunity gets smaller and smaller and the time to success decreases. In short, cash cows are a dying race. Corporate innovation units need to hit smaller windows more often in order to create strong return on investments.
Organize for fast pace, fast change! This builds further on the above. Things just happen faster today and you need to prepare and organize for this.
Crack the X! My TBX model is quite simple. Innovation requires strong buy-in from the top (T) and support from the bottom (B), but the real challenge comes from middle managers including business unit heads across the organization (X). They often hinder innovation just by doing their job and they tend to see threats rather than opportunities in innovation. Winning them over is a key challenge.
Develop yourself and your teams! Too often, innovation people do not get – or take – the time to get new insights or just reflect on the many things that happen. Personal and team development must be prioritized higher even though it is hard to find time for this.
Open up your efforts! Open innovation is here to stay, but it is still a major challenge for many organizations – and thus corporate innovation units – to open up and merge internal and external resources. (Check my new book on this.)
Build sandboxes – and use them! Experimentation fits well with the open innovation paradigm shift that brings more opportunities and diversity. Sandboxes for innovation experimentation have gone from nice-to-have to need-to-have.
Become better communicators! It used to be that branding, marketing and promotion was all about the innovation outcome. Not anymore. Communication is becoming increasingly important as corporate innovation units need to promote their innovation capabilities and become the preferred partner of choice within the innovation ecosystems.
What do you think? What can you add?