Today’s organizations have undergone a shift from traditional research and development (R&D) methods to modern, collaborative innovation systems. Organizations that can take advantage of this changing landscape are well-poised to drive higher value for customers and long-term success. This post will look at the disadvantages of traditional R&D structures, the shift to new innovation models, and how to begin taking advantage of these models in your organization.
Pitfalls of traditional R&D
Traditional R&D methods centralized innovation to a single functional group within the organization. This model was primarily ineffective due to its cost structure. Traditional R&D departments required heavy investment in trained talent and equipment. Coupled with slower testing turnaround times, the return on investment for projects was inherently smaller than in modern innovation structures. As such, organizations have shifted strategies to drive more value, faster and with less spend.
Shifting to a modern innovation landscape
Modern innovation at many organizations is focused on widening the scope of innovation ownership, both by adding innovators internally and externally. Increasing the number of minds working to solve problems can help your organization generate more ideas and test them quickly for commercial viability.
Collaborating with external innovation partners
More and more, organizations have realized that there is value is learning from and sharing with industry partners to solve problems. Innovation ecosystems are networks made up of customers, partners, suppliers, and even competitors who collaborate to increase opportunity and innovation to benefit the whole. These networks allow participating organizations to share risks, costs, and resources in order to maximize return.
Growing internal innovation
Empowering all employees within the organization to innovate is the key to generating a breadth of ideas, focused on solving important customer problems. Different tactics can help to motivate employees to innovate, including innovation contests, inventor incentive programs, or unstructured time.
Modern organizations have shifted their mindsets from the traditional, centralized R&D model to a broader and more collaborative innovation model. Collaborative innovation can help the organization minimize costs to maximize return. Another tactic for driving innovation is to nurture an innovation culture within your organization. An innovation culture can empower your employees to execute on collaborative innovation. Get this free ebook to learn how to build an innovation culture in your organization.