While I mentioned in a previous post that becoming a larger company, with operating revenues and processes (some might call that “growing up”) might lead to a dip in the creation and release of new, innovative products, that need not be the case. The fact is is that your team is still innovating in their heads – the ideas are still there – they simply need an outlet. Creating an innovation pipeline, by providing a place for those ideas to be captured and refined is one thing, but what if you find that you can’t dedicate the internal resources to develop those ideas further? How do you ensure that those ideas are not only captured, but the innovators who generated the ideas are rewarded for their efforts?
Over the course of my work in the innovation space, I’ve found that once innovators within your firm are identified, they, and their ideas, should be recognized, if you want to keep that flow of ideas coming. You can do this monetarily, however I’ve also found that the biggest motivators are a) recognition, b) clear communication and c) a path forward for the idea. Whether it be into prototype, a business model, the patent pipeline, or some other conclusion, this must be very clearly communicated to the original inventor, and ideally, to the entire organization.
How do you do this? A process for capturing, filtering, sorting and rewarding ideas is key. However, this requires resources – depending on the size of your organization and any spare resources. If none are available, you can engage a firm like hellofuture to create and run your innovation program. Ideally, if ideas are filtered as excellent candidates for either business model development, prototype or patent, then additional resources may be required in order to provide those services. This is where our inside/out innovation program (IOI)can provide your firm with the resources required in order to move the ideas in to those stages:
- Develop a business model: even if the idea is great, will it sell? One could argue that the reason why Quirky, HomeJoy and other crowdfunding or sharing economy initiatives fail is that the idea, while great, does not have a viable business model. We can develop that model for you and determine if it is worth moving into prototype and market testing.
- Develop a rapid prototype: if the business model is compelling, or unclear, its possible for us to develop a rapid prototype of the solution and market test it in order to determine viability. We will use rapid application development and agile processes to quickly build a prototype which can then be released into either limited or broad market trials
- Prepare for patent filing: if the idea is not currently buildable or prototypable, we can map it against criteria for patentability, thus capturing the idea for your firm to later build or license to others, thus ensuring an additional revenue stream.
Our exclusive inside/out innovation program ensures that we use your brains and our brawn to capture and move those ideas forward, thus keeping your inventors happy, and allowing you to keep your operational resources focused on running your business.
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