Do you know the legend of how Sir Isaac Newton started thinking about gravity? Supposedly he sat beneath an apple tree and when one of the fruits fell on his head, he had an idea. Although debunked as a myth, the understanding of how innovation works has changed less than the fairy tale of the falling apple: Innovative ideas don’t fall from trees – on the contrary – you can make them grow in your company. Learn how Corporate Innovation boosts your business.
Why Corporate Innovation is important
Innovative ideas must not change the world but can easily change your company for the better. Innovation can boost efficiency, productivity, and revenue. But how to get innovative? The good news: Every company has the necessary resource already at hand: people. The Corporate Innovation division of German Entrepreneurship helps corporations to further support their own innovation divisions for an easier, quicker and better testing process or giving radical innovation ideas a room to experiment.
And since companies are as individual as people, we tailor our offers according to their needs.
How German Entrepreneurship Drives Innovation
Making a change in a company is not easy: Being blinded by routine or unsure where to start first can be a great challenge. Oftentimes an outside perspective and expertise can help. German Entrepreneurship concentrates on four elemental aspects and help companies to start a change and set them on their way to create the best conditions for innovative ideas.
Corporate Innovation Needs Customers’ Validation
Integrating the needs and demands of customers in the innovation process helps finding fitting solutions for every company but also requires interaction with the customer. A key factor for success are collaborations inside and outside of the company – say goodbye to silo thinking.
There are 3 phases of validation:
- Problem-Solution-Fit: Does the problem I want to solve really exist?
- Problem-Market-Fit: Is there a market for either my problem or my solution?
- Business-Model-Fit: Is my idea able to generate money?
People have to get out of the office and talk to their customers in earnest!
Culture of Failure to Push Corporate Innovation
Europe’s failure culture has been criticized a lot in recent times especially in established companies. Instead of accepting mistakes and failure as a natural part of human life, it is frowned upon or even punished. That creates not only additionaly pressure but also hinders employees to think outside the box, try new ways, get creative and learn through experience. That’s what turns a restrictive Failure Culture into a Culture of Failure, where innovation can grow. Beginning a change of culture does not need to start in the whole company at once but should at first be implemented and fostered innovation divisions.
Changing the failure culture is not easy, but necessary to lose the restrictions we put on ourselves and that keep us from developing our full innovation potential.
A Commitment to Corporate Innovation
Creating the space to let innovation happen requires commitment in various forms: budget, time, methods and experts. Change does not happen over night and receiving external support from experts to develop skills and learn new methods helps the innovation division to fully commit. And although a certain amount of money is required to set innovation in place, there are a lot of options that do not require a big budget. Small pilots are an efficient way to test new inventions fast and easy.
Creating an efficient and well working innovative division is possible for every company – no matter the size and the budget. You just have to work out a process matching to the respective company and its needs.
Focus on people as Corporate Innovation resource
Innovation is driven by people. That’s why they need to be at the center of the process. Implementing such a successful change management is based on a healthy feedback culture: transparent communication allows discussions and exchange between people about problems, opportunities and ideas. Coaching people in Entrepreneurial Thinking and Acting as well as Intrapreneurial Leadership sets a good, solid ground. It is important to note that this culture needs to work in both ways: top-down and bottom-up. With innovation there has to be everybody in it to win it.
Every company is already equipped with the most important ingredient for innovation: enthusiastic people. We can help these companies learn to create an environment that allows innovation to grow and benefit business as well as employees.
Conclusion on how to make Corporate Innovation work
The most important resource to drive innovation in your company are the people: breaking up strict organization limits, encouraging corporate-wide teamwork and keeping customers in the focus of developments creates the space it needs for innovation to grow. Keep in mind: the apple can’t fall from the tree right away – it needs time to ripen first!
Are you or your company on the search for a partner or help to foster innovation? Get in touch with us for more information and your personal roadmap to Corporate Innovation!