- Idea management process: Many organizations are making serious efforts in improving their idea management process. Some are also trying to bring various disjoint processes under one broad umbrella – e.g. kaizen, Quality circle, Idea portal, R&D, Internal VC process etc.
- Rewards & Innovation day: HR department has been playing a role in putting rewards & recognition process in place. I got an opportunity to visit the stalls put up on the innovation day in organizations like Titan.
- Training programs: L&D department has been playing a key role in rolling out training programs that raise awareness on innovation.
- Laboratory & corporate venture fund: In terms of structures, I see investments in labs and even in putting a corporate venture fund together.
- Challenge process: Taking ownership of top business challenges and keeping them alive in a challenge book is something that I don’t see much. Managers who take up this role of owning one or more key business challenges are called champions in our book “8 steps to innovation”. A live and prioritized challenge book can bring focus to innovation efforts. It might also contribute to the strategy.
- Success stories: Like Master Shifu follows a bright spot to train Kung Fu Panda, there is an opportunity in digging deeper the success stories and finding scalable approaches. Unfortunately, managers are so busy with problems, that they don’t have time for studying the bright spots – be it the people who give ideas regularly, prototyping etc.
- Partnership network: This is perhaps the toughest asset to build and manage. It takes years and very few people have the patience to look that far. However, it is an extremely potent asset for building innovation capacity.
Overall, I still feel that the ecosystem view can provide a useful perspective while building innovation capacity systematically.