Innovation Series – Part 7: Outside Input and Collaboration

In the final video in the iP2Biz video on Innovation, John Bacon talks about support and teamwork and how it adds value and effectiveness from outside influences and collaboration.

Back in December, iP2Biz started a series on Innovation and Product Development in today’s environment. For the full video series, click here.


Video Transcript

As I mentioned in the previous segment, there is a lot of work to be done in the Front End of Innovation, which quite often cannot be completed well using just internal employees and teams. Now we’ll take a look at the support and teamwork which adds value and effectiveness from outside influences and collaboration.
To begin, here’s a definition to consider:

An outside support group for the innovation process is known as an “Innovation Intermediary”.

Intermediaries – or Innovation Discovery Companies like iP2Biz – are one of the best ideas when it comes to outside input and support. Some of the benefits of these external partners include:
– They are independent, not biased in any way
– They are not subject to the same time constraints and internal priorities
– Tasks are completed faster than internal staff can do them
– Interference usually encountered in internal operations is minimized.
– Objective view driven by data collection and analysis
– They act as a catalyst for change on a project by project merit basis
– The good ones don’t disclose your identity to the outside world.

Often, it is not possible to do the hard work of early innovation with a company’s current internal staff. Clayton Christensen has written extensively and convincingly about this. Outside independent partners improve innovation productivity by unearthing promising technology anonymously, and focusing a fresh set of eyes on each project with no preconceived agenda. External partners who become trusted members of your team allow the process to move quickly without burdening the internal staff.

Collaboration is a key factor to the survival of ideas for early innovation which can lead to Breakthroughs and Disruption. Collaboration between internal team members or “stakeholders” and external innovation partners allows ideas to flourish and grow without being killed by inappropriate measures from the Formal Process or the time constraints present in all companies. Effective outside Collaborators will get deliverables done in 1/4th the time it would take internal staff because it is their sole focus. As ideas are described, analyzed, validated and understood by more stakeholders, the Front End of Innovation delivers big benefits to the corporation in the form of real innovation that enters the Formal Process.

I’ve enjoyed chatting with you about the process of innovation in corporations. I hope you see the essential distinction between the Front End of Innovation and the Formal Process, and why you must have a clear articulation of both in order to succeed in today’s fast moving, competitive world.

I hope you’ll let us know any suggestions or questions you have after thinking about these ideas!


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