The role of the Innovation Manager is a relatively new one, but it’s importance is being recognized as many companies add this role to their management structure. With it’s importance though, comes a lot of pressure/responsibility. Undoubtedly your organization will look to you to find solutions to growth hurdles thus propelling growth and cornering market share.
If you are currently practicing closed innovation, working with a small team of highly specialized individuals, you are currently gathering a small amount of ideas from people with similar backgrounds. If you were to embrace open innovation and bring more people into the ideation phases, you would collect a larger number of ideas, and even though the percentage of unusable or “bad” ideas will go up, so to will the number of actionable or “good” ideas.
The following paragraphs present three growth challenges that open innovation manager like yourself are currently facing, and ways that open innovation can solve these challenges. If you’re facing unique problems, or would like to talk through the process of open innovation and its many benefits, our experts looking forward to meeting you.
Challenge 1: Experimentation
As an Innovation Manager, you have certain metrics and goals that you need to meet, you have reports that need completed, communication that needs sent and meetings that need conducted - so how do you have time for anything else? From dreaming up the idea for the experiment to crafting the project, this exercise is can be extremely beneficial but it takes a lot of time and resources, so it is hardly ever done.
Solution 1: Challenge Minds and Stay Elastic
By challenging the minds of the teams across your organization, through sprints and jams until it becomes a part of your teams’ everyday work-life, you can collect ideas for experimentation, practice it more and stay elastic. The solution to the experimentation problem, is to leverage more minds, rather than try to do it all yourself. When you change your approach from closed to open innovation, you gain an entire workforce to join you in your search for ideas, experiments and more.
Challenge 2: Breaking Barriers
Going beyond the walls of your organization and truly embracing open innovation can sound intimidating. Every person invited into your open innovation project or program becomes a new relationship to manage. Using traditional methods of communication such as email or phone makes this almost impossible.
Solution 2: Digitally Fostering Relationships
The right tools make all of the difference. The open innovation SaaS tools from Idea Hunt allow you invite people into a safe and and easy to use online environment where you can easily manage these relationships. When you can communicate with your open innovation participants when and where you need to, you can break down the barriers and embrace open innovation to collect more ideas, run more projects and increase your throughput.
Challenge 3: Resources
As an Innovation Manager you might have lots of ideas and projects, but having limited resources can really hamper your ability to succeed. To successfully achieve open innovation requires the right resources, the right skillset and the right tools, which are often lacking for Innovation Managers.
Solution 3: Start Small
Lean on experts to help you successfully establish an open innovation process and conduct projects that can be easily repeated, creating a sustainable system of open innovation from the very start. As you gain the skills, resources and tools, you can begin to expand from this framework. Tools that help you digitally host projects, workshops, and challenges are a great investment if you can start small and grow the services and products you pay for over time.
These are simply three of the challenges or growth hurdles that open innovation can help you as an Innovation Manager solve. Have you explored the possibilities of open innovation? Give us a call and let’s chat through the challenges that you are facing in your company, industry and as an individual.