How Corporate Innovation Programs are Measuring Success

Corporate innovation programs are primarily measuring revenue to show success –but that’s a risk, it a small incubated program is being compared to the primary billion dollar business lines. ROI is a fallacy metric of corporate innovation. Basing program success on ROI too early, rather than dedicated innovation KPIs, will not yield an accurate representation of progress. In our recent Crowd Companies research, “The Corporate Innovation Imperative” (available for download here), we found there is a startling chasm between what organizations are measuring around innovation and which KPIs truly indicate program success from infancy through maturity. Corporate innovators who implement realistic measurement plans that focus on innovation KPIs, not immediate ROI, find greater executive support and are given adequate time … Continue readingHow Corporate Innovation Programs are Measuring Success

Corporate Innovation Challenges: Culture, Budgets, and “Frozen” Management

Corporate innovation leaders face many challenges when attempting to get innovation programs off the ground. Peter Schwarzenbauer, chairman of BMW (a Crowd Companies member), is quoted saying, “Innovation is a willingness not to be understood for a long period of time.” Change agents are those whose radical, innovative ideas are not internally understood –and the culture of the company resists change that could conflict with existing business models. In our research, we tested to see if technology adoption, relationship with startups, or if understanding new trends would have been a primary cause of challenges –yet over and over, we heard that internal culture was the primary issue. [Ironically, most Corporate Innovation leaders had more challenges with internal culture –rather than combating … Continue readingCorporate Innovation Challenges: Culture, Budgets, and “Frozen” Management

Who’s Leading Corporate Innovation? Examining the Corporate Innovator Persona

Experience and Education Set the Foundation for Leadership. This is a detailed breakout from our recent report on the Corporate Innovation Imperative, over the coming months, more will be revealed about how large companies are behaving like startups –while using their unique capabilities as a large organization. Attracting the right talent for innovation is a challenge for corporations competing with shiny, agile startups, as is long-term employee retention. Innovative corporations are building innovation talent pools by offering interesting programs, intrapreneur growth, and worthwhile incentives. Because, without a focus on attracting and maintaining innovation leaders, corporations are left seeking a hero to guide their journey toward change. (Above graphic, from the recent report The Corporate Innovation Imperative, download the partial version … Continue readingWho’s Leading Corporate Innovation? Examining the Corporate Innovator Persona

Report: The Corporate Innovation Imperative

Our latest research report is now available, which was focused on how large companies are internally getting ready for the many waves of technology disruption that are here now, and coming. Companies need to be ready, with a dedicated innovation program –not just knee-jerk reacting to each new set of technologies that emerges. We asked a number of companies on how they defined innovation, and heard this common pattern: “Corporate Innovation Defined: Doing something new that solves customers needs –even if it may be in conflict with your existing business”   We’ve made a high-level partial version available to the public on slideshare, but the full report is limited to our members at Crowd Companies. Over the coming months, we will … Continue readingReport: The Corporate Innovation Imperative

11 Ways Startups Outrun Established Corporations

The purpose of this post is to list out how startups are bypassing established companies so that incumbents glean the best tactics and apply them to their own corporate innovation. Tech startups are designed, built, and managed differently than established companies, giving them a competitive edge against incumbent corporations. This post outlines startup advantages, including cultural differences, business models, and business strategies. But, established companies aren’t sitting around idle; they’re adopting these same strategies in order to compete, emulate, or lead in their market. See how corporations are deploying ten types of innovation programs. In our work at Crowd Companies, we’ve observed that big, established companies possess advantages in their tremendous resources, trusted brand names, and experience in their field, … Continue reading11 Ways Startups Outrun Established Corporations

Corporate Innovation Impacts Customers in Four Ways

Rather than arbitrarily throw around the “innovation” word, understand how it impacts your customers, and be specific. Innovation comes in four flavors: product innovation, operational innovation, customer experience innovation, and business model innovation. Corporate innovation isn’t easy. Stefan Petzov, an innovation professional at Swisscom, a Crowd Companies member, has outlined the many challenges that innovation programs inherently face. In particular, the first challenge he lists out is that companies struggle because “the expected outcome is not clearly defined.” Clarity is paramount. One way to solve this top-level challenge is to ensure your company and innovation partners have a standard nomenclature for how innovation is used. We looked at structuring this language around products, business units, or functions, but found it … Continue readingCorporate Innovation Impacts Customers in Four Ways

Corporate Innovation: When to Build and When to Buy

Should large, established companies innovate internally or just acquire successful startups? This post is part of our continued series on Corporate Innovation, in preparation for a research report, on this topic. Last week, we published  The Ten Types of Corporate Innovation Programs which looks at broad swath of options, and in this post, we’ll dive into two major choices that companies are often weighing out: building their own, or acquiring startups. Build: Corporations invest in building innovation internally, but with risks to their success. The upside of companies building their own startups from within is that they can tailor them to their specific business strategy. I’ve spent time with Nestle, which successfully built out its home coffee line, Nespresso, to … Continue readingCorporate Innovation: When to Build and When to Buy

The Ten Types of Corporate Innovation Programs

Large, established companies are trying on various programs to foster new innovations in an attempt to find the best way to change course for their big ships. These established companies are struggling to keep up with fast-paced, venture-backed startups that are changing customer expectations — and often causing business model disruption for traditional businesses. To combat this ever-growing threat, corporations are stepping up their investments in innovation and deploying a variety of strategies, as outlined in the following table. As founder of Crowd Companies, an Innovation Council, we work directly with these innovation teams and have been able to observe and document these types of programs. Often, companies are combining strategies and deploying multiple efforts at any given time. In … Continue readingThe Ten Types of Corporate Innovation Programs

“BMW Welcomes” Explores the Future of Mobility (Video)

What moves us tomorrow? That’s the question BMW posed to its expert speakers at BMW Welcomes, held at BMW Welt in Munich, Germany, on June 23. where I served as emcee of event. BMW Welcomes gathers transportation futurists from around the globe to examine topics from Hyperloop to space travel. In this video you’ll learn: What is the future of mobility? How is the space industry going to enable change? How will Hyperloop going to change transportation? And more. What ensued was riveting conversation about the future of mobility and how major automotive players and international technology innovators are rethinking car ownership in favor of new transportation innovation and sharing behaviors. The Collaborative Economy will play a role, though it’s only a … Continue reading“BMW Welcomes” Explores the Future of Mobility (Video)

Want to inspire Intrapreneurship in your company? Open this box

Can you let your employees take charge of innovation – with little managerial oversight? When employees are empowered to make a difference on their own – to lead rather than follow a managerial directive – the innovation process takes on a life of its own. Adobe Kickbox, a physical box of practical tools and resources for employees to innovate rapidly and independently, fosters innovation in every pocket of the company. It helps capture grassroots innovation happening at the edges of the internal network. At more than 11,000 employees, Adobe is a large software company in the heart of Silicon Valley. Such companies can struggle to keep talent when the best and brightest are often lured away by promises of lucrative … Continue readingWant to inspire Intrapreneurship in your company? Open this box