Innovation Beyond the Four Walls
As companies face relentless pressure to
innovate in their development of products and services, they are seeking new strategies and techniques to gain and retain a leading edge.
With the proliferation of social media platforms and virtual communication, forwardlooking companies are increasingly looking outside the four walls of their organizations and tapping into customers and partners to find inspiration and the innovation to compete and excel in the everchanging business environment. The objective: to take innovation beyond gamechanging products and services and create more effective and efficient operational processes, as well as more profitable and productive ways of promoting and creating market opportunities. The obstacles are numerous and often deep and wide. As a result, implementing and sustaining innovation across these dimensions is exceedingly difficult and not for the faint of heart.
A global survey of 311 executives in Europe and the United States, conducted by Forbes Insights in association with Cognizant Business Consulting examines the collaboration efforts and tools embraced to foster and expand innovation outside the traditional organization's four walls. It finds that organizations are embracing open environments for innovation and a vast majority of them are using new technologies and virtual tools for internal and external collaboration. Yet, having embraced the new tactics and tools, the challenge now is to integrate them deeper into the organization realizing even greater value from open
innovation to drive superior business performance and build competitive advantage visavis key rivals, near and far.
Among the findings uncovered in the survey:
- The use of both internal and external resources (hybrid innovation model) for creating and implementing innovative ideas is becoming increasingly more common. They already are more prevalent than companies that rely solely or mostly on
internal resources for innovation.
- There is a sense of urgency to reach outside the four walls for innovation. Over the next
two years more executives report they will open up innovation platforms to communicate and cooperate with more external resources
than with internal resources.
- Fostering innovation is a complex process and increases the more internal and external
resources are intermingled. Another layer of complexity is added when these resources are worldwide. Notwithstanding how wellconceived and designed the innovation process may be, to succeed fully innovation efforts need a strong leader. As with most
corporate projects, the focus and backing of the CEO is a huge plus.
- Corporations are recognizing the crucial role customers play in the innovation process. Among hybrid models, internal
company teams combined with customers are among the top performers. These organizations report higher satisfaction levels with their innovation efforts and lead all organizational structures in terms of the deployment of open innovation tactics and
To read more about the study and learn what specific companies are doing to foster innovation,
go to: www.cognizant.com/fourwalls