Best Practice: Breaking Down your Innovation Silos

Written by: Peter Gardner

In last week’s blog post, we talked about how identifying the next technology or process innovation has become more and more challenging in the high-velocity, global entrepreneurial landscapeYour enterprise probably has multiple people — or teams of people — with the same goal: discovering new sources of innovation in order to advance and expand your products and services. This brings a duplication and transparency challenge as groups stake their claims.

We regularly hear about enterprises that have multiple discussions or even multiple pilots with the same startup without knowing it … wasting time and resources to reach the same outcomes.

Frequently the information captured in the innovation scouting process — who you met, who else is doing work in this space, your opinion of the person, company, and various technical approaches — is in silos across business units, functions, and geographies. If an innovation team member leaves they often take a lot of their data and relationships with them.

It’s key to have a central enterprise-level view of your innovation networks, where external information is structured to provide shared market intelligence, discovery, transparency, and apple-to-apple comparisons of solutions.

Key #2 for Networked Innovation is to break down silos to better share data and market intelligence, using these best practices:

Challenge: Capturing data across multiple internal stakeholders who engage with the startup community

Best Practice: Track your innovation sources by geography, industry, stage and other key filtering fields

Challenge: Collaborating with others in your company, from your team to R&D, product, and executives

Best Practice: Provide access to this repository for internal stakeholders to contribute technical and market knowledge and feedback on the innovation identified from your network

Challenge: Keeping your data up to date with changes in the market and with your innovation network

Best Practice: Keep your data fresh with third-party data feeds that minimize the need for manual data entry

Breaking down the duplication and transparency challenges means increasing collaboration across your multiple innovation teams, which can include a central information depository and automatic data updates. If you have other challenges or best practices in breaking down innovation information silos, please comment below.

In future posts, we’ll explore the challenges of managing internal and external collaboration and contacts.

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