Front End Innovation (FEI) is often difficult for internal teams to complete on their own. Even if your team understands FEI, existing staffing levels are designed to support the important demands of the Formal (Stage Gate) Process which drives Sustaining Innovation, the revenue foundation of your company; team members don’t have the time or resources to attack innovation ideas that don’t follow the same rules, and creating permanent innovation departments is expensive and often ineffective.
This is where iP2Biz can help. The benefits we deliver include:
Independence. We are not influenced by internal politics to favor a particular solution or direction.
Front End Focus. We are not subject to the same time constraints and internal priorities as team members who, by necessity, must concentrate on supporting and extending existing revenue streams.
Front End Expertise. Because we are experts, we can complete tasks in the Front End faster and more efficiently than internal staff.
Efficiency. We do not disrupt or interfere with internal operations, and we are an on-demand resource rather than a permanent line in your SG&A budget.
Objectivity. Our conclusions are driven solely by data collection and analysis.
Anonymity. We don’t disclose your identity to the outside world, keeping your strategic direction confidential and helping you acquire information and IP at rates that are driven by the market rather than your size.
Clayton Christensen has written extensively and convincingly about the benefit of independent partners like iP2Biz:
“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.”
Finally, an independent FEI partner helps you shield potential Breakthrough ideas from the immune response of the Formal Process. One of the defining characteristics of an idea in FEI is uncertainty: you can’t calculate an ROI because you don’t know enough about the product, your competitors or the market. But uncertainty is not what the Formal Process wants to see; it is designed to efficiently commercialize Sustaining Innovations you know are going to produce a predictable return.
So when a project that belongs in FEI gets inserted in the Formal Process instead, the results are predictable: the project gets starved for funding and dies an early—and perhaps unjustified—death. We’ve all heard a CFO say something like, “Don’t give that thing any more funding; we need to focus our efforts on products with an assured return.” In fact, this is what should happen in a properly functioning Formal Process.
FEI managed by iP2Biz can solve this problem. We help you analyze potential Breakthrough Innovations, nurturing those that hold promise and rapidly discarding those that don’t. And—because FEI is our sole focus—we get deliverables done much faster than internal staff. 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 (and survives) the Formal Process.
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