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CORPORATE INNOVATION AND ORGANIZATIONAL READINESS

Dr.Umut KÖKSAL

Founder,UK Consulting

In this article, my focus will be on the corporate innovation and organizational readiness relationship. Before discussing this relationship, I will try to define these concepts briefly.

Corporate innovation is such a concept that is usually only related with technology or R&D. But we have to know that is  very  beyond this.

Corporate innovation is about technology. It is about process.It is about the way of doing business. It is almost about everything you need to focus on as an executive if you want to achieve your goals and realize the company's strategies.

It is a mechanism that helps company to improve it's competitiveness at the market and economic growth. It acts like a catapult that drives the synergy for company performance, market capabilities.

It can be an inadequate analysis if a company or the executives of the company view the corporate innovation phenomenon as only it deals with technology. It is much more beyond…  A little bit complicated…

In terms of organizational study research, corporate innovation should be discussed with management and organization concepts, next to technology,R&D etc.

 There are musts for sustainable corporate innovation success.

First of all, company should have a clearly defined innovation strategy. Without clearly defined innovation strategy, you can not see your path… Innovation strategy is your map for corporate performance.

Second,  you have to be sure that your business strategy is fully aligned/integrated with this innovation strategy. All the procedures,processes and other related mechanisms should act as the assistants of this point of view.

And maybe most important of all, company's corporate culture should support this innovation strategy.

Company's innovation strategy will need to focus on the following points as sum:

·         How will company's innovation strategy will be able to create value for potential and existing customers?

·         How will the company  give message about the value share of it's innovation projects/attempts that are generated?

·         What kind of innovations will be valuable for company and how will company deal with disruptive forces in order to secure sustainable corporate innovation?

 

In addition to this, strategy matters. Innovation strategy should be integrated with business strategy. Innovation is not about the amount of money you spend on technology, digitalization,computers,softwares,AI etc. It is about how you spend the money.

It is also not about organizing corporate in-house training programmes in the subjects of design-thinking, creativity, problem-solving and decision-making skills,gamification etc. It is about the integration of company's business strategy with company's innovation strategy.

      The effect and sustainability of innovation in company is directly related with company's executives' understanding of ‘'corporate innovation'''.

·         How they understand corporate innovation

·         How they perceive the benefits of corporate innovation

·         How they make it's internal communication with their employees,suppliers, shareholders etc.

It's very crucial for company executives to stay connected to the concept of understanding corporate innovation as an integrated pie for stakeholders,contributors inside and outside the organization.

Many executives have idea that innovation is not relevant to the main business strategies, but infact innovation can be much more easy and relevant.

Crucial part is the design of business strategy and it's integration with innovation strategy.

Discussions for IOT,AI,Design-thinking,digitalization,digital transformation are just the second step. As a foundation, company should review it's strategic management policy and update it's business strategy if needed.

From the findings of PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PwC) innovation benchmark report(1) that is based on a global survey,conducted with over 1200 executives in 44 countries, given below are some important notes. The aim of the research was to analyse how these leaders perceive innovation and what they do to better reap its rewards(2):

·         Note-1 :companies are now embracing more collaborative models of innovation such as open innovation and design thinking.

·         Note-2:   companies are now embracing more collaborative models of innovation such as open innovation and design thinking.

·         Note-3:Technology is no longer viewed as just a way to keep up with trends and competitors. It is now viewed as a key driver of innovation. Executives are also realising that beyond technology, it is just as important to develop innovative business models.  

At last, after defining innovation strategy, aligning innovation strategy with business strategy, one piece of the puzzle is missing or must be cleared. Organizational readiness.

Above all over the discussion up to now, company, executives of the company in terms of corporate culture, mentality, management and leadership style should be ready for innovation spirit.

In order to underline  this spirit, fostering learning organization, diversity management practices,adapting talent and potential management programmes, emphasizing corporate entrepreneurship may be critical factors.

Corporate innovation programmes need to produce synergy,energy about talent management and should focus on the fact that critical talent in the company that motivates innovative ideas has to stay in the organization,recognition programmes mainly have to focus on this segment.

Moreover, organizational readiness has something to deal with corporate culture and corporate climate. Culture shows the signals of the potential ROI of corporate innovation.

Corporate innovation needs organizational readiness. Organizational readiness means culture should be ready for innovative practices,projects.

Innovation means management, not only technology. In order to guarantee sustainable corporate innovation, company needs right management and strategy tools.

Innovation has never only been about creative ideation. Susccessful innovation means the sum of creative ideas and sustainable,profitable business models(3).

For this, a company has to be ready-in all of its'parts, employees,managers, processes, customers,suppliers,stakeholders,shareholders etc.

 If we want to form a bridge to organizational readiness and corporate innovation, these are the tips in sum:

·         Investmen of leadership directed through innovative skills

·         Organizational allignment for creativity, but combined with business-oriented thinking

·         Culture,myths

·         Past Experiences,Rituals

·         Corporate problem-solving and decision-making style

If organization is not ready, corporate innovation can not be sustained. Something beyond technology is needed.

 

References

(1)      http://pwc.to/2s9yAxV

(2)      https://www.forbes.com/sites/tendayiviki/2017/06/12/why-companies-must-align-innovation-strategy-with-business-strategy/#290b6ae844a5

(3)      https://medium.com/the-corporate-startup/innovation-is-management-a3123be6b19f

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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