Evaluating the necessity of internal collaboration to business innovation objective

Jul 22 Posted By Raamish Rana | 0 comment

 According to Harvard Business Review, innovation is the “secret sauce of business success”. This assertion is backed by the consulting giants McKinsey that claim that innovation has become a “core driver of growth, performance, and valuation”. Further these assertions have been summed up well by Steelcase Inc, which states that it is integral for any organization from “super corporations to start-ups” to direct their efforts in “identifying new opportunities, and harnessing resources to pursue them that can in-turn create a fundamental advantage for them”. Although implementing innovation often imposes with complexities and challenges, possible solutions are beginning to emerge. 

There is a growing acknowledgement that real advances often come from the sheer involvement of people who are involved in driving the hard work needed to innovate.  It is the effective collaboration of these organizational employees that can determine if organizational resources are devoted efficiently, and strategically to extract value generating solutions. As Steelcase Inc notes that a “great deal of successful organizations look for every possible way to harness creative, collaborative thinkers to generate productive and high performing individuals.”  
A noted author and an expert John Seely Brown has further observed that “the cultures that constantly produce innovation have visionary leadership, organizational commitment to breakthrough thinking, and a place supporting work of innovation.” Therefore nourishing a culture of innovation has become highly important to organizational endeavours for launching meaningful innovations.  
In a global survey provided through Steelcase/CoreNet partnerships it was established that innovation processes prevail within most organizations. Notably, 55% said they often bring people with diverse backgrounds together to work on innovation projects, while 75% say that the responsibility for innovation is spread throughout their organization. 
Steelcase Inc has identified this model of innovation as an “In-House Marketplace Model” where “cross-pollination of ideas exist, and with each team being responsible for innovation”. They further recognize digital wireless communication giant Qualcomm, which offers a great internal message: “Whatever it is you do, our pathway to innovation begins and ends with you.”
(Source: Steelcase. "How Place Fosters Innovation." Web.)   
“Employee Innovation Networks” have often been used as an alternative term by Adi Gaskel, and Anthony Ferrier at Culturevate to refer to a diverse range of employees sourced by innovation leaders from across the organization to “generate business value with limited direct resources”. They further identify certain challenges that do arise for effective collaboration including
- Consistent management – Too often these “ employee networks” embark on innovation activity which rapidly “fizzles” as resources are redirected to other efforts
- Focus on business result – While initially employees might be educated to innovation concepts, that focus has to shift on translating efforts into business results, where little emphasis is placed
- Stakeholders: With innovation efforts underway, complexity of management and competing priorities can form hurdles to the objective that needs to be adequately managed
(Source: Ferrier, Anthony, and Gaskell, Adi. "Outside/Inside Innovation: Combining Open Innovation with Employee Networks to Drive Success". Web.)
Hence with these challenges in place, it is plausible that effective measures and practices are in place to ensure that at least challenges to an organizational innovation objectives are dealt with effectively, which can in turn go a long way to create value for firms.