How to Get Staff Engaged in Corporate Innovation

The fact that corporate innovation is key to a company’s success is no secret. Similarly, the fact that engaged employees are happy, productive employees is no secret. It is unsurprising, therefore, that so many companies are now investing in crowdsourcing software solutions. Supposedly, this is the key to bring the two things – innovation and engagement – come together. But just how important is this?

The Age of Collaboration

The Age of Collaboration is a report created by Arthur D. Little and Match-Maker Ventures. It represents an impressive study of how collaboration is now important the world over. Additionally, it looks at what is required in order for implementation of collaboration to be successful. Specifically, it has looked at how companies can engage and collaborate both internally and externally, working together with smaller startups to benefit both.

What seems to be happening is that larger corporation have significant internal ventures, and that they explore this thanks to ecosystems that include external partners. From the perspective of innovation, the goal is to make sure initiatives that staff suggest are validated, and that they are put into practice. In so doing, the core business can improve. So, on the one hand, working together with small startups enables larger corporations to look even further outside of the box while at the same time engaging its employees, and, on the other hand, it enables small startups to make their mark on the world.

So what are the key findings of the report?

  1. Corporate companies find short term collaboration with startups important in 31% of cases, and long term collaboration is important in 83% of cases. 69% of startups, meanwhile, place a very high or extremely high value on this.
  2. Only 28% of corporations believe they are very to extremely experience in terms of engaging startups.
  3. Just 20% of corporations see startup companies as a threat, and only 32% of startups see themselves as a threat.
  4. 68% of startups would like to collaborate in the early stages of innovation, but this is too soon for corporations.
  5. 79% of corporations have already collaborated with startups, and 77% of startups have already collaborated with corporations.
  6. Of those corporations that haven’t collaborated yet, 85% are interested, which is the same figure as for startups.
  7. Key objectives of collaboration for corporations are new products and technology (30%), a good financial return (21%), consumer and market access (16%), and enhancing brand image (14%).
  8. Startups have a key objective of turning corporations into profitable customers (22%), reference customers (21%), a sales channel (21%), and a way to access markets (19%).
  9. For corporations, collaboration is usually initiated after seven to nine months, and the collaboration usually lasts for between 17 and 18 months.
  10. Three key challenges exist for both corporations and startups, being insufficient setup, internal resistance, and cultural differences.
  11. 98% of corporations would collaborate with startups again, and 100% of startups would collaborate with corporations again.

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