All companies say they are open to innovation but, in practice, many of them do not have a defined innovation strategy, nor do they explore all their potential.
The following is a summary of some of the key features that define organizations that are top performers in innovation.
- They conceive innovation not only as a buzz word. Management is committed to innovation as a strategic priority, because they are aware of its potential to distinguish them from the rest.
- ·They are companies with a well-defined innovation strategy, generally reflected in corporate innovation programs aligned with their various corporate priorities.
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- Their innovation strategy listens to its various stakeholders and gives them a voice: the company maps out its entire structure, is open to new ideas, and to talented profiles that can make the difference in innovation, independent of whether they belong to the organization or not.
- They look beyond their own structure, because they know that talent is not always on the payroll, and involve not only their employees in the innovation strategy, but also other collaborators in their ecosystem, such as consumer groups, start-ups, academic institutions…
- They work towards a transversal culture of innovation, open to the entire organization, and built on values like collaboration, transparency and breaking down departmental silos.
- They find support in methodologies and tools that facilitate innovation, collaboration, and dynamic, swift work.
- They have systems to make ideas emerge, contrast their feasibility, and promote their development, designing an entire innovation funnel until the idea’s arrival on the market.
- They do not penalize failure and accept risk as an inherent–and inevitable–element of innovation.
- They promote cross-fertilization of knowledge and ideas between collaborators, with multidisciplinary work teams where different areas or departments, and hierarchies, co-exist.