What makes an idea or product innovative? It depends on who you ask, but most answers can be boiled down to the process of creating purpose-driven value.
For an organization, this process could be focusing on creating a new product for its customers or streamlining internal workflows to enable greater productivity. They could be exciting, like a tool for visualizing data in augmented reality, or just simply necessary, such as bringing a 100-year-old company’s internal systems up to modern-day standards. These two very different examples give insight into the spectrum of projects that Codelitt has been brought on as a partner to help solve.
A big point to be made here is that innovation is not just for startups. “Out with the old and in with the new” doesn’t mean that the established companies need to step aside!
Instead, it’s a call to action that they need to stay agile in the face of a rapidly changing world and take part in what Joseph Schumpeter referred to as “creative destruction” - incessantly destroying the old and creating the new from within.
Enter the infamous business consideration: risk! Risk is what keeps organizations and the leaders within them complacent in participating in this evolution. With nearly 90% of the companies in the Fortune 500 in the 1950s gone by the 2010s, complacency has serious implications.
Furthermore, the longer you wait to act in these fast-moving times the higher the cost. 50 years ago the life expectancy for a company within the Fortune 500 was 75 years. Today, the average is 15 years.
There are two ways that we’ve found companies are taking on this risk: empowering employees to become intrapreneurs and outsourcing the burden of innovation to experienced partners.
Codelitt believes that any employee can be innovative regardless of their position within an organization. We have written extensively about how employees can become “intrapreneurs” - essentially internal entrepreneurs!
Some companies just encourage their employees to think outside of the box while others take a more active role through the creation of internal Innovation Centers of Excellence made up of people whose sole purpose is to ideate and innovate.
Regardless of where your particular company stands on this, it cannot be argued that establishing a structured process for how to approach innovation from within can help save you time and money.
When an organization can’t do it internally or feels it would benefit from an outside perspective, the decision is made to outsource to a 3rd party Innovation Partner.
Why? Simple! The leaders we speak with know they need to prioritize innovation, but the risks/costs of keeping it internal are too high.
What are these risks?
- Ideating in a vacuum can cause biases to form which makes refining or reframing of the innovative solutions challenging
- Staying on time and within budget is difficult
- Diverting resources to work on innovation is inefficient
- The required specialized skills might not exist within the org. Having to find, hire, onboard, train, and pay salary/benefits is expensive
Along with having these specialized skills, outsourced partners have processes in place for working with a wide variety of teams to help them quickly validate ideas.
For the decision makers we work with, Codelitt is extremely valuable as we shoulder the weight of having to deliver projects on time and within the established budget. Where internal Innovation Centers of Excellence exist, leaders have found value in collaborating with Codelitt to ensure they are being strategic with their innovation backlog.
We become the “expert pair of eyes” to ensure that they are thinking about their problems the right way and delivering results when the skills needed are beyond internal capabilities.
How will you take on creative destruction within your own organization in 2020?