If an innovation is proven to be valuable after the Experimentation Phase, the Business Owner, the Innovator and the CIB Ambassador team up to scale the innovation and eventually embed the innovation into the existing organization. Partnerships are key to the success of Continuous Innovation.
It is obvious that in a world of Continuous Innovation no organization can go at innovation alone and win on all fronts. Where start-ups have the relative luxury of focus on a single product, corporations need to address multiple products, services and markets at once. Therefore, they need to become bridge-builders between breakthrough ideas, new technologies and talent and their corporate power to mass produce and go to market. Partnerships are key to this.
There are 4 main reasons to engage in a partnership with parties outside of your organization.
- Acquisition of innovative ideas or solutions
- Access to unique skills and/or resources
- Creation of dedication and focus on a single solution
- Leverage mutual strengths and inspiration
For a partnership to succeed, there should be a mutual benefit. Start-ups often take on new initiatives that remain untouched by larger organizations and have the name to be innovative because they can focus on solving problems with new solutions. For start-ups, it can be interesting to partner with organizations in order to achieve access to the market and take advantage of the scale.
Management of Partnerships
Managing partnerships is a continuous process of maintaining and developing relationships. In order to be able to do so, an organization engaging in a partnership should truly understand their own strategic direction as well as the strategic direction of the partner. Also on a tactical level and operational level, a deep understanding of the partner’s capabilities is fundamental in making a partnership effective. Managing partnerships involves a systematic approach to assess how the partnership influences and drives value for both parties.
- Gnanasambandam, C. and Uhl, M. (2017). Innovation Is as Much About Finding Partners as Building Products. Harvard Business Review. [online] Available at: https://hbr.org/2017/07/innovation-is-as-much-about-finding-partners-as-building-products [Accessed 4 Nov. 2018].