Corporations are constantly searching to improve methods to maintain leadership positions, stay close to customers, and provide profitable solutions to existing and emerging problems. In the hyper competitive and interconnected world we live in, a strong innovation strategy is key to sustainable growth and success. However, the establishment of an effective corporate innovation process that delivers consistent results has proven elusive. There is no generic innovation, or “one size fits all,” process that seems to be available to enable breakthrough innovation.
Regardless, the product development process to implement an innovation is well understood. The Open Innovation Model to reach out beyond the corporate walls to find available solutions for carefully defined internal requirements is also well understood and widely implemented, but has shortcomings because a great deal of innovation comes from a creative and non sequential front end process where detailed requirements for implementation of external technology can not be tightly defined at that stage. Companies working with innovation in this stage have trouble conceptualizing what is needed to make that optimal product. The “back end of Innovation” is designed for effective delivery of a defined solution. However, original development on the front end requires a much different Innovation process to allow for creativity, iteration, evaluation, and incorporation of vetted external technologies.
Not knowing about the technological improvements that touchscreens had made could have been detrimental to the advent of the modern smartphone. An entire product category (and the related post PC technologies) may ever have been realized. Issues like this could be due to a lack of integration with the company’s departments, or the company’s improper selection of materials. The company can make a product, but it is not the best product. To make the best product, the company may have to integrate external technologies to fully realize their product’s potential or even the product itself.